The Hold Steady, The Roundhouse


The Hold Steady were meant to play London in October but Tad Kubler’s pancreatitis put paid to that; so here they are in December, making up for the cancellations. This time we were there early enough to squeeze up to the edge of the moshpit. We were close enough to see it almost kick off at one point, and to see Gig Justice meted out to one git who barrelled through to the front only  to return crestfallen minutes later, wearing at least one pint of beer. Whoops!

The HS seemed glad, rather than just contractually obliged, to be here. Craig Finn – surely one of the world’s best frontmen, despite everything – hopped about, clearly still having a blast, and the rest of the band were equally bouncy.  The setlist was like a best-of; because Stay Positive (BBO’s 4th best album of 2008, remember) is such a strong record and we had the ‘hits’ off the other three records, this was a long set of great songs. The experts at the excellent unofficial forum have the details, but for me the highlights were mainly off Stay Positive, particularly ‘Slapped Actress’… though ‘Chips Ahoy’, ‘Stuck Between Stations’ and ‘Hoodrat’ all had me grinning like an idiot and singing like I was in church. And it was proper loud, and there were proper solos.

Having looked at the Drowned In Sound comments, though, I’d like to apologise for being one of those blokes who are the same age as the band (more or less). I don’t know how that happened. Maybe there’s something in the lyrics of the last album about that? Maybe. Enjoy the Kooks, though, youngsters!

Two Handed Handshake‘ – The Hold Steady – Stay Positive

Sequestered in Memphis‘ – The Hold Steady – Stay Positive

Buy buy buy.

JKneale (photo: Siobhan)


About jkneale

BothBarsOn's London correspondent.

Posted on December 19, 2008, in Gig reviews and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Glad you got to finally enjoy it.

    Reading those DiS comments makes me want to go to more ‘young-uns’ gigs and fart over Kooks liking idiots [edit] like them.

  2. Language Timothy!

  3. Shit, sorry.

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