A’s in the Hole

A supported by Rival Schools – Live at RUSU 26 February 2002

To describe Reading University Student Union as a hole is now unfair as it has had a massive overhaul since I was last there at a gig. No more sweaty cold sports halls packed with Reading’s indie lovers listening to the piss poor sound system. They have a proper stage! More than 4 lights! A bar that isn’t fucking miles away! Jobs a good ‘un!

Anyway. My recollections of RUSU from the previous century aside…

I managed successfully to miss the first support act who were apparently called VD – they sounded shite from outside in the queue? Anyone know any better?

Next up was Rival Schools Who set the mood nicely. I don’t know what any of their songs are called so I have difficulty pointing out the crowd pleasers. Suffice to say they took the stage by storm and whipped the (very young!) crowd into the most polite mosh pit I have seen in a long time. They were at their best with the more upbeat numbers. The slower songs were really quite boring but did mean that you could go to the bar.

There was a rather strange mid set rendition of Happy Birthday for someone called Dave?

A two pint wait followed by an explosion of noise from the punters hailed the arrival of A on stage. And can I just say that A 0wned that stage for the next hour. From the off and despite being short one keyboard player (Off having a baby! Aww!) they were fantastic! The energy and power of the show was supurb as they rocked, occasionally ska’d and at one point sounded very much like I think REM would sound if someone shoved a rocket up Mr Stipe. The charismatic Jason helped the crowd keep the mood going while the tapes of the keyboard player were sorted out. I expect they would be even better with a full complement and without the hassle of tapes.

I want to see A again. Now!


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