Monday, April 17, 2006

Bob Catley - The Underworld, Camden - Sunday 16th April

Ho hum, Camden again for the 3rd gig running. This time is the compact "Underworld", located, suprisingly enough, under the "World's End" pub. On the journey up, Richard reminded my of the last time we went to a Camden gig on an Easter Sunday. We assumed the last southbound tube would be a bit earlier than normal and so got to the station around 23:45. They had all gone! That had meant a triple night bus disaster getting home. Keen not to repeat that experience, we checked the timetable this time. 23:20 last tube. Very early, but at least we knew!

Crossed towards the venue to buy tickets and were a bit surprised to see a queue (it was around 19.15). So, off for a San Miguel in the Camden Tup at a bargain £3.40 a throw! After that, went back to the venue (which had now opened) to buy tickets. The £12 advance had become £15 "on the door" - that's a fair old markup really, but probably no worse that paying the booking fees if you booked early. Came to the conclusion we didn't fancy seeing the support, so set off on a mini pub crawl instead. Average price of a pint stayed well over the £3 mark - Camden residents must be rich! Cheapest was the exactly £3 pint of Becks in the Dublin Castle - another music venue where I'm yet to see a show. We were just too late to enter the "Easter egg painting competition" in another pub - damn!

Anyway - into the venue just before nine to be suprised by how quiet it was. I guess the numbers "56" and "57" on our tickets should have been a clue. Don't know if it was because it was an Easter Sunday or people just couldn't be bothered, but Mr Catley deserves much better support than the 100 or so souls here. Also, I think he'd be better off playing somewhere else in London (Barfly, 100 Club, Half-Moon Putney ?)

Anyway, enough of that. As we know from past experience, it doesn't matter if Bob is playing to 100 or 30,000 - he always gives his all and has one of the best voices in rock. Tonight we got a selection of highlights from his solo albums (including the new "Spirit of Man") and a couple of Magnum songs (Days of No Trust - done acoustically and Lonely Night). Some of the new songs are quite catchy (I've only played the album a couple of times) and there were a few favourites. Richard and I had a bet whereby we had to neck a quanity of beer if Bob uttered the word "Gandolf" - thankfully only 2 large swigs needed! (don't ask about this strange betting thing we do!).

All over by 22:25 and off to the Halfway House for a final pint and to watch some excellent VH2 videos leaving plenty of time for a relaxed tube journey home. Bob always puts on a great show - hopefully a few more people will make it next time.

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