An Evening Under The Bridge
Chelsea Football Club, Stamford Bridge, London
Friday 11 March 2011
Under The Bridge is one of my favorite Red Hot Chili Peppers songs, but now I can add it as one of my favorite places to be, too.
Russian billionaire and owner of Chelsea Football Club, Roman Abramovich, recently opened the 500-capacity £20million nightclub quite literally under Chelsea's Stamford Bridge football stadium.
I was looking forward to the night not only because of the new venue, but also our friends Guillemots were playing. This is another gig amongst the secret shows they have been playing in a run up to their album release. The secret shows are a good idea and they also get the band used to the songs before they start to tour later this year.
The industry show they're playing tonight though, is for the International Live Music Conference (ILMC) - so not many superfans to be seen - and most people probably aren't here specifically to see the band.
After being treated to mini fish and chips in a basket that the waitresses were handing out, native New Yorker, turned London resident Julian Velard starts the entertainment rolling by playing quirky cheeky jazz/pop music on an electric piano. Good fun and a nice way to warm the crowd.
Guillemots follow him and start their set with songs from the forthcoming album Walk The River. It's good to hear that they have nailed their new single "The Basket", as the last time we saw them they left it out of the set calling it a work in progress. Well it has progressed and sounds like it could be a summer hit for them.
The light show is all about blue to go with the vibe of the CD. The sound is well balanced and not too loud. Compliments to the sound engineers who also work for The Specials. Guillemots play a blinding set mixing in a few old favorites such as Made Up Love Song #43, and that masterpiece Trains To Brazil. By this time they have won the crowd over and from where we are standing people are waving their arms, clapping along and shaking their legs in a good old London knees up.
I have to say that Dancing In The Devil's Shoes is the stand out song from their new album Walk The River, and they played a perfect version of it tonight.
Finishing the set with Sao Paulo, Guillemots leave the crowd wanting more and retire to the dressing room to the right of the stage. I would say that Guillemots have to be one of the most inspiring bands in Britain today. Frontman Fyfe Dangerfield has a certain something, you know the X-thing that all greats have and I am sure he and his band will rise above the ranks in the forthcoming years becoming an important part of music history.
What an experience and what a night. You should go to Under The Bridge for an event, a night out. It has to be one of the best live music venues I've been to. Even the band was happy with their sound. The doormen were friendly and welcoming and I would like to thank Alan Tenenbaum, the Creative Manager of the club for providing us with a wonderful and memorable evening, and Guillemots for putting the soundtrack to it.
I have a funny feeling that we will be returning to this place soon, and not because I left my gloves there! No, this is one of those venues that leaves you feeling like it's apart of where you should be.
Photo credits: Dave Tommo
Watch Guillemots - The Basket video:
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Under The Bridge Official Website
By: Dave Tommo
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