100 Days Project

Lu: 100 Big Days (and Nights) Out

I realised I have kept a heap of tickets to mainly music gigs & festivals over the years, as well as a lot of sports fixtures, from both here, UK and Europe. So each day there will be a photo of a ticket accompanied by a hazy memory from that gig… and a musical tip to go with it.

As I go, a playlist on Spotify called ‘100 Big Days Out’ will be built up of the tracks I single out from those gigs/artists/events. Check it out http://open.spotify.com/user/1230930937/playlist/68S65odxiGB6v7hz4exHTL

Day 7:

Grandaddy, Astoria 2, London, October 1998

Grandaddy, Astoria 2, London, October 1998

Modesto, California has given the world two entities of much cultural import: sci-fi matinée legend George Lucas, and the lo-fi pop genius of the band, Grandaddy. In 1998 the fuzzed-out, back porch, dreamy blend of guitars and synths these guys offered up finally cracked the UK, generating a ton of hype with the sublime single ‘AM 180’ from their album Under The Western Freeway. This album and the follow-up The Sophtware Slump both have claims to sit in the greatest records of the 1990s - they're essential, and a bizzare musical land bridge between the sloppy pop of Pavement, and the concept album smarts of Radiohead, The Flaming Lips, perhaps even dipping several toes into 70s prog. This gig was heaving; the hype machine and air play had worked. The band, Jason Lytle in particular, looked almost embarrassed at the size of the crowd they had pulled, and at the crowd’s expectation for slickness and smooth segues. The stage was decorated with primary school production trees and house party lights; Lytle constantly apologised while he seemed to be queuing up tape loops or sequences on his synths. The punters just let the band get on with it, in their own Modesto way, and the result was a bit of a love-in. Under The Western Freeway is one of my favourite records, ever. The song ‘AM 180’, with its little warped keyboard riff is hard wired in my brain, instantly identifiable after about four joyous notes. In 2002, it was brilliantly, incongruously, used on the soundtrack of Danny Boyle’s zombie film 28 Days Later. Magic.