Birmingham O2 Academy - 9th May 2010
Due to being stuck in the queue outside the Academy waiting to get in, I unfortunately missed Tiffany Page’s set.
I was looking forward to seeing her play her guitar based grungey-pop. Oh well. Maybe next time.
Oxford based Little Fish were 2nd on the stage. I could tell before having heard a note they would be a ’love or hate’ band by their drum, keyboard, guitar/vocal setup. What followed was a very cool mix of PJ Harvey, The Pretenders and Yeah, Yeah, Yeah’s. Front woman Julia Sophie rocked the expansive main stage like a seasoned star and I got the feeling she won over quite a few of the crowd who were obviously quite apathetic to any band thrown their way that didn’t include Courtney Love. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for Little Fish on record.
So, on to the band (er...person) everyone had come to see. I myself was a big Hole fan ‘back in the day’. Their album ‘Live Through This’ was a soundtrack to my youth along with all the other Seattle based music so I was quite intrigued to see what they would be like live having never seen them play. Ok, so the band is not the same line-up at all these days, the songs are now co-written by Billy Corgan as opposed to Kurt Cobain and Coutney Love looks like she’s had a shit load of cosmetic surgery but I was still optimistic and they didn’t disappoint for the majority of the set.
New songs ‘Skinny Little Bitch’ and ‘Loser Dust’ are real rockers without the over polished sheen of the studio. Classics ‘Violet’, ‘Miss World’ and the plugged version of ‘Doll Parts’ were highlights for me as a fan of old. The crowd got the full range of Hole’s career tonight and Courtney Love still has that monster of a voice. They really don’t make rock stars like this anymore. Yes, she plays guitar when she feels like it and sloppily (ably backed up by her band mates) she forgot a few lines and she had the trademark cajoling of the crowd but that’s what everyone expects, that’s what everyone wants to see and that’s why I think everyone here tonight had a great time and the atmosphere was so good. A real trip down memory lane.