Five Star Garbage refuse to grow older gracefully – Live Review of Garbage,The Troxy, London May 9th 2012

Posted: May 14, 2012 in Alternative Music, Pop, Popular Music, Rock Music
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Five Star Garbage refuse to grow older gracefully – Live Review of Garbage, The Troxy, LondonMay 9th 2012

Garbage perform live at The Troxy in Limehouse,  London, May 9th 2012

Garbage perform live at The Troxy in Limehouse, London, May 9th 2012

Garbage have not played a live concert since 2005 when they cancelled the remainder of their world tour after six months on the road. The last time they played in London was June 9th 2005 at Brixton Academy. They had been due to play Hammersmith Apollo in October of that year. Since that time, I have regarded seeing them live as an unfinished business. This feeling was made all the more acute by the fact that I went for 6 weeks to Australia in September 2005; the group was playing at St.Kilda, Melbourne and due to family commitments, I was still unable to go. After that on the “Bleed Like Me” Tour they played just 3 more concerts in Australia before starting the current “Not Your Kind of People” Tour in April 2012.  So 9 concerts in to the tour, they finally hit London. Like an addict who has been off his former drug of choice for years, my anticipation and expectation has peaked. I am so excited on route to the concert I think I am going to explode. The queue outside only makes the anticipation stronger.

By the time I get in after a 25 minute wait in the queue snaking round into a dingy alley, I’ve just enough time to get myself over to one of the relatively spartanly populated side bars for a beer before the concert starts just – past 9pm. I find my place about half way back in the centre of the auditorium. The band, consisting of Butch Vig, Steve Marker and Duke Erikson trundle on stage in suits and crank up the guitars and drums, followed by a confident and radiant looking Shirley Manson in a black sleeveless teashirt and red and black stripey hot pants.  As the band launch into the first number, Shirley looks and feels every bit the rebel. She ploughs through the first 3 songs with gusto. A powerfully grungy “Supervixen” followed up by “Temptation Waits” kick the show off. Somewhat surprising, the band dust off one of their big hits (if not the biggest) – “Stupid Girl” early in the set. It takes a band confident of their stage performance and a big back a catalogue to do this.

Shirley Manson finally engages with the audience and go off into an amusing monologues. “So hello everyone, Where have you been for the last 7 years ?” she asks.  “Where have you been going on holiday, what have you been dreaming about, what have you been looking at ?”etc.

Shirley Manson of Garbage at The Troxy, May 9th 2012

Shirley Manson of Garbage at The Troxy, May 9th 2012

 

Then it’s back on the rock track again, Uptempo “Why do You Love Me” is the most rocking track so bring with sublime metal riffs . A brief flirtation with Madonna’s Erotic chorus transforms into the deliciously dark #1 Crush with its lyrics conveying the sense of obsession whereas Garbage’s flirtation with James Bond  “The World is Not Enough” shows a subtle and atypical mainstream side to the band recalling Shirley Bassey.

Garbage play a full-on proper rock gig at The Troxy, London, May 9th, 2012

Garbage play a full-on proper rock gig at The Troxy, London, May 9th, 2012

 

The crowd are really cranked up now and you feel it as many fists pump the air and chant “Go Baby Go” during the song “Cherry Lips”. There’s a great atmosphere for Garbage to try out a two new tracks from their forthcoming album “Not Your Kind of People” –  “Blood for Poppies” which has a scuzzy reggae feel about it, and “Battle in Me” is raw and conveyed with emotional full force by Manson. Then after musical lull for “Milk”, the crowd were up for it during “I think I’m Paranoid” as was Manson. She marches purposefully around the stage in full rock chick mode.  Many parts of the art deco venue turned into a mass of abandoned dancing thirty-somethings. This vibe continued on into “Bad Boyfriend” and “Only Happy when it Rains” where the latter saw a mass chanting of the chorus “Pour Your Misery Down”.  “Push it” may have closed the set but the grundge classic “Vows” provided barnstorming end to the concert.

 

Shirley Manson of Garbage rocks The Troxy, London, May 9th, 2012

Shirley Manson of Garbage rocks The Troxy, London, May 9th, 2012

 

Garbage may now be going into a 3rd decade but they have retained the aura of a real rock band that still feel raw and edgy. And Shirley Manson definitely gets my vote as one of the coolest older rock chicks still around.

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