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Wednesday, February 18, 2004
  dizzee + n*e*r*d

went to see n*e*r*d last night in hammersmith, and it wasn't very good. apart from the end, when they played 'rockstar' and 'lapdance,' and in the middle of 'lapdance' dizzee rascal turned up to do a guest verse, and he killed it, and then afterwards when pharrell was thanking the special guests (also justin timberlake and a black eyed pea), you couldn't really hear him say 'thankyou to dizzee rascal!' because of all the noise, and dizzee just kinda sloped off, just gave a quick wave over his shoulder and scarpered. i think for most people the most exciting thing was that justin turned up, and that was very exciting, but then i'd seen him at earl's court last month (it was spectacular!) so it was less of a big deal (oh yeah when they played 'senorita' before the sing-along bit justin asked all "the bitches" to join in. he said bitches! i was shocked!). anyway for me seeing dizzee was the highlight, just seeing him on the same stage, side by side with pharrell, well i thought it was cool and beautiful, i mean i love them both so it was a bit special.

that even mostly made up for how disappointing the whole night had been. i've loved the first n*e*r*d album since it came out and it's only been the last year or so that i've found out that that's not very cool! i blame ILM. anyway quite apart from how much i love the album, the last time i saw them play, was just pure joy and love. let's do a little comparison:

LAST TIME - FEB 14th 2003 (yes that's valentine's day!) - THE ASTORIA, SOHO

it was valentine's day. it was a friday. it was in soho. the venue is kinda cramped and the sound was loud and clear. it was the day before the huge anti-war march. they got everyone to do peace chants and did a little anti-US foreign policy speech. pharrell hadn't quite become a global megastar just yet. they played 'brain' first and seemed so shocked at the intense audience reaction (i've never seen so many people at a gig just losing it) that they upped their game and then it was just one big positive feedback loop of excitement and adrenaline. at the end pharrell looked like he wanted to jump into the crowd and hug everyone.

THIS TIME - FEB 17th (not valentine's day) - THE APOLLO, HAMMERSMITH

it wasn't valentine's day, and it was a tuesday. it was in hammersmith. the war happened anyway. they didn't get involved in any politics this time. pharell is a huge global megastar and everyone knew justin would be there because the brits were happening just down the road too. the sound was atrocious - quiet, muffled, murky. they came on and played 3 new songs. they got pissed off because no-one was dancing. we got pissed off because we couldn't hear anything (and because the new stuff sounded noodly and meandering, not brittle and thrilling like the first album). it got worse and worse till the end, when the guests turned up. at one point pharell was like, "c'mon, is this not the UK? is this not a n*e*r*d show in the UK? c'mon, let's do the things we used to do...'. !. it was hearbreaking. i wanted to give him a hug, they all looked a bit distraught. to go from that to this in 1 year, it is heartbreaking. anyway. guess i'll wait for the album, and if it does suck, just hope they bury it before they come back over here.
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