By Spring 2007 we were pretty well oiled at the London gig routine. Drive up to Kew, park there and get the District Line train across to Embankment, change there for the Northern Line up to Tottenham Court Road and The Astoria (usually). I did this trip solo for a gig last week and 15 years later I still fall quickly back into the groove of getting up there, to the show and home.
The ticket for this gig bears the name Gajic. In my last post I told the story about how Ali (Gajic) somehow teleported from the crowd to being on stage at The Astoria with Less Than Jake. Ali was almost always with us during this era of gig going. In fact, he was often the driving force behind getting us to the shows, putting out the roll call and batch booking tickets. I only see him every few years these days, but have lots of great memories from the gigs we attended together.
This one was Lagwagon, the first time seeing them for me and my group of friends. As a band they always felt a bit like a hand-me-down as they’d be going that little longer than the bulk of bands we were into at the time, and some of those acts cited Joey Cape and Co as an influence.
Looking back they’d actually played London most years going back to the mid 90’s so I’m not sure why it took us so long to get around to see them. We’d come close a year earlier when we saw Joey Cape with his other outfit, the punk rock cover band, Me First and The Gimme Gimmes upstairs at this same venue.
Although it would be known as London Astoria 2 from Summer 2007 until it’s heartbreaking closure in early 2009, at the time of this show the smaller room in the Astoria building was called the Mean Fiddler. This was actually a perfect size room for seeing Lagwagon, as much as I love the main room in the venue, I think the energy of the band and this show would have been lost on the big stage.
The support were a little known band called Young Guns, who went on to huge things within a few years. They were an odd match for this show, leaning much more towards a rock and roll sound than punk rock. Something about it worked though and they won us over pretty quickly from what I remember. Later that same year Ed and I had the opportunity to put them on in a room above a pub on Ashley Cross. The crowd wasn’t anywhere close to the size that the band would eventually pull at the height of their success, but they couldn’t have been nicer to us and were very grateful that we liked them enough to bring them to the dizzy heights of Poole.