Le Tigre rock!
The venue may well be one of the suckiest, most corporate, most soulless places to be found in London – it’s named after a fucking beer for Chrissakes – but tonight the fabulous Le Tigre managed to rock the shitty Carling Academy in Islington.
After heading to the icy wastelands of north London, we grabbed a beer beforehand at the Salmon and Compass in Chapel Market, N1. The name sounds crap, but it’s a fine old boozer that’s been tarted up into a DJ bar, serving beer till 2am in the week (with free entry!) with the usual £5 charge for weekends.
A quick pint later and it was on to the ghastly US-style shopping mall experience of the Islington Centre (or whatever it’s called), a huge concrete monolith replete with the usual selection of faceless brands.
The first time I visited the venue, it was busy desecrating the good name of The Marquee, trading off the reputation of what was once one of the finest clubs in the world.
This new, business-orientated, lifestyle-enhanced version of the Marquee was truly horrendous – bland, posh, squeaky clean and about as rock and roll as an uptight vicar’s tea party. On a rainy Tuesday.
Three years on and the new owners have at least made some effort to make the place welcoming (they now serve pints!), although it’s still a shit venue – the floor doesn’t slope so it’s hard to see the band, the loos are miles away and the choice of beers are Carling, Carling, fucking bastard Carling and Grolsch. All shit.
But what the hell: Le Tigre are onstage and the sound is superb! The set kicked industrial arse and the crowd were fantastic: mixed up, dressed up, straight, lesbian, gay, blokey, on the pull, drugged up and drunk. And all going bonkers. Fantastic.
If you only get to see one more band this year: make sure it’s Le Tigre!