CALL me shortsighted, but I hadn’t thought it would ever happen. Or perhaps I just hadn’t been paying attention. Either way it came as a surprise to me. But it happened, surely enough, as we all knew it would.
“Ew,” I heard from the girl at my left “he’s quite good-looking”, which I suppose is a curious blend of being disappointed and impressed at the same time, sort of like if you managed to do a cartwheel, but only Margaret Thatcher was watching.
Yes, that’s right, Graham Coxon has grown up. If you, like me, always found Coxon’s appeal to be that satisfaction in watching a spectacled wallflower hammering out massive riffs and vigorous solos, then you might be disappointed, because what emerged onstage last Thursday was chiseled and surprisingly muscular, sans glasses.
“Ew,” I heard from the girl at my left, “he’s quite good-looking”, which I suppose is a curious blend of being disappointed and impressed at the same time, sort of like if you managed to do a cartwheel, but only Margaret Thatcher was watching.
The 100 Club is, of course, a prestigious venue, and the numerous photographs that fill the walls are testament to this fact. This show was apparently the first in a series of gigs hosted by the 100 Club in a collaboration with Converse. Ever a sceptic of these industry collaborations, I am usually drawn to be somewhat disparaging of such an event, but as this breed of venues is slowly dying out, I can’t help but feel glad that such hallowed ground is getting some attention. Where was Converse when CBGB’s closed down, huh? Where?
In short, Graham Coxon and the 100 Club are both are aging well, and Coxon certainly lived up to the history of the stage. Although I’d just like to take this opportunity to denounce the second guitarist’s Facebook themed T-shirt, which should probably not be allowed to happen on a stage where, once upon a time, B.B. King got up and fingered his beloved Lucille.
That aside, if you’re into Graham Coxon, as in one of those people who knows other songs aside from ‘Freaking Out’, then Coxon is on form. Obviously, we have a lot to thank Coxon for if you, like me, were at that Glastonbury Blur show and, like me, wept slightly, then this will be a man who will always have a small place in your heart. So when you’re watching Coxon play and he plays a song you don’t know, just remember that song ‘Tender’ and think well, half of that song was this guy so, really, he can do whatever he wants.
In fact, maybe we’re in danger of forgetting how much Coxon has done; I had forgotten until he played it for instance how many hours on my bedroom floor were spent rocking-out to ‘Freaking Out’ when I was learning guitar. Only children everywhere can probably empathise with this – in fact, I played air guitar twice during Coxon’s performance. Which is twice too many times under any circumstance, particularly when you’re watching Status Quo, so there must be something to Coxon and his new healthy image.
Considering the Blur royalties, it’s very pleasing to see Coxon playing small venues and sweating with the rest of us. This is how it’s meant to be done, not Gun’s n’ Roses ‘Chinese Democracy’ style, hanging onto the money spinner, but doing something because you enjoy it, and because you can still make 30 year olds form a mosh-pit. Which, when not comprised of skinny emo-kids, was actually quite scary.
See www.the100club.co.uk for tickets of upcoming gigs
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