Guided By Voices

September 29, 2003, Roadhouse, Manchester UK
Gig prices in the un-UK have really shot through the roof of late, probably because gigs are selling out fast. Whilst record sales slump due to the utter bovine idiocy of the record industry, people are partying on eternally with blasts of rock music, loud and proud. A tenner is a right bargain for over two hours of top notch tunes from the legendary Guided By Voices. The first few tunes sounded good enough, but when some inspired heckler called out for Subspace Biographies I waded down the front and counted them in with a cheeky Wire homage recognition "154!" Lynchpin teacher and genius lyricist Robert Pollard sang the keyboard parts with "Ba ba!" abandon, which was hilarious. He doesn't do the high kicks anymore, or if he did it was while I wasn't watching, but he did stick his head in his beer bottle ice box to cool off between songs. Aside from Bob, the line up has changed completely since the first time I saw them at the late lamented Leeds Duchess of York around the time of Under the Bushes, Under the Stars, but the intention has never shifted. They always deliver kick ass yet intelligent rock with uplifting tunes that just make you want to party on. That is unless you are the Badly Drawn Boy. They just make him want to yell requests like everyone else. I got Motor Away, which Bob said was on the 42 song setlist already. He got Echos Myron which he probably read off the setlist as the last song before encore anyhow. The annoying thing was he kept yelling out a request for a dedication to him, because he was insistant that he was Guided By Voices' biggest fan. We were all their biggest fans that night. At least the boring hippy didn't get up onstage and steal the bands' time like he did with Flaming Lips. When I pay to see Flaming Lips play live I want to see them play live, not cut the best song from their set so someone else much less talented can play instead. Crap beards and dreadful hats, necessary ego I suppose. There's something in this deal for everyone. Did you really believe that you were the only one?