Monthly Archives: June 2006

Review: Silver Jews live in Barcelona

Silver Jews live in BarcelonaLast night, despite being desperately tired from an early (and very hot) summer night, Gemma and I went to see the magnificent Silver Jews play at Apolo.

On arrival at the club, there were about three other non-staff members present. Soon a group of six or or so walked in and sat by our table. Oh, it was David Berman, Cassie Berman and the rest of the Silver Jews. I wanted to go up to them and say something but I felt the blush/sad fan reflex coming on strong, so I stayed seated.

Support band, Extraperlo, named the Joos as one of their major influences. I didn’t feel that this was much in evidence through their set. I liked a couple of their songs but really they lacked any charisma or energy. In a year or two they could be great but they weren’t that night.

After an interminable wait for the main event to come on (it’s a small stage), the band shambled into view. A couple had been onstage for the vague soundcheck they went through but the cheers were reserved for when David stepped up to the mike.

From here, we enter the “oh shit, what was the setlist” stage. I’ll probably be able to piece it together later. I can say that they definitely played ‘Random Rules’, ‘Smith And Jones Forever’, ‘Time Will Break The World’, ‘Pet Politics’, ‘Black And Brown Blues’, ‘Sometimes A Pony Gets Depressed’, ‘Punks In The Beerlight’, ‘Animal Shapes’ and a personal favourite, ‘Wild Kindness’. There were other songs, all of them good… I just can’t be sure about which ones they were.
As opposed to reviews I’d read of the American shows in this, their first tour in 15 years, Silver Jews presented an extremely tight set. That is to say, there was no sign of the nerves, shyness or forgetfulness reported of their frontman. David Berman seemed confident and cheerful, joking with the crowd and dedicating a song to one of Gemma’s old uni pals, Marta (who, it turns out, is some kind of super-fan!). The crowd wasn’t huge, so he promised to shake hands with each of us after the show.

And he did! After an encore call which was louder than I’ve seen at concerts with 10 times the audience, Silver Jews played only one final number (will they ever play ‘Tennessee’??) and then David stepped down off the stage and came to speak to his fans. This act, as much as an amazing show, made sure that everyone present left with a Cheshire Cat grin on their face. I told David that after waiting 15 years for the first tour, they had to do another very soon. He promised that they’d be back, so those of you too fatigued by Football abuse (as to today, I’ve never seen a team foul so much and get away with it) – make sure that you keep a minimum of 4o€ in your account at all times. 20 for the ticket, and 20 for the obscenely priced beer.

Silver Jews live at Pocketclub (Sala Apolo, Barcelona):

1 out of 1

Silver Jews play Barcelona 26 June


All-round brilliant band, the Silver Jews roll into Barcelona next Monday as part of their very first tour. Their appearance will mark the completion of a twelve-month Drag City trilogy for me, having also seen Jennifer Herrema and Will Oldham (Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy) over the past year. Only Neil Hagerty and Smog could make the lineup totally complete.

I’m not expecting the concert to be breathtaking in its musicality: David Berman is famously uncomfortable on stage. But it will be wonderful to see a band we’ve been listening to lots recently.

I’m not sure about whether Stephen Malkmus is involved in the tour, but that would be a huge added bonus. As will laying eyes on the sweet and delectable Cassie (Berman’s wife).

The concert takes place at about 9 in the Sala Apolo, off Paral·lel (probably Barcelona’s best live music venue, along with La Paloma). Tickets are handled by Telentrada (but you can’t get tickets online: we’ve been told to buy from a Caixa Catalunya ATM).

Click here to read my ‘review’ of the show!

Jesus says No! to crack

Legendary moon-faced junkie, Pete Doherty (pictured below), has a new-found determination to kick his multiple drug addictions. According to ‘sources‘ (read: grubby-handed drug-heads desperate for cash so they can get their pipes filled with magic rock crystals), Doherty has been visited by Jesus in a dream.

The son of God (Jesus, not Doherty) commanded the rockstar (Doherty, not Jesus) to kick his heroin and crack-cocaine habits. Apparently, Pete is now determined to get clean, give his money away and get baptised as soon as possible.

Portugal may not be exactly the best place to do it though. While God is definitely there, so are crack and heroin. It’s one of the few places worldwide where all drugs are decriminalised.

Some pics from this spring


Pete Doherty and Babyshambles at Primavera Sound


The Forum complex in Barcelona


An ‘okupat’ house in Cerdanyola was buned to the ground.
It’s not known who started the fire, but reports say that the Mossos are investigating a far-right wing connection



Andrea wore this classic t-shirt when we went to watch England’s first World Cup game. The robotic monster girl at the counter didn’t even register the hilarious comedy happening in front of her very nose.

We saw this car by the Apolo club/theatre just off Paral·lel. It’s had a hard time.

Took this picture to mock my brother back in bristol when it was cold and miserable there.

Here comes the summer!