Having only heard 2 songs by The Brian Jonestown Massacre before venturing to their Sugarmill gig on June 30th, I have to say I was optimistic if anything. Before The Massacre hit the stage, my friends and I sat on the cool rooftop of the Sugarmill attempting to enjoy our drinks and each others company despite the lack of heat and terrible Ska mix blaring its way out of the nearby speakers. We remained on the roof during the support act and listened to the faint sounds of drums and guitars muffle their way through 2 stories of the venue amidst the general chatter of other music lovers who were enjoying their summer beers and the fading natural light. Returning from the bar, my good friend Mike (who had persuaded me to come to this gig) pointed out one of the members of the band sat just a few metres away. Mike was going crazy in his semi-drunk manner, just being this close to him was something that seemed surreal to him, and it became clear to me how much Mike loves this band. However, this didn't really need to be proved by this point, as he had traveled over 300 miles just to be here for one day. We came to the conclusion that this tamborine player sat just a stone's throw away was, to him, like Jordan from New Found Glory (my favourite band of all time - which I was coincidently represting that night with my free NFG tshirt that Bex gave me) sat the same distance away in my eyes. The evening continued this way until we realised that it was time for The Massacre to make their appearance. Now back in the main venue hall, I stood next to Matt while the others pushed their way to the front. After a short while the band appeared on stage, and my apprehension grew even more, I've personally never seen a band who look so visually disjointed in my life (barr perhaps the time I accidently bought tickets to a Swedish yodle-core band, but that's a different story).
However, I tried to look past the material appearance of the band members and waited to hear what they would provide as a musical outfit, and I'm glad I did. As the band relaxed into their positions and fell into an orchestration (which took just a few seconds, and yet I've seen bands so unnerved by their audience that they aren't enjoying themselves or playing well together until atleast halfway through their set) they took command of the entire room. I, along with the rest of the audience, was compeltely taken over by what these guys had to offer. It was obvious that they'd spent many years perfecting their sound and general on stage persona, and lead guitarist/singer Anton takes no shit from anyone. From the very start, there were a few idiot in the crowd who were shouting stupid remarks just to try and piss off the band and/or look cool. Thankfully, a guy behind me decided to shout "shut the fuck up you dick" - exactly what we were all thinking. Half way through the set, the remarks from the crowd had upset tamborinest Joel so much that he "quit again" and left the stage. Strangely enough, the rest of the band managed to continue without him. The gig progressed further, and I realised that the fans around me were as mixed as the band members themselves; there were attendants that represented almost every age group and "style" - from trendies to indies and emo kids, everyone was there and everyone was enjoying this rich musical experience together. I haven't seen so much talent on a stage in a long time, and it has to be said that seeing The Brian Jonestown Massacre (even though I felt a little caught out in my appearance and that unnecessary apprehention followed me all the way up to the first note) has to have been one of the best decisions I've made in a long time. One of the best gigs I've been to by far, and I'd like to thank Mike for suggesting my attendance.