Car trouble: Ginger live at the Engine Room, Brighton, 17 Jan 2007

Flyer for Ginger live at the Engine Room, Brighton, 17 January 2007The last train home would be leaving at 11.37pm. Pretty good. The gig, at Brighton’s Engine Room on the seafront, was bound to be over by 11pm, so I should have had plenty of time for a leisurely stroll back to the station. And I probably would have if Ginger’s car hadn’t broken down en route to the venue (the word ‘diesel’ was tossed about), leaving a roomful of fans anxiously eyeing their watches.

One guy in a Fishing For Luckies T-shirt started asking around for floor space. He had the same problem as me and Matt, one of my two gigging partners this evening: a last train back to London was unlikely to be caught. Matt started fiddling with his swanky internet-enabled phone (’tis pure witchcraft, I tell thee), searching for train times from other stations that we might be able to get a late-night cab to. I called my wife Tara to ask her to double-check the times on the (proper) web. Alas, it looked like we were stuffed – unless we fancied hanging around platforms until 3am.

And then suddenly there was hope: Ginger appeared, and God Damn Whores kicked off a thankfully brief support set. They were actually most enjoyable (and I say that as someone who only likes half the album – ie the more trad rock ‘n’ roll stuff), but as every second they were on stage was one second closer to panic about missing what I’d come to see, it was a relief when they finished at around 10.15pm.

With Ginger’s new album, Yoni – a more SilverGinger 5-ish release than his solo debut – only just having started to filter through to fans, this tour seems to be happening a little early. It was hard to tell whether the bulk of last night’s audience were familiar with the new songs that were aired. They were well received, but I didn’t get a sense of occasion so it’s probably safe to say that the new record hadn’t bedded in.

The last time I saw Ginger play, at the Bar Academy in Islington, I couldn’t get into it. It was one of those ‘acoustic’ gigs that aren’t actually acoustic – the guitars were electric but there was no drummer, and I found the wash of sound quite uncomfortable. Last night’s four-piece band made a much more enjoyable sound – though, as Matt pointed out, a keyboard would have been nice. I did miss those flourishes from the records, and a splash of aural colour would have been welcome.

Alas, eight songs in, it was time for us to get the heck out of Dodge. Rock ‘n’ roll animals that we are, we decided that a direct train home was the only sensible option. I learnt this morning that we missed half an hour of the gig. I counted about 18 songs on the setlist that was taped to an amp on the side of the stage, and it was a good list: a mix of solo, Wildhearts and SilverGinger 5 tunes, topped with the always-welcome 29 x The Pain – a song whose absence from a Ginger-related set list really ought to signify a forthcoming apocalypse.

And so to bed.

I have no pics so I’ll decorate this page with a scan of a flyer. Try not to let the random capitalisation bother you as much as it does me.

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