With most of Nottingham’s indie-gig-going demographic packing out Rock City for the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, this poorly publicised gig (i.e. I only found about it two days earlier) attracted barely seventy punters (I counted). Undaunted, the Chicks ploughed gamely on, but the gig steadfastly failed to ignite, either for them or for us. Disappointing? Oh, you don’t know the half of it.
Back in late 1999/early 2000, Chicks On Speed were my Official Favourite Band, and I became quite the completist: import vinyl singles, limited edition mail-order releases, the lot. For the past four years, I had therefore been longing to see them live, convinced that any Chicks gig would be an Event to remember – on a par with Le Tigre at The Social last year, or The Scissor Sisters at The Cock Live this year. Almost jumping for joy when I spotted them in the gig listings, I was even prepared to give up my first free night in Nottingham for a week – and my last free night in Nottingham for another week – to make the pilgrimage, despite not having anyone to go with, and despite feeling considerably less than 100% health-wise. Still, the packing for Paris could wait till morning, where there’s a will there’s a way, etc etc.
I did my best, I really did. I drank (alone), I danced (alone), I whooped and cheered (alone), and I almost succeeded in having a good time – but not quite. Still, it was nice to hear Eurotrash Girl, Mind Your Own Business, Kaltes Klares Wasser and We Don’t Play Guitars performed live (even if we didn’t get Glamour Girl, or any of their fantastic B-52s/Tom Tom Club covers), and the home-made frocks looked good (lots of netting), and the make-up was cool (lots of day-glo), and Alex, Kiki & Melissa are still Fabulousness Incarnate In Every Way, despite everything, even the empty room and the atrocious sound mix (way too much echo, vocals sounding like they were coming from backstage somewhere) and the fact that I shelled out 10 quid on a “limited edition” CD that turned out to be a radio interview from 2000 which lasted less than five minutes. Oh well, can’t win ’em all.
By the way: a big Troubled Diva Hello to Dave with the red hair (he said I had to mention the red hair), a previously unknown reader who came up and introduced himself after the gig. (“Excuse me, are you Troubled Diva? I read your blog regularly!”) The brief feeling of mild celebrity that this conferred upon me almost made up for the entire evening. Hello Dave – and Haaaaaa-ppy Reading!