I'd previously seen TMBG at two free gigs in bookshops, so it was about time I actually paid them money to be entertained. To my surprise, I was through the doors early enough to get close the stage; I wormed my way to the barrier itself by the brazen ruse of tapping a tall guy on the shoulder and saying "Excuse me, I'm very short. Would you mind awfully...?"
Bookshop encounters with the band had been highly civilised affairs with handshakes, signatures and light conversation, so I shouldn't have been so thrilled to be stationed two metres from the keyboard. But I came over all "Wow, John Linnell is totally making eye contact with me!!" and bounced almost as dementedly as the teenage groupie next to me (although unlike her I didn't hit my neighbours repeatedly with my elbows, hair and buttocks).
This was a very different experience from the Charing Cross Road branch of Borders. Having a stage, a sound system, backing group, spotlights and so on transformed John & John from two gawky chaps with a squeezebox and a drum machine into a band proper. A nerdy band perhaps, but a band nonetheless. Golly but they rocked out!
It's hard to explain the appeal of TMBG. Their songs are nonsensical, their lyrics don't rhyme and they're not all that good at singing, though the accordian-playing is second to none. Yet somehow the music is appealing, catchy and feelgood. I grinned all evening.
Life is a test~ 'Boss Of Me'
And I confess
I like this mess I've made so far.