With the taste of turkey and stuffing still in our mouths (sorry Pat), we are already treated to a day out in the smoke! After (unintentionally) vandalising an Italian restaurant off Oxford Street we turn up at the now familiar Highbury Corner in good time.
Without realising quite who I was watching in the Sunny Valley Dance Band, finding out that it was none other than Mr Tell Tale Heart himself, explains why I enjoyed them. Who can forget their support of one Peter Murphy on his solo return at the ex-music hall, Derngate, many moons ago, where they threatened to overshadow the master of eye-shadow !?!?!? I feel the need to go dust off my copy of The Eight Til Late....
More than ably assisted by a singer/ bass-player resembling a cross between Alison Moyet and Frank Black (meant in the nicest way, as I like them both!!), this three piece showed an impressive skill, power and diversity.
Then the moment we've all been waiting for for the last 24 hours!
Although the set list is understandably predictable (I'm not complaining, as just about all my favourites are here!), each track is played with a gusto and this venue just appears to have an "11" on the amps as at just the right moment, any given track can just blow you away.
Unfortunately, Max's trusty amp finally succumbed during a heavy metal onslaught (didn't know you were playing Hysteria!?!), but not even this could reduce the effect of the torrents of guitars rushing over us.
In a night where the high-rise of She's on Drugs battled with the skyscraper known as "Niagara", nothing stood out like the "twin towers of misery and despair" - Diamorphine and Sister Death. Seems strange to say about a band which provides a staple diet of Caroline Wheeler's and Soul Happy Hour, but we all have to mature sometime, I guess. Then again, maybe one wouldn't work without the other. What do I know?
One thing I do know is that nights like this are few and far between and will be cherished by everyone on hand, even those lucky enough to stumble into "Upstairs at the Garage" rather than the far less catchily titled "Garage".
Happy 2002 chaps !