Man, I couldn't be happier right now. Tonight's hometown show is a sold out humdinger. Walking onstage to the opening bars of Guns Of Brixton, I know its going to be a blinder right from the off. I've mentioned already the positive reaction to tunes both old and new so far this tour, but tonight I assimilate just what that means to me. Judging how folk sing along to old as well as new songs, for many here Babyshambles are a band they've been into from the start. A coveted and privileged position for any group to be in; where the songs belong as much to the fans as to the band. Arguably more. We've got history, the crowd and us...we go way back, in fact.
The gratitude I feel towards this frantic, surging crowd, and the empathy they show us tonight is overwhelming. The Academy is a stage we've performed these tunes on many times before, and playing songs like Gang Of Gin or Babyshambles feels like being in a time machine. Cut to three minutes later though, and 5,000 Londoners are singing "aw, penguins are great!" in unison with Pete. Spinning round at this point I see Damien's album artwork loom behind us. Suddenly it's very 2013 again.
Readers here may be thinking 10 years is not so long for a band to be around. How hard can being in a band be? I think what I'm trying to say boils down to this: I'm very aware of the fact I don't take this life for granted. Being in outfit this precarious has seen to that. All the same, the sense of wonder that comes with being part of a band that means something to people, however incidental, has never left me and never will. This seemed to crystallise in my mind tonight from the stage at Brixton Academy. So thank you, London. And thank you to everyone who has come to see us play on this tour, or indeed ever.
As I type this Peter and Adam have just climbed onto the bus, both looking as ecstatic as I feel. While Adam's rummaging for chocolate, Pete has just embraced me and proclaimed the evening to be an important turning point. He says he feels the band have taken a big step forward tonight. My decision to use the present tense for this blog suddenly seems very apt, as I'm now literally typing what's happening around me. Pete's peeling a banana and singing The Very Last Boy Alive in a Scottish accent - he's making me laugh, as usual. Plonking himself heavily beside me, Adam describes a moment during tonight's show when, looking out over a crowd going ballistic, he thought to himself: "Okay, log this. This is living". Yep. There's no doubt about it. Tonight was pure magic.
The bus is filling with bodies now, cajoling me to stop writing and enjoy myself. I guess its time to close the laptop and join in. Anon Brixton, we remain ever faithfully your wayward sons.
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