James McDonald 30/05/2006
Before tonight Zero 7 had only had two purposes in my life: 1. To provide suitable background noise to lovemaking, and 2. To act as a stress reliever after a particularly hard day at work/college. Needless to say I was hoping it would be the latter that had more influence tonight.
A respectable crowd of thirty-somethings lined up outside Southampton's largest venue (part time council offices, don't you know), in that most peculiar of experiences- cueing up for a gig in broad daylight. Once inside, it was clear to see tonight's headliners pulled in a mob filling just over ¾ of the giant hall, although this number rose and fell over the course of the evening, with many nipping outside as a result of The Guildhall's new no smoking policy. Bastards.
After a treat of a support band (Fink- mellow folk with more than a hint of irony), Australia's finest took to the stage, releasing waves of sound and grooves over the excitable crowd. Singer Sia Furler beamed from ear to ear in reply to the warm reception the band received after each song, no more so than after a triumphant performance of popular single â€œDestiny â€œ.
And the crowd were to be yet further wowed as the band introduced Mr.Balls himself, Jose Gonzalez, to join them on stage. This added an extra sense of feeling to the performance, with Jose plucking strings like only he knows how. Although, I did begin to question his contribution slightly as he perfected a flawless Bez impression, kicking back on maracas for a song or two.
With Jose's departure, the band continued to deliver their eclectic mix of dance rhythms and chilled-out beats creating a rapport with the excitable audience, who were to witness their second peculiar experience, a gig finishing at 10:30. Encore and all. None seemed to mind though, because they had taken all they wanted and more out of tonight's show, with Zero 7 exceeding many people's expectations, including my own. I would have given this gig a five, but I left my weed at home.