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…And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead ULU, 8th December 2000

Heading out into the pouring mad rain, I am so excited to be going to see Trail of Dead again. ‘Madonna’ (the record not the increasingly tedious aged pop doll) has been glued to my ears these last few months and my adoration of those cuddly Trailies has grown apace following hours of poring over their meticulous, intricate website. So now I can’t wait to put my heightened Trail Of Dead appreciation into practice.

jason

Loads of punters here were At The Drive-In last night, too, getting a double helping of crunchy Texan rock. Tonight, though, there seems to be a lack of the alarmingly trousered metal kidz that made up a significant section of the audience for At The Drive-In. In a way this is a shame, because we are unable to guffaw, in a non-understanding older person manner at small boys with the tops of their pants hugging their armpits, whilst the crotches of their jeans swing by their knees. What I would really like to know is how do they jump about without losing their strides completely? neil
Anyway, we find ourselves a good view in a section of the crowd that seems to consist of small people. Motorhead for an intro tape as …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead stride on, Conrad going into host with the most (most what? Most cool hair?) showman mode asking audience members where they’re from (‘Motherfucker’, ‘Japan’, etc). We all know a band needs to look cool and yes, they look very, very cool. Hair, boots, skinny black jeans, black shirts and Conrad’s red tee-shirt which doesn’t quite reach the top of his jeans, rendering him more endearing then is necessary or indeed healthy. At some points Neil and Kevin stand together with their backs to us in time-honoured surly rock-cool fashion. Conrad manages to play his guitar with one hand whist clutching the mic for a bit of a shout with the other. This is what I want from a band, fantastic spectacle and shouty noise whilst looking cool.
kevin The songs sound incredible, I’m in mind-blown guitar heaven. The beginning of ‘Aged Dolls’ is especially beautiful. Neil sings ‘Mark David Chapman’, otherwise Conrad and Jason swap around singing/guitar and drums. Jason constantly jumping up to have a rant in between, alongside or over the top of Conrad’s proclamations. There are extended S***c Y***h-esque quiet bits to allow for changes of instruments/incoherent bletherings.

Conrad says, ‘We hear Cedric got a glass thrown at him last night’ (indeed at the start of At The Drive-In’s set, some oaf chucked a glass at the band, so a roadie shone his torch into the audience to pinpoint the miscreant). Declaring that such trifles don’t bother them, Jason chucks a couple of plastic glasses at the audience obviously instigating a ten-fold retaliation, so he then ups the ante by throwing water over the crowd etc. What larks! All we got from Cedric was a good-telling off (and some quite good advice about jumping up and down and not squashing small people).

Whilst Jason is rambling, Conrad clambers up a stack of speakers and balances on top surveying the stage. We wait with baited breath, but then he clambers down again to get on with his usual cymbal bashing thing, holding it out into the audience, causing a roadie to wrestle the cymbal back from hordes of grabbing hands. Jason jumps into the crowd and then reappears. Conrad falls backwards onto a mass of hands as the faithful Trailites bear him aloft.

Once back onstage, he jumps back into the crowd, we snigger as a roadie struggles to haul him back up. As a finale he hands his red guitar out into the crowd causing a frothing melee of guitar-grabbers. I’m in love with my new favourite band. conrad
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