Certain Songs They Just Get Scratched…Into Our Souls

The Hold Steady @ Sheperds Bush Empire
Mon 2nd July 2007

Im back for more Hold Steady action, this time in Sheperds Bush Empire. This venue is impressive, the high ceiling classic decor and multi level balconies give a grandeur vibe. Its small enough to still be relatively intimate, but can also hold a fairly decent sized crowd.

The bar is easily accessible but the forced choice of carling at extortionate prices restricts this venue to a 4/5 recommendation.

The Steers
The Steers

Warm up act The Steers were really quite bad. A few chantish chorus’s save them from being a total waste of time, but the guitars are so drab indie scenster its an great insult to my ears being forced to listen to this drivel. quite simply there’s more originality in a recycling plant.

Good job The Hold Steady were up next and before long, bounding onto stage were the middle aged weathered bar band from Minneapolis. Yet again they employed their customary setup of whiskey/wine bottles and plenty of beer littering the stage. Stuck Between Stations jumpstarted the show and soon had the older than usual crowd (twas a school night) bopping away like loonies.

The Hold Steady
Craig Finn of The Hold Steady

This eve was all about the energy of frontman Craig Finn and the endless barrage of singalongs. This gig clearly meant alot to the band,

“we’ve played headline shows in the states before, but nothing quite as big as this”

Finn continued…

“Sorry im not ignoring you on the balcony, im just not used to you being there.”

This awe at their own powers to draw a large crowd was clear as while the final chords were ringing Finn got out his camera and started snapping the “look how many people came to see us” photos on his personal camera.

The Hold Steady put on a majestically happy and superb show. Finally they have ascended to the levels they so deserve and I can’t wait for their Reading Festival Carling Tent Headlining Set to close the weekend in party style!

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