I met my friend at Dalston Kingsland station in the heart of East London. Waiting in the cold for him for twenty minutes, I had an excited anticipation. Watching the community support writing out tickets for people riding their bikes on the pavements, I did hope my night would be more worthwhile!
We wound our way down the back streets and across to the Shacklewell Arms. A typical shit hole of a pub, with an air of buzz, cool and excitement. After ordering a water down beer, we made our way into the back of the pub, winding around some badly lit corridors and into the gig room. The stage was lit, the instruments laid on the stage. As support acts came and went, the room starting filling to capacity. Around 200 people crammed into this dirty old rock club. You could smell the tension in the air. People were excited for what we were about to see, and they wouldn’t be disappointed.
Smokey Angle Shades were about to take the stage. They came onto the stage, and it felt that we were in a venue watching a secret gig of Rock Stars. It turns out that Smokey Angle Shades have been performing together for many years. But, they all have their own projects most notably Freddie Stitz who is in Platinum selling act Razorlight.
Every song they played has hooks, tight 4 part harmonies and gentle, but strong, groove. I felt like I was in a time machine being catapulted back to ‘Swinging London’ in the ’60′s. This was an awesome show from beginning to end. What it made me realise is that these people have all perfected their instruments an their art and then joined forces. They were a super group. They had plied their trade as individuals in other groups or alone and then joined forces to form a full Jetliner! To prove it Jonny Borrell was nodding his head to the groove, in the front row in stark approval
Two lessons I take from this. These guys formed 4 or 5 years ago, split up, got back together, split up etc. BUT, they all continued in other projects and carried on working as individuals. That meant even if they were not to continue ever with their SAS brethren, they would find a path themselves. The more abstract or spiritual lesson. You never know how things are going to pan out. I got the feeling that these guys love being on stage together and thought it may never happen again. Don’t give up, work on YOU, then bring what you have to the table and we’ll see if we can do something together.