Friday 9 May 2008

Ween @ Shepherds Bush Empire


I beg your pardon?


It’s safe to say that in a rammed and humid Shepherds Bush Empire, that the fans are enjoying Ween.

The band are here tonight to perform a three hour show which will take in all facets of their varied output. There will be no great theme or purpose, just a random selection of great songs, great fun and an opportunity for young lads to spazz out, throw devil horn fingers at the band, drink and spill lots of beer and go “Ween! You ROCK!” at regular intervals.

The sound tonight is really awful, with the band veering between being too quiet and too bombastic, with the vocals indistinct at the same time. Fortunately, the crowd know every word and bellow along gleefully.

Gene Ween is in his element, laughing all the while, and relishing his master of ceremonies role. It’s almost enough for the band to simply play a few chords and let the fans do the rest.

The heavier songs fare best. A thunderous “Buckingham Green” is greeted with hands aloft, whereas more intricate pieces, such as “Mr Richard Smoker” are merely gratefully acknowledged. The best song of the night is “Dr Rock” which is a stone cold rock classic and should be played whenever young men with long hair congregate to smoke dope and compare tour T shirts.

Cod-Irish fight song “The Blarney Stone” is welcomed with a roar, as is faux country rocker “Piss Up a Rope”. It’s a non-stop party and everyone is invited.

As the band go past the two hour mark, the heat, sweat and bellowing get too much to take. It seems a million miles from the first Ween gig I saw, at the Sausage Machine in Belsize Park, where I was one of three people in the audience. Now they inspire a fervour which I seldom see at concerts.

Whooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrghitsmuthufukin…time to go home .

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