Just (well, around 12:15) got back from a fantastic gig in London where Dan Baird played at The Borderline, a cosy little club off Charing Cross Road.
I made it out of work on time, parked near the station and took the train down. I wanted to read a bit but actually dozed off for a while. Grabbed a bite to eat in Kings Cross and made my way to Tottenham Court Road, evading tube troubles. Made to the venue around 7 where Paula and gbsteve were waiting in the queue so I joined them and we spent the time chatting until the doors opened. There's a load of photos of artists who played at the venue on the walls of the entrance hall including some really great names like the late Albert Collins and Townes VanZandt but also bands that got really big later like Pearl Jam, Rage Against the Machine and R.E.M. Oh, and Spinal Tap.
The venue itself is downstairs, rather small and low, the stage is just big enough for a standard band (four people across), there's a bar and tables and chairs in the back. All rather cosy and rustic, with wooden beams etc. As we went in the first band was still soundchecking but were soon finished.
Killed some time by chatting to gbsteve and Paula until the support band started.
They were a threepiece (vocals/guitar, upright bass, banjo/mandolin) playing rather traditional, bluegrass inspired music of various form and I really liked them. They clearly had fun on stage and that swapped over to the audience. Good music and good harmony singing. Then, during their last track, none other than Alvin Lee joined them, who randomly happened to be at the club. A fun and happy 45 minutes.
After a short break of shuffling stuff around, Dan Baird came on stage with his band (lead guitar, bass, drum, himself on rhythm guitar) and, quite frankly, rocked and brought the house down. Fun, dirty Southern Rock at its finest. By now the venue was packed and getting hotter but still bearable and the atmosphere was pretty good, too. They played a variety of tracks, old and new, the odd cover in between (incl. an awesome version of Get It On) and the classic Georgia Satellites track Keep Your Hands to Yourself during which he let the audience sing the first verse. They finished with another awesome cover, this time Neil Young's Keep on Rocking in a Free World and probably would have continued if there hadn't been the venue curfew of 10:30. :o/ Still, it was a fine 100 minutes of fun music and worth every penny of ticket and travelcard.
The early curfew also meant I managed to catch the 11:15 train despite tube troubles (Central line was heavily delayed due to signal failures).
On the train I started reading The Face of the Deep, a Captain Future pulp from the 40s (I dind't want to bring a book as I'm reading a hardcover at the moment so I printed the PDF at work). Very enjoyable and cringeworthy at the same time. The startling thing isn't the dodgy writing (which is the main appeal) or the non-science but the blunt political incorrectness (especially the attitude towards women) and the veiled racism. Still amusing, though.
Got home and randomly saw the last five minutes of a Tom Waits live show on VH1. *sulk* Now, that is someone who I wouldn't mind seeing live.