The proroguing of parliament. The phenomenon of the ‘reply guy’. The burning Amazon. George Ezra playing an entire Glastonbury set sitting down. There are many reasons why I feel grumpy that it’s currently 2019 and not, say, 1998, so I’m glad that the opening night of Gunnersville 2019 let me pretend – briefly – that I’m living cheerfully before the turn of the millennium.
Echo & The Bunnymen technically never left us (unlike fellow post-punks, The Psychedelic Furs, whose comeback show at the Camden Roundhouse I’m excited to see next month) but their exuberant set includes their two biggest 80s tunes – ‘The Killing Moon’ and ‘Lips Like Sugar’ – and makes me wish that it was still possible to get a 7-minute song on the radio.
Doves are headlining, and while I wouldn’t say they were one of the most memorable moments of Britpop, it’s a fun chance to catch the band during their on-again-off-again-kind-of-sort-of-hiatus. It’s good solid guitar music, and frontman Jimi Goodwin has got an understated confidence in the whole thing. They’ve recently hinted at a new album, so if you’re keen for a straightforward, decisively carved chunk of indie rock, keep holding on.
Gunnersville itself is pleasingly wholesome. We’re lots of thirty-and forty-something chunky glasses-wearers eating decent pizza from a van before heading home to bed at a reasonable hour. The bars have discovered the concept of the ‘pre-queue’, which my American plus one can’t quite believe, whereby we queue in a cordoned-off line before a bouncer ushers us through to the actual queue in front of the bar.
It was never going to be a mad one, but if like me all you really want in life is a pizza and some arty post-punk from the mid-eighties, I can promise you that this is your jam. You will definitely not have to see George Ezra sat down.