the red penguin

Be Your Own Pet – Rough Trade East, Whitechapel

If you play two different countries does that count as a World Tour?

Tuesday night and off out to a gig on my own again! I was tempted to go and see Be You Own Pet when they came to the UK a couple of months ago, but I didn’t end up getting tickets. I’d forgotten about tonight and it had sold out, but at 4pm today I was informed that I’d got a ticket from the waiting list (or they released final tickets, who knows) so I decided to snap one up, drive down to Shenfield and get the fast train to Liverpool Street.

I think part of my snap decision was made because I haven’t had a lot of work today so I’ve been writing up my gig diaries, a project I’ve been doing for 18 years! I’d love to be a 1000-gig guy but I think 750 is more of a likely target. Another reason may be because it looks like I’m moving 200 miles from London in the New Year, so I just won’t be able to do this in future – all my gigs will have to be a little bit better planned. And of course another reason is that I like Be Your Own Pet! I’ve only seen them once before, at the 2006 Reading Festival – they split up two years later. But I’ve been enjoying their comeback album Mommy which came out last week, so it wasn’t a difficult decision in the end.

It was also my first time at Rough Trade East, although I had been to 93 Feet East (just around the corner) a couple of times in its mid-2000s heyday. I’m never very keen on record shop gigs, although this is a big record shop and there was a reasonable amount of space close to the front if you got there early enough.

The entry fee to the gig – £16 – came with a CD copy of the new album, which I gratefully received, even though I’ll probably never take it out of the wrapper and just play it on Spotify. It’s comforting to think that CDs are still a thing to collect, even if it’s not really the case any more.

The set was an hour long, the band’s energy was pretty high throughout and the sound was actually pretty good. As the bass player mentioned more than once – I didn’t notice any shortcomings.

The gig finished at about 9.05pm and despite the venue being over a half mile walk from Liverpool Street station, I was sitting back on my settee at home just before 10pm. I’m going to miss gigs like this!

Tuesday 29 August 2023, 11988 views

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