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Blog: Bye Bye Allo Darlin'
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When the break-up was announced there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth, but I was pretty SANGUINE about it. I mean, yes, they are my favourite band of the last decade, but we've had three GRATE albums out of them, as well as some AMAZING gigs and lovely memories, and THOSE will still be with us. Also, while I'm not a fan of the whole "burn out rather than fade away" idea (clearly!) there's something really nice about a band deciding that that's ENOUGH and packing up while they're all still friends with each other.
And then of course the fact that everyone KNOWS it's going to be the final gig WELL in advance means that everyone who wants to BE there can have a pretty good go of doing so, which meant that when I arrived in TOWN last night the pubs near The Scala were FULL of delightful people! I walked into The Water Rats and said hello to about 300 people in 10 seconds before Mr B Clancy stepped forward and passed on a message from Mr S Hewitt to say that he'd gone round the corner instead, as it was TOO FULL here! I squeezed out, saying hello to appox 7,000 more people as I did so, and found Steve, also Mr R Kirkham and Mr T Hopkins in The Queens Head. There was an actual proper Cockney Singalog happening on the OLD JOANNA as I entered, it was ACE!
We had some beers, picked up some more old chums, said hello to several others, and eventually wandered back round the corner to find a queue to get into the Scala consisting of roughly 2 million MORE pals. After a few minutes a security guy came along shouting that Ticketweb ticket holders could just go straight in, so we did and found yet MORE chums within, including of course Mr J Jervis at the merch stand. I wonder if Jerv has ever actually SEEN any Indie gigs? Maybe he doesn't really like it, so prefers to lurk around outside?
We went into the main auditorium for yet MORE saying hello to people, a very enjoyable set by Bill Botting And The Two Drink Minimums, and then Josie Long came on as middle support act. I did wonder how on earth this would work - having a stand-up comedian performing at a ROCK gig nearly ALWAYS ends in disaster - but she was ACE, even when someone (NB STEVE) accidentally HECKLED her and then had to HECKLE APOLOGISE!
And then it was time for Allo Darlin' themselves to start and for all of my SANGUITY to DISSOLVE into TEARS. Flipping heck but it was EMOTIONAL - I spent approx 50% of the entire set BLUBBING! When Belle & Sebastian came along and changed my life all those many years ago I never thought a band would MEAN so much again, but then this bunch came along and, well, DID. A few years ago when they and Standard Fare were gigging around there was an amazing feeling of Indiepop coming ALIVE - great gigs, proper busy audiences, exciting THINGS happening and a LOT of happiness - so now they've finished it really feels like the end of an era. Gigs will still happen and there'll be lovely people making great music still, but the next time they play an Allo Darlin' song at Indietracks it will be with the knowledge that the discography is finished, there won't be any more.
It was a beautiful way to go out though, in a room full of very happy, also sad, people, celebrating the joy that these four people brought to us all and enjoying the chance to let them know we appreciated it. Thanks Allo Darlin', you were brilliant!
posted 12/12/2016 by MJ Hibbett
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