Friday, January 29, 2010

Music in A Foreign Land: Four Tet

Well it happened.

I am officially abroad. I flew into London last Friday morning and met up with a couple of college friends. That night we found out that Four Tet was playing a show at a club called Fabric in the middle of London. This is that story.

It was eight at night. We were filled with homemade food and were drinking a menagerie of local beverages when we were informed that Four Tet was playing a show in London that night. I immediately proceeded to try to find a way that we could go. Information of the website for the Fabric venue had little details and we had all thought that the show would probably be sold out. The only time that we could find on the site was 10:30. So we assumed that is when the band would get on. After a hilarious tube ride to Fabric we all showed up ready to witness an epic show by Four Tet. This is where we encountered the first of many setbacks of the night. There was a 15 Pound cover charge to get into this club. Reluctantly we all paid the cover charge and proceeded to work our way around the three story massive complex that was Fabric. On each story there was either a dj or a live band playing along with at least one bar per level. It wasn't long until we figured out that Four Tet was not scheduled to play until 1:30. We made our way to the front door, which was getting increasingly more crowded by the minute. The bouncer said that once we left we would not be allowed to get back in. So we decided to dance and wait it out until Four Tet would come out.

The drinks at the bar were expensive and before the end of the night I would watch my friends spend over 50 Pounds on drinks alone. After dancing on every level we checked our clocks and we had about another hour to go until Four Tet came on. The place was completely packed. Lines at the bar would mingle with the dancefloors. We made our way to a stage and caught the last two songs of a really good live band. However, even after following them into the crowd dancing and singing along with them, we still had no idea who they were.

We made our way to Stage 2 (maybe) around the time that Four Tet was set to play. At the beginning of the set we decided it would be a good idea to go up on stage. We started a movement because not only was our group on stage but almost the entire stage was filled with people from the crowd. On this stage was a Guido-esque guy who was completely smashed. He kept trying to dance with the girls in our group and was quite frankly being a pain. Well, it wasn't long until we saw the bouncers come up and grab the guy by the neck and bring him into the backroom. The guy was trying to swing at the bouncers and eventually three more bouncers had him subdued and carried him off the stage and inevitably out of the club.

We were all not anywhere near completely sober and we had no idea if we were listening to Four Tet or not. I am guessing the latter because I would have recognized Four Tet. We tried to get out of the club seeing that we had all been dancing and screaming for about four straight hours. Getting out of Fabric was an adventure in itself. My friend and I made it out fairly quickly only to find a line going down a couple of blocks outside of the club. There was a russian girl trying to talk her way in to the club stating that she had been there for "two hours and a half". When that didn't work she tried to jump over the gate, the bouncer responded with a palm in her face and pretty much throwing her back over the barricade.

Finally after another 30mins our entire group had made it out. Since the tube doesn't run at night we had to take a night bus to our stop. We picked the right bus but unfortunately this bus would not ever get to our destination. About three or four stops from our dropoff point a fight broke out upstairs. (London has double decker buses-remember?) Anyways, apparently two girls got into a catfight and one of them punched the other in the face. The other women responded by pulling out a knife. The police were called and one of the women ran off the bus before the cops came. We ended up on that bus for over an hour. Finally another bus stopped and we were allowed a free ride to our stop.

We got off and proceeded to walk to our hotel. We must have been a motley looking crew. One person was so intoxicated that they were singing about trolls, One person went looking for cheap chinese food while kicking shredded paper saying it was snowing, One person was barefoot, and I was leading the group in a jetlagged, drunk, and confused stupor.

I never figured out if we saw Four Tet or not.
I do not think I will ever really know.

I do know that London is crazy and I had a very memorable night.

Have a listen to what we WOULD have heard if we did hear Four Tet.


Four Tet -Plastic People

Buy Four Tet

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