Can You Gig It?: The Vinyl Stitches / The Priscillas @ Left 4 Dead 2 launch, Old Blue Last, London 19.11.09

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Niki Jones (he’s a he, btw) went along to the launch night for a “video game” where some bands played. He almost managed to see both of them, and details his experience in an amusing manner thusaway:

Shoreditch is known for several things: curry houses, dotcom companies, floppy hair dos and unfeasibly tight jeans. But it’s not a place known for its undead problem (unlike nearby Dalston). Tonight, however, the place is positively swarming with the rotting buggers, though fortunately for the general public someone seems to have herded them up and put them behind the bar at The Old Blue Last, clearly an equal opportunities employer.

You see, tonight the pub plays host to the launch of new zombie-blasting FPS (that’s First Person Shooter, or ‘a bit like Doom’ for the less geeky among you) Left 4 Dead 2.

Aside from the undead behind the bar we find some ‘gaming pods’ (a couple of X-Boxes in the corner) where you can play the game and a DJ who seems to be playing mainly Pink Floyd (clearly the zombie-hunter’s band of choice). Later there is some live music upstairs in the form of The Vinyl Stitches and The Priscillas. Oh, also the bar is free – score!

As my friend and I settle into our first pint of the evening my initial impression is that the organisers of this shindig might be preaching to the converted. Aside from the scary guy in the puffa jacket who keeps trying to sell me drugs, everyone here looks like they would have no problem quoting you all of Shaun of the Dead and would be happy to discuss in length which Resident Evil game is the superior.

Basically, they look like me (and it’s Resident Evil 4 btw). I then come to the rather obvious conclusion that nights like this are to get all of the geeks fired up off free booze and the chance to play a video game before everyone else, so they can then spread the message to the world (kind of like a zombie virus).

To that end I try to get a go on one of the game pods but there are only two and never fewer than 500 men loitering around them, so I take a spectator’s view and watch someone else have a go. And I must say it does look like a great game, frenetic and exciting with a co-op system allowing you to buddy up with a zombie-slaying pal.

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OK, so can’t comment too much on the game, let’s head upstairs and catch the first band: 60′s garage revivalists The Vinyl Stitches (via the free bar of course). Our arrival upstairs has doubled their audience, so we perch by the bar near the front and try to look enthusiastic for them. This clearly doesn’t work as they stop halfway through a song and walk off.

It turns out that was only the soundcheck, so we head back downstairs trying to look as casual as possible.

After a while (and a few more free drinks and Pink Floyd numbers) we notice people drifting upstairs, so we duly follow. Still no band to speak of so we head to the bar only to find the same zombie who had been serving us downstairs (perhaps they’ve been cloning them?).

We ask him what else is free behind the bar and he informs us enthusiastically that everything is. “If we had Veuve Clicquot I’d serve you that,” he remarks. I like this guy – zombies normally get such a bad rap. We decide to test the offer and order two vodka & cokes and two toffee liqueurs, and he duly obliges us.

We take a seat in the corner and wait for the first band. I notice the lead singer from earlier (sporting a lovely knitted jumper) milling around so I guess they must be on soon. Time passes, more drinks are consumed, the place gets fuller, still no band.

We order two vodka & Red Bulls as all this waiting is starting to take its toll on us. Then, just as I’m starting to weigh up the relative advantages of a cornish pasty over a Burger King, they hit the stage. I jump to my feet and stagger into the fella next to me.

The Vinyl Stitches are a three piece who play a spirited line in 60′s garage rock, all bowl haircuts, cat-like vocals and surf rock instrumentals. I like them, plus they have a girl drummer who can actually drum (take note, White Stripes). Frontman Claude thrashes about as if he’s hooked up to the mains while bassist Vinn looks like he’s been plucked straight from a 1960s beat cafe. They play a great set and close to an enthusiastic response from the crown.

Next on are all girl band The Priscillas, though this is frankly academic as I’m about to miss my last train (the perils of living south of the river) so have to beat a retreat. This is probably for the best as the alcohol and caffeine are now fighting for supremacy in my blood stream and I’m feeling very peculiar. The run to the station does little to help.

I skip the pasty.

The moral of the story, readers? STOP DICKING AROUND, BANDS, AND GERRONSTAGE – US NORMALS HAVE TRAINS TO CATCH. Thank you, Niki Jones.

Be the first to comment!

  1. Phil says:

    I can’t play ‘L4D’, I find it too scary. Phil (32)

  2. Zoey says:

    i just love l4d and l4d2 :) imo the best games ever released. Zoey ;)

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