Sometimes, when you know what’s going to happen, it’s no fun getting there…

I didn’t want to see Hundred Reasons…

I know they’ll be popular. I know they’ll be famous. I know it will ruin everything.

I went to see them anyway…

They will be popular. They will be famous but just for tonight, it ruined nothing…

Have you ever stood on the edge of a cliff, with the wind in your face? You know you’re going to jump. It's just a question of when…

The band walk onstage tonight to the opening of Europe’s 'Final Countdown'…a moment tinged with ironic mirth and naïve arrogance…But I look down at what I’m writing… ‘The album doesn’t do them justice’ and the very mixed crowd completely agree. I’m standing on the periphery of a polarised audience in a characterless venue. Those who’ve known about Hundred Reasons from the beginning stand behind an invisible decade of those who have bought their debut album 'Ideas Above Their Station' in HMV this week. This aside, their anthemic, schizophrenic songs flourish live. The studio has edited out the nuances, stifling the energy Hundred Reasons create on stage and renders each song a uniformity that dissolves in live performance. Admirably, it’s not the singles from the album that generate the most excitement and I watch with increasing amusement at the crowd’s pliability. When frontman Colin raises his hands and claps them above his head, so do the crowd a la Simon Says… more stadium than student union.

Comically, they dedicate 'If I Could' to security. As the familiar song starts, everyone surges forward, crowd-surf and pulverize them. You have to appreciate the sentiment.

But I can’t help thinking we’re watching a band on the platform, ready to depart. Nothing disappoints me more than seeing 'Ideas Above Our Station' at number two in the HMV chart. To me, nothing stifles creativity more than the pursuit of fame… but I’m just selfish. I should be proud watching a small local band produce music that the mainstream want to listen to, shouldn’t I?

As I hear cynically uttered on our way out:

"You know you’re big when you see someone bootlegging your T-shirts outside the gig…"

Sometimes, when you know what’s going to happen, it’s no fun getting there…


The photgraphs that accompany this article were taken by Matthew D. Williams












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Commenting On: Reading University, 17/6/2002 - Hundred Reasons








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