Camden Town in London is a popular area for music fans. You will find many venues there including the Underworld. Faithful to its name, the venue is situated under the ground with steep stairs leading down into it. I arrive just after 8:30, but the venue seems quite busy already. People are shyly gathering at the back of the hall and looking over towards the stage. The first band are just finishing their set.

When the band comes off, the audience uses the break to restock on drinks. I have got a drink already, so I just keep looking at the stage. 5 men bring in their instruments. They are all smartly dressed in suits and bring a bass guitar, a rhythm guitar, an electric guitar and a keyboard . The drum kit is already on the stage, left behind by the first band. The set lists are tied lastly on the floor .

The nearer the performance gets the closer the fans move towards the stage. The band tunes in and then with no warning go straightforward into the first song. The song has a slow rhythm which some of the audience seem to follow with great accuracy.

The singer stands in the front of the stage with the lead and the bass guitarist on his left and right. They all gently swing with the song's calm tune.

The next song, however, radiates with energy. The drummer hits his drum kit with no mercy speeding the song up. The keyboardist, on the right side of the stage, adds to it melodic texture filling up the background delightfully.

"Make a break to hide the scars/Nothing shines like a dying heart." sings the singer into the the auditorium.

When the song finishes the band is awarded by deserved applause. "This is a new song." the singer says, announcing the next song. The band move back into a slower rhythm again. "Lying lbeow/ the edge of hope / it only hurts if you get too close" the lyric goes.

We are moving towards the end of the set. Looking down from the stairs into the lower part of the auditorium where the stage is, I see people dancing.

It is almost the end of band's tonight's set. "Thank you to everyone who supported us." says the vocalst "Special thanks to Anthony. The next song is called …" but I can't hear the name. I walk down the stairs closer to the stage and the music spills all around. You just wish it would never finish.

"I don't want my mistakes to come crashing back" are the last words sung by the singer and come across with the greatest conviction. Then the band brings the sets to a conclusion in a great instrumental ending, pushing everything into it. Just before the song finishes the musicians start to disappear off the stage one by one leaving it empty.

The show is over. I stand in the darkness of the auditorium for a few more seconds. A man comes up to me asking: "Who were that band that have just played?

"They were Baptiste." I reply. "An amazing band."

Fucked and Far from Home
You Know Everything
The New Song
Kissing With Your Eyes Open

The photographs that accompany this article were taken by Bob Stuart and originally appeared on his website

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Commenting On: The Final Gig, London Underworld, 19/3/2003 - Baptiste

ie London, England

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