I am on my own tonight. It was sort of like exams day at school. You know the day, when after having a whole school full of mates for every day of your school life, you trudge to the exams hall and suddenly you're on your own. Billy No Mates. As I Facebook around, I discover quite a few of my mates are going to this gig without any of the others knowing and some are also off to the Rescue Rooms next door. As I walk up the steps and into Rock City, I am thinking I might even bump into some of them while I'm here, but as I go up the next set of stairs that lead past the basement bar and up to the main room I realise there is not a hope in hell. The support act is just starting and it is almost completely full already.

I am here to see Eels. Eels are the creation of one Mark Oliver Everett, who is the son of Dr. Hugh Everett III, PhD and whom 'Scientific American' magazine calls "one of the most important scientists of the 20th century." Dr Everett, for your understanding, was a quantum physicist and famous for his work with the concept of parallel universes. There, you learn something new every day! Now Mark had several friends at school that were coincidentally named Mark. To avoid confusion, they would refer to each other by their initials. Throughout his teens Mark Everett was 'M.E.' Gradually it was shortened to the even easier 'E'. In 1995 E decided to work under a different name. Having grown more adventurous musically and lyrically, and tired of the logistical nightmares of going by one letter, he added a few more letters and formed Eels. After virtually disappearing for all of 2012, Eels released their tenth studio album, 'Wonderful, Glorious' in February and have embarked on a world tour stopping for a brief respite in the world's best city. Do you feel educated? Good.

They blister through the first part of the set beginning with 'Bombs Away and some superb blues come rock, and recite as well some of the other tracks from the new album 'Wonderful, Glorious' and a mixture of older stuff in between, moat notably a cracking version of Fleetwood Mac's 'Oh Well'. They have got to be one of the tightest bands to have graced the Talbot Street venue for a long time, and they are one the very few bands nowadays that push the drum kit to the front of the stage and the guitar players to the back.

Needless to say, the crowd are already in full voice when halfway through when we have a short interlude in which E decides to introduce the band. One of the most notable members is Honest Al, who apparently has been trained in the ways of the Lord and is able to perform marriages. It is at this point at which E announces that he and multi-instrumentalist The Chet have been "making beautiful music' for exactly ten years and have decided to get Honest Al to review their guitar/rock vows. It is a lovely ceremony in which the pair exchange "I do's", and leads E to introduce the rest of the band before they carry on all dressed in black Adidas track suits. It is a beautful gesture and brings tears to a large section of the Rock City crowd.

E then exclaims that Nottingham was host to the famous Rock City, and that said Rock City deserved to be rocked, so with an onslaught of at least six "Rock's and a big "city" on the end Eels blast in to the second part of their set with 'Go Knuckles' which prompts a long spate of drum bashing.

The crowd now clearly loves every note and drum beat. Eels' delivery with every track is just perfect, and with E conducting affairs from the front what was not to like? They break into another cover, this time a fantastic version of 'Itchycoo Park', and the songsters out front are in ecstasy as they close the set with encore after encore.

I trudge back into the Nottingham cold with a wonderful sense of education. I'd been educated at last. Me mum will be pleased!


Set List:

Bombs Away
Kinda Fuzzy
Dog Faced Boy
Oh Well
Tremendous Dynamite
That Look You Give That Guy
On the Ropes
Peach Blossom
Prizefighter
The Turnaround
New Alphabet
Fresh Feeling
The Sound of Fear
Go Knuckles!
Itchycoo Park
Souljacker, Part I
Wonderful, Glorious

First Encore:

Brave Little Soldier
My Beloved Monster/Mr E's Beautiful Blues Mash-up

Second Encore:

Fresh Blood

Third Encore

Open My Present
Go Eels!

















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Commenting On: Rock City, Nottingham, 27/3/2012 - Eels








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21434 Posted By: Jed Southgate (Nottingham)

Great review I thought they were the best band I had seen since Primal Scream !


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