Last night we were lucky enough to attend day 22 of the 2008 iTunes Festival being held at Koko. This series of concerts had a number of artists playing for competition winners, no tickets could be bought. This night saw Seth Lakeman and Suzanne Vega on the bill and I had won tickets (Keryn and I entered 4 or 5 prize draws between us and got one pair of tickets).
This week is the most convincing simulacrum of Summer that London has had so far this year and it was nice and sunny waiting in the queue. We were granted access to the venue around 7:30pm and made our way to the stage, collecting our lanyards with a voucher for 10 free iTunes downloads attached. We were stood right at the front by the stage barrier…and then waited some more. About 20 minutes before Seth started some of the official photographers started appearing and I recognised one. I had met Andy at the Bush Hall when I saw Beth Rowley and we had chatted about various things photography. He noticed me at the Wireless Festival and we talked then and he immediately recognised me and we got to talking once more. It was good to talk to someone, Keryn and I were getting a little bored at this stage. Keryn was actually sitting down to rest her back (Keryn would have moved to the back to find a seat, but couldn’t face fighting through the crowd – I don’t think Keryn will be attending many more standing gigs). Andy has a website which you can see here:
First up was Seth Lakeman and immediately he got the crowd going with a mid-tempo ho-down. Seth is quite electrifying on stage, obviously enjoying himself and putting all his energy into singing, playing and moving around. As the opening act the set was only 9 songs long it seemed over very quickly, but the crowd seemed happy.
Seth Lakeman performing at the iTunes Festival 2008
After a break and a short promo video Suzanne was on stage with the same band as when i saw her last week. This time they had a huge stage to work with and the lighting was much better. The crowd warmed quickly and Suzanne seemed amused by the various comments she got between songs. She also talked quite a bit about many of the songs, giving the inspiration behind many tracks (her first boyfriend, from Liverpool; playing solitaire on the computer). It was good, though the already mentioned back issues for Keryn meant she didn’t enjoy it too much. We were also a lot more crowded by those around us for this set – people weren’t nasty, there was just no personal space any more.
Suzanne Vega performing at the iTunes Festival 2008
The journey home went smoothly and we were in Brentwood shortly after 1am, so it was a long day.