It was a hot June night and the Mean Fiddler was a proper sweatbox, and I wasn’t especially in the mood for rock. There is only really one Canadian band I ever want to see, but in the absence of Rush, The Stills would have to do. They had just the one album out (Logic Will Break Your Heart), and there were a couple of corkers on it, so I was quite looking forward to it. Singer Tim Fletcher played a blinding opening hand before they started, by congratulating ‘us’ on having beaten Croatia earlier in the day (Euro 2004) – how to get a crowd onside before you even play a note! Not bad for a musician from a distinctly un-football mad country.
They started with the album opener, ‘Lola Stars And Stripes’, quite a common thing for bands touring a new album. They followed that with the second track off the album, ‘Gender Bombs’. Then the third. By the fourth, the singer asked the crowd if we could spot a pattern emerging. Uh huh. Sure enough, they played all twelve tracks off the album, in order, followed by the b sides from ‘Still In Love Song’. Bizarre, and rather pointless. They were fairly good, but for some reason, knowing what was coming next kinda detracted from it.
On the way home, I bumped into a couple of very drunk and deleriously happy Swedes who proceeded to give me a blow by blow account of how their 2-2 draw with Denmark had eliminated Italy from Euro 2004. Fantastico.