How amazing have these Converse Represent @ 100 Club gigs been? We've seen Blur tear the roof off the legendary venue with a set that drew heavily on 'Modern Life Is Rubbish' but also featured seldom-heard B-sides, as well as new track 'Under The Westway', quite possibly the band's best song since the 90s. An ecstatic Alex James told us:
There's nothing like the feeling of playing really loud music in a hot, sweaty room with people going crackers.Amen to that.
Then there was Paul Weller's performance, which was as imperious as you'd expect (the material from recent album 'Sonik Kicks' was particularly electrifying), and was attended by none other than Liam Gallagher, who watched from the wings, and after the show promised that Beady Eye would one day play the 100 Club themselves.
Rewind to July 30, and the opening show in the series - Plan B - kicked things off in explosive fashion with a set stuffed with hits from both ‘The Defamation of Strickland Banks’ and his recent chart destroying album, ‘Ill Manors’.
We've also had a lesson in punk rock fury from veterans U.K. Subs, a sweat-soaked and euphoric live display from Santigold, and, just the other night, a triumphant showing from Nas, who delighted the crowd by calling London "the greatest fucking place in the world", and saluting the hallowed status of the 100 Club, saying: "My career started out in small clubs like this one".
More than a series of gigs, Converse Represent @ 100 Club is becoming more a festival in its own right, and a highlight of the summer live calendar. But thankfully one that doesn't involve wrestling with a pop-up tent at 3am, or schlepping through endless mud. What's not to like?
Meanwhile, here's a video we made in which loads of artists, including Frank Turner, Keane and Ladyhawke, discuss the history of London's 100 Club, and why it's such a good thing it was saved from closure.
The full series of Converse Represent @ 100 Club gigs was as follows. Bring on next year's event!
Ed Tudor Pole
Man Without Country
Toots And The Maytals
Janice Graham Band
Pulled Apart By Horses
The Safety Fire
Children Of The Night