Live Review: They Might Be Giants @ Shepherds Bush

Rock Shot, November 19, 2013
by Simon Jay Price

They Might Be Giants are a band whose new work sits comfortably along its established songs and 30 years and 16 studio albums on this is a feat where many others falter. They are seamlessly integrated into the set with comedic explanations that had the audience literally rolling in the aisles. Cue new song and the set opener You’re On Fire.

Damn Good Times follow with the rock and roll lifestyle firmly entrenched when all of the photographers are pulled onto stage to join in the act. Everyone said they thought it was a part of the show but I can assure you it was very spontaneous but that is the Giants modus operandi.

Not to put to finer point on it Birdhouse In Your Soul followed on. Every five years or so They Might Be Giants get treated like royalty and land in a venue so sumptuous that they do not have to feel like “s**t” and can finally enjoy the life of a rock on roll band on the road. The Shepherds Bush Empire is one of those iconic venues in London that helps add to the almost music hall style of their full band performance.

In between John Flansburgh’s wit and wisdom he shone a white guiding light (Television were also in town) dividing the people into two sides and instructing the identifiable People and Apes to come to life and shout alternately when either red and blue lights and band split were lit and played on the stage. Apparently Apes won!

The new album Nanobots has a crazy amount of songs on it. 25 in 45 minutes of recording some short and long were played tonight but the best of which is surely Tesla. The story of the man and his relationship with Mark Twains skull. Tribute was payed to their beginnings on Rough Trade and the importance of the indie label in general. Especially so after they have come full circle after a split with Elektra.

Istanbul and No, to much laughter as the crowd so get it, are performed by the original duo of John Flansburgh and John Linnell with trademark accordian to the forefront. Boss of Me and Ana Ng are merged into a faced paced part of the show where songs come thick and fast and chatter is less. Then for the art of the encore the legendary The Avatars Of They. Sock puppets filmed on a Go Pro and back projected to the theatre sing He’s Loco. In raptures, ruptures and belly aching from so much fun, we all leave happy. People! People! People!…..