The National, Digbeth

Perhaps its just me, but there seems to be a lot more live music in Brum now than there used to be. When I was a student, I used to end up going to Wolverhampton for a gig fix. Nowadays, the centre of town is lifting with venus, and perhaps this is making it harder for promoters to find venues. It was certainly a long time since Steve had been to the Irish Centre for a gig, but last night The National filled the place and almost lifted the roof off.

Perhaps it was the frustration of being kindly requested not to practice Irish dancing in the dressing room, but Matt Berninger sang like a man possessed. Especially during Squalor Victoria during which he was, in his own words “foisted”. The rhythm section was amazing, growling like an 8 litre V10 and the guitars competed for attention with the violin. The only disappointment were the tracks that they inevitably couldn’t play from their substantial back-catalogue, like Karen. My highlight was the closer, Fake Empire, and the crowd went wild for “Mr. November” having bayed for it between songs.