19:30 on a Monday night and queuing for a beer I can't help but notice that every other poster is actually a sign saying 'The Airborne Toxic Event on at 20:30'. This seems to be the norm nowadays around Nottingham, the unpredictable time that is. This show starts early and then the next night the main act might not be on until gone 11:00, this is pure madness. What's more concerning is knowing that such an early stage time for the headline band, they might end up playing to a half empty room. But after walking into the room that plays host to The Airborne Toxic Event, I turn straight into a wall, not an actual brick wall but a wall that is the crowd, a pleasant surprise to see that the venue looks near full. after a 15 minute wait, the lights go low and the band appear. They are greeted to a shout from the crowed of "What time do you call this?" which on reflection maybe triggered off the mischievous mood that Mikel Jollett seemed to be in.
Rather than kicking off the night with one of their songs more well known songs, The Airborne Toxic Event kick off with 'All I Ever Wanted', the title track from their recent live DVD and though it's obvious many of the crowed have never heard this before, it seems like a perfect start and gets the intended reaction. Jollett speaks out "Hello Nottinam this is the first night of our tour" with a cheer from the crowed, followed by "is it pronounced Nottinam or Nottingham?" well you can guess the reaction.
The one thing that becomes apparent about this band is that have a lot of faith in their new record because they follow the opening track with 'Numb' another from the anticipated new record; the crowd seem to love every bit of this and it is a joy to see. To break up the night TATE (The Airborne Toxic Event) break out into the amazing Wishing Well and even though this is the first night of the tour, it really is faultless performance.
When the band introduce 'This Loosing' we're informed the track started out as a joke but it ended up as a B-side but and in its finished form wouldn't have looked out of place on either album. The band continue their set playing mainly new tracks but then they bang out a cover of Q Lazarus 'Goodbye Horses'. One thing that this band know is how to finish off their set, with three of the best 'Sometime Around Midnight' followed by new track 'Changing' which is simply amazing and finally 'Innocence' but with a twist. This latest around seven minutes with an amazing instrumental right in the middle.
Back for the encore! Which starts predictably with 'Papillion' and next up is 'Missy' but then kicks into a Springsteen cover of 'I'm On Fire' which the band make their own. The guys wrap up the night just as they started it with another new track 'All At Once' which is incidentally the title track of the album.
You really have got to hand it to The Airborne Toxic Event not many bands have the bottle to do a show that is predominately new material that no one has heard of and successfully pull it off but the great thing was that there wasn't one disappointed face in the audience.