Thousand Yard Stare - Keep It Alive

Confession time, Thousand Yard Stare was a blind spot until their Shiiine On Weekender 2016. It was one of those nights where the words “wow, who the fuck is this” just kept forming in a cider induced brain.

So, when they announced a special EP only set at the Lexington, It felt somewhat fraudulent to be there despite the obsessive record collecting In the intervening years. Especially during ‘Twicetimes’ when a total stranger turns and excitedly stutters “20 years, never, 20, never heard in 20 years”.

So often, people with less obsessive tendencies around music ask “why are you going to see an old band”, now, depending on mood, they are met with cynical derision or, an inevitable Spotify playlist. On this occasion, a far bigger response is needed.

They are the musical embodiment of Matt Le Tissier. This brilliant entity, capable of so many things but mainly, dragging the underdog to a realm of glory. The classic ‘0-0 AET’ encapsulates the spirit of The Wonder Stuff into their world of psychedelic rock n roll and ‘Buttermouth’, like Le Tissier, leaves you with the sense that, if new today, would be a national treasure.

Tenuous football links aside, the abiding feeling of tonight is love. From Stephen Barnes’ video message to unwell drummer Dom (get well soon mate), to Sean McDonough’s uncontrollable hugging of other band members to their crew holding on to amps and singing along simultaneously, love oozed from them. What “became unmentionable” tangibly rose in North London on Friday, “it belongs to everyone of us”.

What began as tentative baby steps to the front became leaps of joy and togetherness for one lonely music lover. Lost in the abandon of loyal “weatherwatchers” and seeking solace in a criminally underrated band, Friday was a heartfelt expression of hope.

Keep it alive!