As the Fillmore only opened last Thursday, the staff are all being extra courteous. They even have ushers outside the bogs holding the doors open for you (though no one said, “Have a nice pee.”). When I came out of the loo, I was browsing the concert posters on the walls, when one of the ushers pointed at my knees with a seriously amazed look on her face. I looked down, expecting at the very least to see a three-headed serpent emerging from my knee cap.
“You’ve… you’ve got such… bowed legs!” she exclaimed.
I laughed and said I’d had them quite a while, and that I was the last of the great British cowboys.
“But... but, they’re great,” she said. “I love them!”
“Yeah, those bowed legs, I really love them.”
“Listen,” I said. “People have been laughing at these legs now for over 40 years. I can honestly say you are the first ever person to say that they admire them, rather than finding them strange, amusing, or downright hilarious.”
“But I do, they’re great!”
I thanked her for making my day, and she told me to enjoy the concert. Which I did, in many ways thanks to the new venue. They’ve clearly modelled it on the excellent 9.30 Club in DC, but with better views from upstairs, more space, wider bars, a superior sound system, much better access to get in and out, edible food, and staff that don’t think it’s unhip to smile and be polite (and admire your bandy legs). My main criticism of the 9.30 is that many of their staff are still stuck in that 80s indie-record shop sales clerk pall of doom and coolness, as though they were actually in a band themselves and obliged to look like the weight of the world had fallen alone on their sensitive song-writing shoulders.
Only complaint about the Fillmore: beer prices are astronomical at $10 a plastic glass. But you can always fuel up at McGinty’s during Happy Hour around the corner. Blondie, meanwhile, aren’t touring on nostalgia alone, they’ve actually made the effort to write some new songs, most of which held up well against the ancient hits. Like a decent pair of bandy legs, though, those old songs are still holding up after all these years.