GIG 275: The Presidents of The United States of America / Kula Shaker – Astoria, 12th April 1996

The Presidents of the USA had been riding high off their self-titled debut album (released 1995) and a trio of singles which had (or were about to) get a lot of radio and chart success. Dune Buggy, Lump, and Peaches were alt rock anthems of the moment and they were being supported by a band which was also about to hit the charts hard with their own success – Kula Shaker.

I’d been given a ticket for this by our Sony rep as the record store so headed into central London after work on this Friday evening to enjoy the music, before heading up to Camden for Full Tilt at the Electric Ballroom – despite having to work the next day. The joys of being young enough to go out for a gig, clubbing until the wee hours and still be fresh faced enough to do a full day of work the following morning.

Kula Shaker were ok, but didn’t blow me away on this occasion. I saw them again and enjoyed them, but they were pretty average on this first exposure.

The Presidents of the USA were anything but average. They were freaking amazing live and were certainly one of the best bands I saw live in 1996 (and they had a lot of competition that year). They exuded charisma and the energy just burst off the stage and was contagious. Lots of jumping and dancing ensued. Fantastic.

The Presidents of the United States of America – Lump
Price: £8.50 (free ticket via Sony)

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