Billy Corgan at the London Forum

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Yesterday I saw Billy Corgan at the Forum in Kentish Town. The venue itself is very much like Shepherd’s Bush, only slightly smaller I think. It’s an old victorian theatre I guess (I could be completely wrong); you’ve got an upstairs seating area, and then the downstairs stand and roam area; Stathi, Yiota and I were downstairs.

The support act were a band called Gliss. Go download a couple of tracks from their website, seriously you won’t be disappointed. Crazy fucking band man. The come on stage and theres 2 guys and a girl, each carrying a guitar or base. No drummer in sight, but you can’t fool me there’s a drum kit right there, that can’t be for Corgan, what’s going on here? So they start off and I’m thinking, ah I get it, just like when the pumpkins started off. They had D’arcy on base, Iha and Billy on guitar leaving the drum machine to do the drumming. I was actually smiling at this little fact. I couldn’t have been more wrong. After a couple of tracks the lead singer decides he wants to try his hand on the drum kit, and so while drumming is also singing. Then the other guitarist switches places with the drummer, and the guitar and base get switched over as well.

The final switch as you would imagine was the woman taking over the drumming for the last couple of songs. I actually enjoyed the support act. I’ve been pretty lucky these last two times I’ve gone to a gig.

Billy Arrives
Of course he was great, what did you expect me to say? The stage had to be set up, and there was this white wall of squares behind him. An Apple in the corner, the weirdest looking electronic drum set and a keyboard with seashells on it. He came on wearing this blue/black jacket, this hat and black trousers. I’ve been reading the making of his latest album as long as I’ve been blogging and I’ve wanted to see what he would come up with if he went solo, and this was the result.

The first couple of tracks were a mixture of rocky elements and electronic sounds. They had the unmistakable Corgan sound. It’s the mixture of the way he plays the guitar and his voice. The mac as far as I could tell controlled the electronic board behind them. It was pretty cool gave for a very 70s/80s electronica rock atomsphere. There was this song that broke out as one of my favourites apart from Walking Shade which is the first single. This song had a Zero or Everlasting Gaze type quality, in that he’d be rocking hard, then stop, shout something into the mike with absolutely no other music just his voice and then start rocking again. Also a cover of the Bee Gees ‘To Love Someone’ was pretty cool, didn’t expect it, but found myself hmming to it, and then looking at Yiota to confirm she knew the song as well :).

This wasn’t a moshing crowd, although there were two idiot trunks in the audience who really felt it was, more on these twats later (why am I constantly hounded by absolute assholes whenever I go out? Trust me the general concensus by everyone in that area of the forum was that these two were in fact twats, hell even the bouncer had words). The drunk idiots decided to name call Billy a couple of times, which I swear I couldn’t understand. I mean calling the man a twat was just something I couldn’t understand for the life of me. There was also some seriously annoying couple that couldn’t stop porn tounging themselves. Just completely unnecessary.

Is this going to be as big as The Smashing Pumpkins? No, I’ll go out on a limb and say that particular era is over, this is something different, doesn’t achieve that greatness, but Billy Corgan on a bad day is better than 95% of the music out there. This is Billy on a good day.


  1. I unfortunately never got a chance to see the Pumpkins live while they were around. Maybe when Corgan visits Boston I will check him out.

    I wonder how good his album is going to be. I was rather disappointed to say the least with Zwan.

    1 Chris G.
  2. Yeah you’re right Zwan wasn’t all that great. It had some good songs but overall it was a bit of a disappointment. This is different. This is what he should have done post Smashing Pumpkins.

    Stathi was talking to an american guy and his dad who had come over from Chicago just to see him, see now that’s bloody dedication :).

    2 Khaled
  3. No kidding!

    3 Chris G.
  4. I’m so jealous!

    4 Jennifer