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Himeji Castle

Gilby Clarke

Last night was an unexpected pleasure - I got along and saw Gilby Clarke and his band perform in Camden at The Underworld, and it was awesome. For those of you not up on your rock history (like me, before last night) Gilby was part of Guns N' Roses for three years on their "Use Your Illusion" world tour. My buddy Greg had a spare ticket, so I dusted off my denim jacket and leather chaps, and dove head-first into the seething pit of sweat, tattoos and massive hair.

Gilby turned out to be a really cool dude, smiling, chatting to the crowd and sipping his drink with a smile and a wave. He also was a simply amazing musician, blasting out classic rock tunes from GNR, The Clash, Slash's Snakepit and others. Watching him make his guitar sing reminded me of just how good live music is. It was the same feeling of awe I had while watching the Greyboy Allstars back in March, a stunned, exhilarated amazement at the sheer talent of the human being up on the stage. It also makes me want to get back into playing music, but I'm fairly sure more than half of that is male rock god penis fantasy crap, so I try and ignore it.

I did tumble out of the club smelling like a smoker's scrotum though. The oppressive heat, the jostling drunken people, the clouds of billowing cigarette smoke, it was all pretty gross. Since smoking in clubs in Vancouver is illegal, live music is suddenly a lot more excellent for a non-smoker like myself. There are still quite a few columns of weed smoke snaking up to the ceiling like tree trunks in Van, but they are far easier to avoid than London's choking chemical fog.