The Asteroids Galaxy Tour / Katy Perry - Shepherds Bush Empire London
Girl kisser Katy Perry's second sold out night at London's Shepherd's Bush Empire landed on the same day as a strike by workers on the Capital's Underground system.
The majority of Underground lines were closed causing commuters to congregate at overcrowded bus stops and taxi ranks.
With this in mind I left my house in South East London at 5pm, giving me just under three hours to make my way to Shepherds Bush, a two hour extension to my normal traveling time.
My journey by bus went well for the first hour or so but as we ventured towards the Houses Of Parliament things ground to a halt as the roads got busier.
The bus crawled at a snails pace for almost an hour, resulting in frantic glances at my watch as the minutes ticked by as I really needed to get to the venue by 7.45 as I was traveling to the show to take in the set by support band The Asteroid Galaxy Tour, with Katy P's performance just an added bonus.
As the bus pulled towards Victoria train station just after 7 I decided to jump off as I knew I didn't have a hope in hell of getting there on time the way things were going.
I decided to head down to the Underground station in the hope of finding a working tube line that might take me a tiny bit closer.
As luck would have it the District line was operating on a very restricted service so I was able to jump on a train to Earls Court, run like hell to the Olympia mainline station, traveling one stop to Shepherds Bush station, with a final sprint across the park to the venue, arriving with about five minutes to spare, completely knackered but happy i'd made it!
This was my fourth Asteroids Galaxy Tour show this year, having originally seen them perform at London's Cargo, then catching a couple of their sets in March at SXSW in Texas.
They're one of my favorite live acts at the moment, as I really like their debut album "Fruit" so it's great to hear live renditions of the songs on it.
I'm sure I received a promo of the album way back in January. At that point it was meant to be hitting stores in April.
Unfortunately it was put back a few months but news came this week that it's coming out in September so hopefully the band will gain a horde of new fans on its arrival.
In the interim the band are working flat out, with the support slot on Katy's European tour just part of a host of forthcoming dates around the World.
The Asteroids Galaxy Tour comprise of lead singer Mette Lindberg and band mainman Lars Iverson on bass and keyboards, backed by four other band members on guitar, drums and brass.
The venue was pretty busy by the time TAGT took to the stage, with the packed front section of banner waving, picture taking, expectant and impatient Perry fans crying out her name or shrieking every time a road crew brought something onstage previously so I was wary as to how they would go down in front of a restless predominantly young audience.
I needn't have worried though as the band knew what they were doing, with a great three song opening salvo, featuring album starter "Lady Jesus" and singles "The sun aint shining no more" and "Around the bend", a trio of high energy Psychedelic Pop songs that forced the Shepherds Bush crowd to pay attention!
I exited the venue's photo pit after the third song, retreating to the bar to buy a much needed drink, heading back down the front to appreciate the rest of the set pint in hand!
Album track "Satellite" was drawing to a close by the time I repositioned myself, with the band launching into an exquisite cover of Marvin Gaye's "Inner city blues" next.
The set seemed to wind up just as it was beginning, with the throbbing "Push the envelope" and bouncy Ska lite "The golden age" a great way to draw proceedings to a close.
The Asteroid Galaxy Tour are certainly worthy of far more recognition than they are receiving at the moment as their funky brass laden Retro Pop songs are too damn catchy to ignore but I'm sure their album will deliver them a larger fanbase.
Who knows, if their luck is in they may even end up on a few "Sounds of 2010" features, resulting in them headlining Shepherds Bush Empire themselves next year!
Katy Perry originally hit the UK last September, performing her debut gig at London's intimate Water Rats Theatre.
I managed to squeeze my way down the front for that performance but hadn't caught a Katy show since so I was curious as to how she'd perform in a much bigger venue with an elaborate stage set, complete with flamingos, cats and a mailbox!
I was originally contemplating leaving after my two song allocation in the photo pit but decided to stay for the sets duration to see how the set would play out, especially as she still only had one album under her belt.
Katy seemed on great form, opening with "Fingerprints" and "One of the boys", then suprising me by sticking huge single "Hot 'n' cold" third in the set list.
I had forgotten how flippin' chatty Katy was onstage, usually delivering lengthy humorous comments between songs, focusing on the tube strike at one point, mentioning how she would have resorted to horse to get to the venue or even flamingo but she drew the line at arriving at the venue on a kitten!
The vast majority of the set was pulled from Katy's "One of the boys" album with her softer output rubbing shoulders with the more uptempo tracks, including a stunning rendition of "Thinking of you", partly dedicated to the people who had attended the Water Rats show back in the day.
Unfortunately a headline gig in a large venue has to be fleshed out a bit when you've only released one album.
Katy's always endearing onstage chat helped milk a few minutes between songs but there was still time for a couple of covers that were real clunkers!!
"Please Mr Postman" had such a cheesy lead in that she almost got away with it but "Build me up buttercup" was atrocious as it was, in the words of Randy Jackson "A bit pitchy, dawg" !
However both songs did what they were required to do as the audience happily clapped along or waved their arms in the air for their duration.
Towards the end of the set Katy mentioned Brian May was in the audience so I'm curious as to what he thought of her rendition of Queen's "Don't stop me now" as it came across more Pantomime Principal Boy than Rock Goddess!
However patchy the covers were Katy's Shepherds Bush show was still pretty much a very entertaining experience and she obviously still had one song left to wow the pants off the crowd!
Hit single "I kissed a girl" had an elaborate lead in, with Katy heading into the crowd to chat to a group of banner waving noisy girls, asking one what her name was and asking if she had a cherry chapstick.
It was bad news when she had the wrong flavour as she was forced to kiss a huge cherry chapstick.
I'm sure the girl didn't mind though and it will be something to tell her children when they're watching "I love the Noughties" sometime around 2032!
"I kissed a girl" went down a storm with the audience, sending them out of the building on a high that would last at least until they realised that they'd have a lengthy wait for a bus home!!