EDitorial ± 26-Jun-2010

They Might Be Giants, London

Mention "They Might Be Giants" to most people in the UK and the likelihood is that you'll get one of two reactions:

  1. who?
  2. oh yeah ... what was the name of that song?

That song, BTW, is Birdhouse In Your Soul, a top ten smash for the boys way back in 1990. And yes, they are still going, very much so, to the tune of 14 studio albums and counting.

I was only dimly aware of them until six or seven years ago when I started hunting around for decent kids' music, stuff that wasn't TV theme tunes or the flippin' wheels on the bloomin' bus. That was when I discovered No!, a dedicated album of original music. You know, for kids. I loved it and so did the kids in the car.

We've since had the delights of Here Come The ABCs, Here Come The 123s and, only last year, Here Comes Science. What's good? It's all good. The band, comprising mostly two fellas named John, play a goodly number of gigs, including the odd family show as a matinee. Alas, nearly all of these are in and around the USA. So when I saw they were playing at the Royal Festival Hall...

Hot day, down to the happenin' Southbank for 2pm, and the five of us -- yep, all family members from 10 to 44 -- took our seats. Absolutely amazing thingumajig floating in the air before the gig, a Festo Air Penguin. Stunning and worth the admission price alone.

And finally, here's John and John plus guitarist and drummer et cetera. Big reception, remarks about how grand a venue this is, and they launch into Fibber Island, the first track on No! Great moment. Really good playlist included not just top tracks from the kids' albums (Bed Bed Bed, 813 Mile Car Trip, Alphabet Of Nations), but also old favourites like Dr  Worm ("I'm not a real doctor but I am a real worm"), Istanbul and Older ("You're older than you've ever been and now you're even older"). Plus the very odd Particle Man. Did I mention the hand puppets that gave us a starstruck rendition of Shooting Star? Quirkily fantastic. Come back soon.