From: Ant

July 3, 1999
Shepard's Bush Empire
London, UK

With virtually no media coverage here in England, the Goo Goo Dolls are not well known at all. Last time they were over here in March, only 300 people were there to witness a great show. This time round the venue was virtually sold out with over 1500 fans, so the word must slowly be spreading.

The show began with "Dizzy" and from the moment they burst onto the stage the band were at cruising speed. The set was the same as the last UK show in March except that they played "Girl right next to me" (which is my favourite song), in place of "Falling down".

The Goos are quite obviously a band at the height of their live powers. The whole band looked as if they were having a great time throughout the show, and John told jokes and stories between most of the songs. This enthusiasm rubbed off on the audience who danced and sang along to every song and hung onto John's every word.

As expected, "Slide" and "Iris" got the best receptions of the night, but it must be said that most of the audience seemed to know all the words to the older stuff as well.

Robbie was obviously having a blast. When he reached the last verse of "Full Forever" he gave up singing and simply conducted the crowd who were singing louder than he was!

When he introduced "Name" John told us: "I got more shit for writing this song than Marilyn Manson got for getting tits". During the song John stopped and did a piss take of the UK music press by making up a mock review of the show. He said that he was expecting the reviews to say something along the lines of " The young pretenders from across the Atlantic made a crass impersonation of Bush doing an impersonation of Nirvana". He said that after the last UK show in March he rang up a reviewer who had slagged the band off to ask her if she had even been at the show! Then he said "Shit! we're supposed to be playing a song here", and launched seamlessly back into the final verse of "Name". It was totally brilliant!

During the final song, "Two days in February", John and Robbie were fooling around so much that the song ground to a halt. John said: " I want you all to forget the last 45 seconds, we're going to try that bit again. And those of you who are recording the show, hit rewind now. When you're selling your cassettes on the street tomorrow we don't want to look like assholes!"

Overall, the show was superb. You really could not pick out one flaw. John is an amazing front man as well as a talented musician, and Robbie gives you the impression that he's giving 110% and appreciates you turning up to watch. The Goos deserve so much more success than they are ever likely to get in England. It's a scandal that most of the country is simply unaware of the band's music. If only Edel Records would get their act together and do a bit of promotion !