November 15, 2003
40 Watt Club - Athens, GA


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Following a particularly savory Georgia Bulldog victory over Auburn, Badly Drawn Boy had his work cut out for him. After opening with a pseudo-karaoke cover of the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back,” the singer/songwriter battled the mumbling, chatty club crowd with only an acoustic guitar before stopping to yell, “Shut the fuck up! I’ve been up here for four songs and I can’t hear myself think.” He then refused to play, lit a cigarette and confrontationally stared at the loud mouths.

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When the UGA fight song erupted, the man born Damon Gough simply said, “I don’t think you realize who’s in your town tonight” before giving up and starting “What Is It Now.” This turned out to be one of only four songs from his latest disc, Have You Fed The Fish?. He also did glorious versions of the title song, “You Were Right“ and “40 Days & 40 Fights.”

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The balance of the 26-song, two-set show was a mix between obscure early tunes and cuts from the upcoming 1 + 1 = 1.  He dedicated a dreamy “Stone On The Water” to Elliot Smith and the crowd ate up “Something To Talk About,” but it was the new material that stood out the most. Early in the show, he played a phenomenal new cut called “This Is That New Song” that literally gave me chills. “Don’t Ask Me, I’m Just The President” also hit just the right nerves.

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At the end of his set, he leaped up on the main speaker cabinets and insulted the people at the bar and on the periphery of the packed club, screaming obscenities and ad-libbing barbed lyrics while the stripped down band played behind him. Oddly, while insulting the mumblers, he praised the sing-every-word fans around the stage, slapping hands with them like an arena-rock demigod but maintaining the intimate feel of the club. He also managed to be gracious and insulting at the same time.

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It’s that ability to mix elements that shouldn’t mesh that makes his music and personality so intriguing. We’re lucky to have him.

(Chris McKay /


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Badly Drawn Boy Set List (Athens 11-15-03):

Set One:

 1. I Want You Back (Jackson 5 cover)
2. This Is That New Song
3. A Minor Incident
4. Don’t Ask Me, I’m Just The President
5. Easy Love
6. What Is It Now?
7. The Shining
8. Above You, Below Me
9. Stone On The Water
10. Have You Fed The Fish?
11. Magic In The Air
12. Instrumental
13. Holy Grail
14. 1 + 1 = 1

 Set Two:

 1.Once Around The Block
2. This Song
3. Walking Out Of Stride
4. Disillusion
5. Something To Talk About
6. Where Were You
7. You Were Right
8. Fall In A River
9. 40 Days & 40 Fights
10. Everybody’s Stalking
11. Walkman Demo # 2


12. Pissing In The Wind