I’ve played a lot of gigs in my time, and I have a box of wristbands – and creeping hearing loss – to prove it. Some are great, some are awful, some are OK, and some are just a bit… well… meh. Wednesday night’s Shadow Orchestra EP launch gig at the Proud Galleries in Camden was one of those.
Don’t get me wrong – it wasn’t terrible, we played well and people enjoyed it. It’s just that a lot of things conspired together to make it a less-than-great experience. Herewith, the litany of our woes:
- Parking. Parking is the bane of my life, parking in Camden is notoriously bad, and parking near Proud is nigh-on impossible. I ended up loading in my equipment by myself, dashing back and forth with the car on a double yellow and carrying a stupidly heavy amp up a steep slope, pulling my shoulder in the process. Eventually I finally found a pay-and-display space about a mile away, which completely sucked when I had to go and rescue the car in the middle of the night after the gig.
- Poor communication from the promoters. I’m not going to go into details, but suffice to say, it’s a bit crap to ask musicians to turn up at a certain time and then moan at them for “being too early” when they do.
- No backstage area or changing rooms. It’s just not that cool having to get changed and put your makeup on in the toilets, and I banged my head on the hand-dryer in the process. Hard. I still have a lump.
- Running late. Billed as headliners, we were meant to go on stage at 11.15pm. We started playing at midnight, just as most of our friends had to head off to get the last tube. I finally made it to bed some time past 2am, which sucks on a Wednesday when you have to get up for work the next day.
- Bad sound. Apparently it sounded OK from the front, but the sound on stage was painfully trebley.
That said, there were a few good things about the night.
- Amazing kebabs for dinner from Marathon Kebabs on Chalk Farm Road. Really, really tasty.
- Getting to see my friend Marianne and congratulate her on getting a first in her degree. Go Mazz!
- The cakes. I took the afternoon off work to bake for the gig, and it was well worth it. I made chocolate truffle brownies (recipe here), red velvet cakes (from Eat Me), and absolutely amazing lemon bars (from an Ina Garten recipe here – I halved it)
- Great crowd of friends and strangers, who were really appreciative. Loads of people signed up to our mailing list (want in? Just email firstname.lastname@example.org) and we gave out free copies of our new EP, Remaker. You’ll be able to buy or download it very soon – watch this space!
So, all in all not great, but OK. One to chalk up to experience and move on from. Were you there? What did you think? And did you get a cake?