acb: (jukebox)

Last night, I made a return to putting gigs on. So far, a once-off, though there may well be more gigs in the future.

I put on a gig by Laura Macfarlane (of Ninetynine), as well as Hong Kong In The 60s and Hissing At Swans, at the Betsey Trotwood in Clerkenwell. It went splendidly, despite getting off to an inauspicious start.

We had a sound engineer, a woman named Cynthia, whose presence had been organised by the venue. Whilst setting up, she noticed that the cables were dusty, and having heard that the pub had had asbestos taken out of a wall elsewhere in the building, refused to go on just in case the dust was asbestos. (Which was unlikely, as that had been elsewhere in the building, and furthermore had been completed by professionals.) So we found ourselves without a sound engineer. Luckily, the venue owner was able to get the guy who fitted the sound system to come down and set things up, after which Laura (who has done sound engineering in studios) and Tim from HK60s took turns at the mixing deck.

The bands all played excellently. Hissing At Swans had ukuleles, a drum and video projections, as well as a few new songs, and were lots of fun. Hong Kong In The 60s played what may have been their best set so far (the rendition of the intricate instrumental Garma off their free Places EP was breathtaking). And Laura was brilliant; playing a borrowed guitar, glockenspiel and Casio keyboard, she put on an amazing show, playing songs from throughout Ninetynine's career, from Super 8 and Wöekenender to the new album over beats from her iPhone. Seeing her play The Process was one of the highlights of the year for me; it instantly took me back to the Punters' Club in 2002.

Between sets, I DJed, spinning a choice of tunes falling in the spaces between indiepop, exotica, understated electropop and similar. In the middle of the set, the girl who works behind the bar asked me what my night was called; she said that she liked the sort of "twee electronica" (her words, though I'm not disputing them) I was playing. Which led me to start thinking that perhaps I should make a regular night of this.

my DJ set )
acb: (buttons)
The Pikelet gig went really well. We didn't sell out, but we filled the room comfortably, and there was a very good vibe there. People were really enjoying the music, both the support acts (Red Bulldozers and The Crisps) and Pikelet herself (the room was completely silent as she played, and when she finished each song, there was mass applause).

The acts themselves: Red Bulldozers (aka local singer-songwriter Ken Chu) was pretty good, in an understated way, though played a rather brief set, not being able to get his laptop working for some of the backings and thus doing mostly guitar-based numbers. He played quite skilfully, and should be one to watch. The Crisps were pretty good, in a slightly folky sort of way. And Pikelet was amazing to behold; she would sit down in front of the microphone, grab a floor tom, tap out a rhythm, and when the loop pedal played it back, tap out something else on a snare, or add some guitar or accordion or vocal harmonies (often in several layers), thus building up a wall of sound, which she would then sing a song over. As you can imagine, all conversation had stopped as people watched what she'd do next.

[ profile] teamwoolf came by and did an ace job at the door/merch table; thanks. Meanwhile, I spent most of the gig in the DJ booth, spinning tunes between sets.

here's what I played )

But yes, it was a great night. Anyway, for those who missed it, Pikelet's playing support for Darren Hanlon on Wednesday night; if you want a ticket, hurry, as it's going to sell out.

September 2015

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