008 – Sacre Noir Summer Tour (Day One / Gig 1)

Posted: August 7, 2011 in Uncategorized

Saturday August 6th, Edinburgh
The day has finally arrived when I can say “this is the first date of our summer tour…” It’s been a long time coming. To be honest I feel it’s probably about 10 years later than I’d hoped as a young child sitting in front of the TV watching TOTP, and even that would have made me ‘the wrong side of 20’ in the eyes of the industry. Thankfully the music industry has moved on since I was a wee girl and now being ‘the wrong side of 30’ doesn’t seem like such a big deal.
The tour has been in the planning for almost a year, taking inspiration from my honeymoon travelling round Europe. I really wanted to get Sacre Noir out of Edinburgh and see what kind of reaction we’d get elsewhere. So I started by randomly sending out CDs to all the really cool venues across Europe that I’d seen on my travels; La Machine du Moulin Rouge (Paris), Melkweg (Amsterdam), The Koko Club (London) etc. with a nice letter asking if we could come and play.
Not getting much of a response I turned to my good friend (and music mogul of the future) Miss L and asked for some advice. She sat with me for a few hours and we worked out a strategy for getting some gigs and more exposure. There were so many great ideas that came from that session I’ll have schemes to last a while yet. The ones that worked however were mainly related to targeting the right audience and right venues (and not just the really cool venues I really wanted to play).
So with that in mind we set about booking some gigs again and as you can see we managed to get a few dates at some very cool venues indeed!

Summer Tour Flyer

Sacre Noir Summer Tour Flyer 2011

So the day begins with a bit of online promotion & the hope of getting at least a small gathering to “the first date of our summer tour”. I say “summer”, but it’s pouring in Edinburgh, and with the Fringe Festival punters in town & a Hibs game just finishing it is incredibly busy & takes us almost 45 minutes to get into town.
Once we reach Lothian Road it’s time to drop the first load of gear off @ the venue for the night (Tea Tree Tea) and then off to Red Dog Music to discuss PA Speakers with the lovely Dave T, and then into The Academy of Music & Sound to borrow some leads and mic stands.
We must say a massive thanks to everyone at both Red Dog & The Academy for all their support, it really is appreciated and will not be forgotten (look out for postcards & gifts).
Three more trips from the Grassmarket to Bread Street later and we’re done, soaking wet and ready for a hot cup of tea/coffee – which is uncanny as that’s just what we got! I might try to make that a tour constant – a cup of tea for set up & sound check.
A gig at Edinburgh’s finest independent Tea shop might seem a bit odd, but the owners Drew & Jamie are good friends of ours and Tea Tree Tea is a very cool place to hang out! Great tea & coffee selection plus great staff – sounds better than most venues. However, I am starting to realise the full value of a good venue (with back-line) and promoters (with friends/contacts) – doing it all on your own is very hard work indeed. But we get set up, sound checked and we’re ready to rock. One joy of putting on your own events is the freedom to book acts that you genuinely like & first up is the lovely Hannah Eddington a.k.a The Batonist. If you’ve read some of my previous blogs you may be aware that I really like this girl and her brand of Goth/Electro tuneage is right up my street. Also Hannah is leaving the country soon and heading back to the USA so it was a great opportunity to see her perform again before she goes. I felt Hannah delivered her most composed performance to date & her vocals soared above the music in a delicate and haunting fashion. A few old classics in the set were peppered with a cover of ‘Shalott’ by Emilie Autumn & a couple of new tracks, that I hadn’t heard before but really enjoyed. I wish Hannah all the very best in the future (whatever it may hold for her) and look forward to hearing more new music from The Batonist soon.

The Batonist - Tea Tree Tea

The Batonist - Tea Tree Tea (6th August 2011 - Sacre Noir Summer Tour)

Next up we had a very special acoustic set from Sweep Across The Horizon‘s vocalist Dan & drummer Chris. I love these guys when they deliver their full on rock show – loud & pounding tracks with catchy choruses and great melodies, so was really looking forward to hearing the tracks stripped back, and I was not disappointed. Chris was sporting his Cajon and doing a pretty good job of supporting the acoustic guitar and vocal arrangement of the tracks. A really dynamic performance that showed me once again what a talented vocalist Dan Miller is and what great songs the Sweep boys have got. They are currently promoting their debut album ‘King of the Skies’ available now, with great tracks including “Brand New Day’ & “Soldiers”.
Sweep Across Horizons - Tea Tree Tea

Sweep Across Horizons - Tea Tree Tea (6th August 2011 - Sacre Noir Summer Tour)

As the summer dates are book-ended by Edinburgh shows we have the marvelous Phil Lock with us on guitar and we’re all ready to show the people what we’ve got! Just time for a quick picture, outside, in the rain, amongst the Festival folk!

L-R: Chris & Dan (Sweep Across Horizons), Alexis, Carrie & Phil (Sacre Noir), Drew (Tea Tree Tea) & Hannah (The Batonist)

L-R: Chris & Dan (Sweep Across Horizons), Alexis, Carrie & Phil (Sacre Noir), Drew (Tea Tree Tea) & Hannah (The Batonist)

It’s now just after 9.40pm and we’re about to go on…I’m feeling a little sick. I always get a bit nervous before gigs, but I think this is more just a realisation that we’re really doing this whole ‘tour’ thing. As always the performance went by really quickly – I really enjoyed the version of ‘For Herself’ with mini keyboard and electric guitar (complete with E-Bow thanks to Stevie C) – it’s really sweet and a bit of a quiet moment in the set. And the audience seemed to love the Savage Sound System tracks (as always) so for them ‘Mobile Mafia’ was probably the best track of the night.
You can check out a live performance of ‘Mobile Mafia’ from a gig last year @

(The EP Nothing Here Works, But Your Works is available on request for free download)

By 11.30pm everyone has moved on for the night and we’re getting into a taxi with most of the gear (we’ll sort the rest tomorrow) and with that “the first date of our summer tour” is all but over. Next stop The Stairway Club in Glasgow on Wednesday – without Phil, but still full of cheer!
Till the next time – keep on keeping on.


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