009 – Sacre Noir Summer Tour (Day Five / Gig 2)

Posted: August 12, 2011 in Uncategorized

Wednesday 10th August, Glasgow
Getting to Glasgow’s newest venue (The Stairway Club) was an absolute joy! Step onto the train @ Edinburgh Waverly (via a pit stop @ Upper Crust for some tasty sandwiches) and off again at Glasgow Central…the venue is right next door to the Union Street exit. Greeted by a very happy chappy (despite the rain) we were shown down the ‘stairway’ and into the club. It’s possibly the nicest and cleanest venue I have ever been in, let alone played in. Having opened their doors just a week earlier, you could almost still smell the paint. A great big place and an on-stage set up that reminds me of the good old days, when you would play at The Venue in Edinburgh and get an onstage monitor mix. 6 onstage monitors and more front of house speakers and subs than you’d expect to see in your local PA shop. Another rainy day, turning into a rainy night, but I have high hopes for this gig.

The Stairway Club: “…a new live music venue and club. Working with unsigned / signed / and established bands to put on the best live music nights in Glasgow.”
With connections in all the right places (e.g Creation Records & Craig McGee’s ‘Life On Mars’) this dynamic club is due to host industry events alongside live music showcases & club nights, which I have no doubt will see The Stairway Club become a key meeting point for Industry professionals & fans alike.

The Stairway Club, Glasgow - crowd image

The Stairway Club, Glasgow

So for £5 on a very wet Wednesday, you can check out 3 live bands and have the the tunes in between selected by Gavin from Camera Obscura… what more can you ask for.

First up on the night are Glasgow based acoustic duo, Trusty & The Foe. Their set was full of beautiful guitar ballads, with intricate lyrics delivered via a cracking voice. Really clever imagery and sympathetic arrangements brings their brand of alt.folk in line with Ed Sheeran or Elliot Smith, and I’m sure this can only stand them in good stead. Barry and Paul are a pair of very talented young men indeed and I really hope we get to share a stage again sometime…perhaps I can convince them to come through to Edinburgh and play at our next Tea Tree Tea night.
Track of the night for me was “A Map To Your Heart” which you can listen to @ their Facebook Page, but I also really enjoyed their cover of ‘This Charming Man’.

We’re up next, and having discovered earlier that we had forgotten to pack a fairly key element of our set-up, I was a wee bit worried as to how our set would work. The missing element was the sound-card, which really just meant a wee switch around of outputs and cables for me, but for Alexis… no click track! Pretty major really, as everything is set up for him to play along with the click, so in turn we can stay in time with the pre-recorded beats and samples. However, with a few minor adjustments to the set after sound-check we are ready to get the show started. Kicking off with ‘Chimneys’ and into ‘Ou Est L’arret Pour Moi’ everything seems to be going great. Sounds amazing on stage and the folk seem to be digging it. Then it comes to ‘Print Message Here’ and I realize that a layer of backing vocal harmonies is missing…but with a quick click changing to the right output all is indeed well again. It sounded quite good actually, more dynamic range so I might just keep that in as part of the set. A few more songs and we’re done, finishing off with ‘Small Town Boy’ & “Spin (Another Lie)’ – both of which seemed to go down a storm. Speaking to folk afterwards is always good; collecting e-mail addressed for the mailing list, giving out free CDs and getting feedback is great. Best chat of the night came from the lovely blonde bouncer (chick) who’s commented that we reminded her of the Cocteau Twin made my day – what a compliment indeed! Doesn’t get better than that, so we decide to pack up before checking out the final band of the evening.

Mandrake Shepherd completed the nights line up. Due to record their debut album this month with Chris Gordon (Baby Chaos, Union Of Knives) and with a lot of good ‘copy’ online, I was quite looking forward to seeing this band live. They have a multi-instrumentalist line up (clarinet & vintage keyboards plus drum, bass, guitars & vocals) and counting Low, Fleetwood Mac & Sonic Youth amongst their influences, these guys looked destined to be my new favorite band. They were good – some of the layers got a bit lost (the clarinet) and they seemed a bit ‘non plus’ about the performance / delivery, but they were good! I really like the tracks that the female vocalist performed, taking the band in a bit of a shoegaze direction. A really nice juxtaposition in their set and with such a delicate voice I was drawn in & a bit more engaged. You can check them out at their Facebook Page.

So that was us & the 2nd night of our tour completed.
Outside the rain was still pouring (and inside too…there was a wee bit of flooding) and we had to get across to Queen Street to make the last train home. As the Scotland vs Denmark game was also just finishing the train was busy with happy ‘fitba’ fans and we we’re all wet together.

Alexis @ Queen Street Station, Glasgow - 10th August

Alexis @ Queen Street Station, Glasgow

Home by half midnight, emptying bags and drying out the gear, before we get sorted to head south.

Next Stop London…
Two gigs in the fine city of London.
The King’s Head, Acton – Friday 12th August
with Paul Browse and 24 Knots
and then…
The Vibe Bar, Brick Lane – Monday 15th August

This is the first time we’ve ventured out of Scotland with Sacre Noir so fingers crossed we get a good reception.

Til next time


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