010 – Sacre Noir Summer Tour (Day Seven / Gig 3)

Posted: August 14, 2011 in Uncategorized

Friday 12th August 2011, London
Having said goodbye to the kitty cat and packed our bags there was an air of excitement around heading off to London on Friday morning. Despite the early hour and heaviness of the bags, we were ready to “rock & roll”.
I think as a singer I’ve had it way too easy in terms of taking gear to gigs over the years…I remember when all I used to take to rehearsals and gigs was a mic. However you can’t manipulate & effects sounds live without at least a couple of Kaoss pads and desks, right?
Anyway, we got the train from Waverly to London Euston, First Class, just before 11am. This will be my first time in London & was the first time I’d been in first class anything. It was just like a standard carriage, but with plenty of seats, free tea & coffee (with as many re-fills as you can stomach) and wi-fi on tap. Very nice indeed!
We’re staying with a family friend in Ealing so needed to get there from Euston Metro to drop off all the excess gear before heading over to Acton for the gig.

Alexis @ Euston with Luggage

Alexis @ Euston with Luggage, 12th August 2011

Mistake No 1. Got on the Metro to Amersham rather than Hammersmith, so had to change @ Baker St. Not usually a problem, but with so much luggage this seemed like an epic task. However, we made it with a little help from the lovely Londoners. Every time I came to some steps (which seemed to be at very frequent intervals) some kind young man or woman would see us and ask if I needed help and then would practically take my large hold all to the top of that section of stairs. I get the feeling that after the riots at the start of the week, everyday folks in London want to make sure they are seen as ‘good’ citizens. That they are the helpful and kind people we all believe them to be. We’ll I’m convinced!

So we get picked up @ Ealing Broadway, drop of the excess clothes etc have a wee cuppa and catch up with Joe (our host in London). Then it’s into a taxi & off to Acton for our first ever London show.
Mistake No 2. When we arrive @ the venue we head upstairs to the function suite and introduce ourselves to the engineer and promoter. They seem to be a little unorganized and not really ready for a sound check but we set up & I give the guy all the spiel about the tour and album and how this is our first ever London gig…Then he asks “So how did you find out about us?”
How very strange I thought! So I told him we’d gotten in touch with Matt (who we were yet to see) and he’d helped us arrange the date. They seemed quite happy and continued setting up. A little later I checked about the extra DI boxes we needed and set time. I was told we’d be on first (9.30pm) and could play 3 songs. This was in stark contrast to what we’d arranged with Matt; a headline slot (10.30) and a full 45 minute set, so after a bit more chat I managed to get him to let us play few more songs. At this point I’m a bit frazzled and thinking that this might all be for the best. We’ll get on, play the best tracks from the set and then be able to relax and enjoy the rest of the night.
So still waiting for a sound check and Matt to arrive we headed downstairs to do a bit of flyering to advertise the night. Looking around we noticed an engineer setting up a stage area for bands, looking very organised indeed. This was Matt Hill. This was where we were meant to be playing, not upstairs at all! Ooops.

Set Up (in the wrong venue in Acton) King's Head

Set Up (in the wrong venue in Acton)

So it’s now about 8.30pm and we’re really quite late. We go and get all the gear from the function room upstairs, explain to the other promoters (apologised, left them some CDs and gave them a wee laugh – I think).
and set ourselves up all over again in the right venue. No sound check as the first act is about to go on, but we’ll get a line check before we start & Matt seems really cool about the whole thing.

First up on the night was solo performer Paul Browse. The first few tracks in his set were instrumental electric guitar pieces, showing off his obvious skill. Cool 70’s rock style riffs with interesting runs and augmentation. I was really enjoying this. Then the next few tracks had Paul singing too, and this is where he really showed some class in lyric writing. He played a track (not yet recorded) called “It’s not like that” which I absolutely loved. Very reminiscent of Paul Westerberg (The Replacements) or Evan Dando (The Lemonheads), with a great chorus I could see becoming an anthem for today’s indie kids. Finally, Paul introduced the audience to his ‘friend’ Fishslice. Fishslice is a piece of wood, a fishslice, which Paul went onto use when playing his guitar. Honestly, it was amazing! Obviously inspired by Jimmy Page and his violin bow, Paul’s final track was so well executed. You can listen to Paul’s marvellous guitar skills @

Next up we had 4-piece rock/blues outfit 24 Knots. Quite cool tracks really, at times a bit grungy; rough & ready & at others a bit country. You can check out some of their tracks on their Facebook Page. About half way through their set our good friend Tosh turned up and as it’s been over a year since we’ve seen him we were a bit pre-occupied catching up & didn’t really pay attention to track names, but it was all good.

24 Knots @ The King's Head, Acton

24 Knots @ The King's Head, Acton - 12th August 2011

And then it was our turn to get set-up & after a quick line check we were off. We played the full set (13 songs) and got a great response from the locals and other band too. It all sounded great on stage and Matt seemed quite happy saying we’d be welcome back again, which is always a good sign. I think that ‘For Herself’ with the mini keyboard went down really well, folk seemed to quieten down a bit and that’s always a nice thing to achieve. As always the gig it’s self passes by so quickly, but it feels great to be able to say we’ve played in London and they liked it.

Sacre Noir @ The King's Head, Acton

Sacre Noir @ The King's Head, Acton - 12th August 2011

A nice quiet weekend is now in order and then off to The Vibe Bar in Brick Lane on Monday. So far this is the gig that mates in London seem to be impressed we’ve got, so I can’t wait to get there and check it out. As we’re playing at the ‘Plugged in Switched on’ event and it’s only going to be a 20 minute set, we’re thinking about doing it without drums…all will be revealed.

…and then we’ll be off to see what the French music lovers make of our sounds – woop woop

  1. […] my irregular blog, here’s my first thoughts about this tracks, recorded in an earlier blog: Summer Tour Day 7 / Gig 3 The track is ‘It’s Not Like That’ by a great London-based artist called Paul […]

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