Archive for the ‘Corbridge Festival’ Category

Wednesday 6th August – The Central Bar, Gateshead
After a couple of eventful days off back in Scotland (being stung on the neck by a wasp and the shock of returning to work) it was time to get our selves together again for the next show… our first ever show in Gateshead.
We are really excited to have arranged a couple of dates with Jen Stevens & The Hiccups this summer and this is the first of those (not including The Corbridge Festival) on their home turf; the North East of England. We chose The Central Bar as it’s a lovely venue close to the Metro station and it has a good reputation for live music. The first act on this evening was Ben aka Felix Police; a one man band with his guitar and a bunch of pedals providing bass, beats, harmonies and other cool sounds. I’ve seen loads of acts like this over the years (KT Tunstall and Ed Sheeran do it well), and sometimes the sound can be limited / lacking but not tonight. I really liked his style especially the vocal harmonies and the fullness of his arrangements. Felix Police is a new act (this was the 3rd live outing) but I expect we’ll be hearing more from this fine young man in the future. The overall sound was like a mix between Tenacious D & Beck with a little Pixies thrown in for good measure. You can check out my favourite track from tonight’s set “The Ants & the Elephants” on SoundCloud.

Felix Police live at The Central Bar, Gateshead

Felix Police live at The Central Bar, Gateshead


Next up we played a 30 minutes set which included all 3 singles feature on the current LP (She Can’t Take It, Rue Crimée and the forthcoming release It’s Too Late Now) plus the two new unreleased tracks that have gone down so well with audiences this tour (Heartache and Rebels & Loners). We had no sound problems this evening in fact everything was perfect (thanks to Tony for sorting everything out for us) and no sooner had we started playing when the set was over. The audience in Gateshead was very polite and reserved in comparison to the crowds in London and Paris; very attentive and seemingly enjoying our material but as it was a sit-down show it was hard to tell just how “into it” they really were, however I got the feeling if they didn’t like us we’d soon have heard about it.
Sacre Noir live at The Central Bar, Gateshead (photo by S. Gray)

Sacre Noir live at The Central Bar, Gateshead (photo by S. Gray)


Again it was lovely to see some familiar faces in the audience tonight. Special thanks to Sarah & Marie for coming out to support original music (always a pleasure ladies).
The final act of the evening was Jen Stevens & The Hiccups; I had forgotten just how tight this band are live! Fabulously catchy tunes, lushous harmonies, fantastic musicianship, big smiles (Adam) and great hair (Jen) – they’ve got it all. I truly love Jen’s voice; like a cross between Stevie Nicks and Gwen Stefani, it’s rocky and soulful with lovely technical moments to catch out the vocal geeks like myself. We can’t wait to introduce them to a Scottish audience this weekend, I’m sure they’ll have a ball. They’ve got a really commercial sound and their songs wouldn’t sound out of place on Radio One: check out their track “The Sound” on SoundCloud.
Jen Stevens & The Hiccups live at The Central Bar, Gateshead

Jen Stevens & The Hiccups live at The Central Bar, Gateshead


Sorry to have missed the second half of their set tonight, but as the last train back to Edinburgh leaves Newcastle before 10pm, we headed off into the night to the sounds of the Hiccups and made our way back to bonnie Scotland once more.

Our next show is in Glasgow and again we’ve been working with House Cat Promotions to arrange this event. It’s a great line up – not to be missed!
I discovered Made Of Glass thanks to local Edinburgh musician Steve Heron (best recommendation of the year – thanks Mr H) and they have become a firm favourite on my current playlist. A new(ish) duo based in Edinburgh, Nikki & Duncan are about to set the scene alight! As soon as I heard them I knew they were the kind of band I’d love & set about arranging a show together pretty much straight away. I was super pleased when they agreed to play this show with us in Glasgow as I think they’ll make a great addition to the night. Also on the bill for this show is Chrissy Barnacle – new to me but I’m loving the material online and again can’t wait to see the live show. I hate it when I discover a new act I love, then have to wait ages for their live show to come to Scotland. This way I get to see two great new acts in one night (and we’re sharing the stage) – bonus.
Check out the links above for all bands, then come along to the live show… when it’s done it’s done!

House Cat Promotions poster

House Cat Promotions poster

NEXT SHOW
Summer Tour 2014: Gig 10 Friday 8th August @ The Beresford Lounge (Glasgow)
House Cat Promotions Presents Chrissey Barnacel / Made Of Glass / Sacre Noir / Jen Steven & The Hiccups

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Gig 2 – Saturday 12th July @ The Corbridge Festival
The sun was shining, the weather was sweet and Sacre Noir were packed and ready to hit the street. We were really excited to be playing our first show in the North East of England and stoked that are headlining the Alternative Stage (hosted by The Academy of Music & Sound, Gateshead) at The Corbridge Festival. We’ve got to say a massive thank you to their out-going manager Kathryn for inviting us to play and also to Sarah and Michael for looking after us on the day. The stage was set up to show off some of the young musicians who have been studying with AMS this year plus the addition of Lesley Roley, Jen Stevens & The Hiccups and Sacre Noir who joined the line up as ‘working musicians’.

We set off early, as it’s approximately a 2-hour drive from our house to the festival site. The bands on the Alternative Stage were due to start at 12noon and we wanted to show our support for everyone.
The drive down from Scotland was lovely and the good weather seemed to be increasing the closer we got to our destination. We arrived with plenty of time to spare as everything was running a little late, so we sought out a pre-gig cup of tea and opted for Tick-a-Tea-Boo’s – a pop up vintage tea room. The tea was great, served in a proper pot with matching cups and saucers… oh yes we are very rock ‘n’ roll in this band. Not Alexis – he had a black coffee!

Tick a tea boo at Corbridge Festival

Tick a tea boo at Corbridge Festival

We headed back to the Alternative Stage in time to see the first act starting. The student acts from AMS, Gateshead were all really good and both Lesley & JS&TH delivered great sets, before we took to the stage at 6pm. When is was time for Sacre Noir to take to the stage, we pretty much just plugged-in, checked things were making sounds and started playing. This was not a good idea and as a result the on stage sound for the first few songs in our set was, well lets just say, not right. We had numerous problems during our 40 minute set, including the kick drum pedal falling apart, the wrong settings lined up for the live loops tracks and random acts of feedback, however the reaction from the crowd was great and the feedback from people we spoke to afterwards was very favourable. We received comparisons to Siouxsie And The Banshees (who I love) and Space Tribe (who I’ll check out) alongside some future gig offers and a free can of cider, so I guess the front of house sound was much better than the monitor mix we were getting on stage. So apart from a few sound problems on the day, almost everything ran as expected at the Alternative Stage – a resounding success.
As we packed up our gear we chatted with the people signing up for our mailing list, only to discover that two different sets of friends came along to check us out after hearing us when leaving the nearby clubhouse. A similar thing happened at our first show of this years tour, we managed to coax a few students into the live room at The Roxy when they overhead us on their way to the toilet and were intrigued. One of the things I love about Sacre Noir is that there is no assumptions or expectations about how we should sound, and I guess that’s why people find it difficult to put us into a genre box or really put their finger on what it is they like about our sound. We received a lovely comment from one of the students from The Academy of Music & Sound, Gateshead who said,
“really unique sound you have”.
There is nothing wrong with unique!

After packing up the musical equipment and setting up the tents, we headed over to the food stalls to grab something to eat (noodles all round), spent some time playing with bubbles and Michael’s lovely kids (George & Grace) before it was time to head over to the main stage for Rozalla’s set.

Phil and his new friend George

Phil and his new friend George

Rozalla’s set was pretty much the highlight of my weekend. She delivered a blistering performance and even got in a really cool cover version of R.E.M’s ‘Losing My Religion’ before giving her adoring crowd what they really wanted… ‘Everybody’s Free (to feel good)’ – the crowd went mad and for me, dancing in front of the stage with my hands in the air, was like stepping back into my youth for those 3 and a half minutes. I loved every minute of her set and am so pleased to have seen her live.

Rozalla - Live at Corbridge Festival

Rozalla – Live at Corbridge Festival

The two remaining acts on the main stage had to contend with the weather as the rain began to show its head. There also seemed to be a lot of chat about the ‘worlds fastest waltzers’, which looked like a lot of fun if not a little crazy. I gave them a wide berth and we hung out in the marquee listening to Ball-Zee and Big Country. As the night drew on the rain grew heavier so we called it a night.

Sunday 13th July
The next morning was not so sunny. The weather had turned sour and we woke up in a little puddle – the tent had leaked! Tired and a little damp, with the rain still pouring and the debris from last nights party all around, we packed up the remainder of our things, grabbed a cup of tea then started the journey home.

Corbridge - the morning after the night before

Corbridge – the morning after the night before

By the time we arrived back in Edinburgh both Alexis & I had been sick (travel / motion and lack off sleep I think) but the sun was once again shining and our arrival home was shortly followed by showers and a very lazy day, before watching the world cup final in the evening. I’m sure our friends in Berlin will be celebrating for many a night to come.

NEXT SHOW
Summer Tour 2014: Gig 3 Thursday 17th July @ Bannerman’s Bar, Edinburgh
Terminal Gods / dressmaker / Sacre Noir / The Omega Corridor

EVENT LINK

Terminal Gods / dressmaker / Sacre Noir / The Omega Corridor

Terminal Gods / dressmaker / Sacre Noir / The Omega Corridor

Sacre Noir

Sacre Noir


Friday 4th July
Started the day feeling very tired after not getting back from our Glasgow gig the previous night til it was actually this morning. After a little work, lunch at Lebowski’s on Morrison Street and an afternoon nap I started to feel a little human again. We watched through the previous nights gig footage and decided on a few tweaks to the track list for the ‘duo chilled sets’ and also a little mixing / balance work on a couple of the newer additions to the set, but overall it seemed to go fairly well.

Saturday 5th July
We spent the day re-ordering set lists, practicing the guitar vocal sets and packaging up the physical promo packs, sending out the digital promo packs made for my first Saturday off in over 3 months, a pretty busy day.

Sunday 6th July
Having finally decided on the set lists for all the remaining shows of the tour we pack up the gear and head off to have a practice at a little place we use on Jane Street.

AlexisSs - Sacre Noir rehearsal @ Jane Street

AlexisSs – Sacre Noir rehearsal @ Jane Street

Monday 7th July – Wednesday 9th July
Work stuff: trying to wrap up the loose ends before we hit the road
Tour stuff: finalised some extra dates for the summer including an in-store performance at Elvis Shakespeare during the Edinburgh Fringe (22/8/14) and the video launch party for “It’s Too Late Now” (28/8/14)… more information coming soon.

Phil - still shot from "It's Too Late Now" music video

Phil – still shot from “It’s Too Late Now” music video

Thursday 10th July
Wedding Anniversary: Alexis & Carrie got married 4 years ago and celebrated with lunch at our favourite Vegetarian restaurant in Edinburgh.

A&C: Anniversary kiss

A&C: Anniversary kiss

Friday 11th July
Duo rehearsal at Bainbridge Music (Iona Street) arranging sets for our shows in Paris & London. We spent a lot of time running through the live loop tracks & the older songs we’ve re-introduced to the sets for these shows. It’s nice to have a lot of original material to choose from so we can really prepare sets that show off the range of writing styles we cover.

AlexisSs – Sacre Noir rehearsal @ Iona Street

AlexisSs – Sacre Noir rehearsal @ Iona Street


This evening we packed up in preparation for tomorrows show at The Corbridge Festival; Gear, Stage Clothes, Tent & Sleeping Bags, Food, Drink and a bunch of other stuff – can’t wait! So many great bands on during the day and it’s our first gig in the North East of England, so hoping to make some new fans.
Corbridge Festival 2014

Corbridge Festival 2014

Corbridge info

Corbridge info

Gig 1 – Thursday 3rd July @ The Roxy 171, Glasgow

AlexisSs at The Roxy 171, Glasgow

AlexisSs at The Roxy 171, Glasgow


The first gig of the Sacre Noir summer tour 2014 was as a duo at The Roxy 171 in Glasgow, “a fantastic wee intimate space for live music”. The bar upstairs is really lovely with super friendly staff and a cool menu, which included Buckfast Stew. We have been working with HouseCat Promotions when booking shows for this summer in Glasgow and the booker, Charly, did a fantastic job with the line up for this show. First up was the fantastically talented Josephine Sillars, a singer-songwriter based in Glasgow.
Josephine Sillars

Josephine Sillars


Josephine turned up with her Yamaha and an ironing board; instantly I knew I was going to love this girl. I’d watched her music video ‘Hurricanes’ online so I was expecting a pretty good show, but had under estimated just how good a pianist she is. Her set showed off her composition skills to the max and despite being really tired (she had just moved flat) she sang as well as she played. Being a literature student, her songs, as you’d perhaps expect reflected her ‘nerdy’ side, with lyrics inspired by Seamus Heaney, random meetings and werewolves. To be fair, Josephine has been working on the Glasgow based web series ‘Cops and Monsters’ and the werewolf song is from that project, but she is a self-declared nerd and her lyrics are well worth paying attention too. My favourite track from her set was ‘You (Are Not The Reason)’ which you can listen to on her tumblr page.

Next up was Megan Airlie with her ukulele, playing a mixture of original material and covers. She was joined for the last two songs in her set by a guitarist and percussionist, which was lovely and really provided a nice contrast to the rest of her set.

Megan Airlie

Megan Airlie


Her voice is mature far beyond her years and her cover choices alluded to her musical inspirations; 60’s surf pop (Beach Boys) and jazz (Nat King Cole). Her cover of L-O-V-E was really nice and my favourite track from her set.
Then we had an acoustic show from Model Jet Pilot, who are usually a very noisy 5-piece. We got treated to two boys (Ross & Gordon), two guitars, some catchy tunes and slick harmonies, I really think they should record an acoustic EP but will also make an effort to catch there full band show at some point, as I imagine it would be right up my street.
Model Jet Pilot (duo)

Model Jet Pilot (duo)


They played a mixture of old tracks from their ‘Welcome To The Future’ LP and a few new ones too. Their online presence seems to be pretty limited but you can check them out on bandcamp.

So finally it was time for Sacre Noir to take to the stage. We started the set with a new, unreleased track ‘Heartache’ and finished with the next single ‘It’s Too Late Now’ and filled in the rest with a mixture of tracks from both LPs and even debuted a live-loop version of ‘Print Message Here’ from the Demo Recordings III EP. We played 3 unreleased tracks in total and they all felt good. ‘Rebels & Loners’ is a classic Sacre Noir ballad and ‘Afrika’ (soon to be re-named) is a more up-beat track, so they both had their own vibe to bring to the ebb and flow of this set, which I felt worked really well.

Sacre Noir on stage @ The Roxy 171 - photo by Charly Houston

Sacre Noir on stage @ The Roxy 171 – photo by Charly Houston


Our sound engineer for the evening was Neil from KIC Studios, who did an amazing job and we can’t thank both him and Charly enough for helping us have a great first night of tour.

Our next gig is as a trio with Phil on guitar at the Corbridge Festival next weekend. Set in the beautiful grounds of Tynedale Rugby Club in Corbridge, along side the live music there will be range of attractions to entertain the whole family. Headliners this year are Big Country with Rozalla and Ball-zee also on the bill.
We will be performing for The Academy of Music & Sound (around 5pm) with some other fab acts taking to that stage from midday.
There is also and acoustic stage with great acts like Talk Like Tigers (who we’ll miss due to clashing stage times) and Chris Helme (Seahorses) so once we’ve wrapped up on our side of the field we’ll need to flip a coin to see which stage we’ll end up at for the rest of the night.

NEXT SHOW:
Summer Tour 2014: Gig 2 Saturday 12th July @ Corbridge Festival
http://www.corbridge-festival.co.uk/