Archive for the ‘Dressmaker’ Category

Saturday 29th July 2017: Gig 4: The Dublin Castle, London
with JD Kelleher | Head of Light Entertainment | The Lunar Effect

A new day in London dawns and we headed to Café du Coin on Earl’s Court Road for coffees and breakfast.
We journeyed over to Camden for lunch, stopping at the fantastic Mildred’s on Jamestown Road. Superb menu full of various cuisines, all veggie / vegan and with super quick service. We then headed over to Kentish Town to meet our good friends Bob and Lisa Duncan who were coming up from Hemel Hempstead specially to see the show tonight. We met with Bob and Lisa at The Abbey Tavern where we had played in 2016 – a great bar with lots of different rooms and areas outside.

Some things are meant to be…
Exactly 4 years ago we played at The Dublin Castle for the first time; tonight we return to support the fantastic JD Kelleher (who shares his birthday with Alexis)… this final tour is full of synchronicity!

“The Dublin Castle is a legendary pub and music venue located 2 minutes away from Camden Town tube station. It has been ran by the same family for over 28 years and features 4 live bands every night as well as a great selection of beers, ciders and wines.
But what is it that makes the Dublin Castle the long-standing centre of the indie rock universe?
Is it because it’s Madness’ birthplace? Because its stage has been graced by everyone from Blur, through Coldplay, Supergrass, The Killers, The Arctic Monkeys, Billy Bragg, etc? Is it because it was no surprise to see Amy Winehouse behind the bar serving costumers? Or Suggs? (who, mind you, tended to ignore costumers and serve himself)
Or is it because far from being just another Camden venue it has established itself as an indie rock institution?”

For us The Dublin Castle is an amazing ‘fair play’ venue with friendly locals, uber-cool staff and one of the best sound engineers in the city. We owe a huge ‘thank you’ to Tony at BugBear for supporting us and stepping in to help when one of our other London dates was cancelled due to the venue losing it’s licence (noise complaints from neighbours – boo).

Back in 2013 we played a great show at The Dublin Castle alongside the mighty dressmaker and The Oceans Above and on arrival we were pleased to see that little had changed in this classic venue. Bugbear promotions always put together a great line-up and so we were pleased to kick things off with our set mixing acoustic numbers with tracks featuring bass and beat loops from the KP3+. Once again it was great to have good friends in the audience to cheer us on and the rest of the viewing public enjoyed our sounds too.


Second on the bill were The Lunar Effect who drew inspiration from the 70s sounds of Led Zeppelin and the 13th Floor Elevators – excellent vibes and kudos to their singer for wearing a leather jacket throughout on what is one of the hottest stages in London.

Next up were Head of Light Entertainment – a quirky group featuring male and female vocals plus guitar, keys, bass and electronic drums. They had come down from Teesside for this show and demonstrated their individual sound extremely well.

Headliners for the evening were JD Kelleher and band – an amazing frontman and vocalist, JD has put together a great band around him and has some great original numbers. His cover of Love Will Tear Us Apart was his first release, and went down a storm within the set.

Homeward bound and loving life!

3rd AUGUST Sacre Noir live at Paris Lit Up Open Mic / Culture Rapide
6th AUGUST Unite & Take Over @ Le Bistrot des Artistes
8th AUGUST Follow That Muse @ Le Cave Cafe
9th AUGUST Open Secret @ Le Bistrot des Artistes

Henry’s Cellar Bar, Edinburgh – Thursday 18th September
On Thursday the 18th September 2014, the people of Scotland voted on Scottish Independence and Sacre Noir played a show to celebrate the end of this incredible campaign at Henry’s Cellar Bar with some of our favourite bands.

Referendum Meltdown Party

Referendum Meltdown Party

It was a great night although the atmosphere was edgy as everyone was nervous about the result. The first return wasn’t expected until 1am at the earliest we all enjoyed the time away from media coverage.
Sacre Noir live at Henry's Cellar Bar - September 18th 2014

Sacre Noir live at Henry’s Cellar Bar – September 18th 2014

Photo of Sacre Noir by Murray Ramone. All other photos by C.Beattie

In London tonight, our good friends Dressmaker are releasing the vinyl version of the EP ‘Glass’ so in support Alexis and Phil wore their Dressmaker t-shirts!

Alexis and Phil showing support for Dressmaker

Alexis and Phil showing support for Dressmaker

Alexis and I arrived home just before 1am and stayed up watching the results come in, growing less optimistic as the totals moved between “yes” and “no”.
I had to get a few hours sleep as I had been called for Jury Duty on the morning of Sept 19th.
I voted YES because I believe that an Independent Scotland could be a fairer, safer, more democratic country with a social conscience and a genuine sense of community.
I woke up heartbroken.
I cried for the opportunity we had lost. I cried because the bullies and liars had won the day. It would seem that this free and democratic country, in which we all live, (the United Kingdom) that we have been subject to the most disgusting media bias, backed up with propaganda, lies and fear-mongering. I know some people who voted “no” and did so for their own reasons. They were not swayed or persuaded by the fanciful promises that came within the final days of campaigning, and that’s totally cool with me. I cried for the people who voted “no” and genuinely believed the promises made by Westminster, one of which has already been broken. The Better Together / UKOK / No Thanks campaign promised in their ‘promotional’ material published on September 9th, that on “19th September: The day after a No Vote the timetable for further powers will be published as a motion before the UK Parliament. All UK Parties will support the motion.”
It is now the 22nd September and there has been no timetable published, in fact the debate has moved away from “extra powers for Scotland” and towards “extra powers for England;
Mr Milliband says “the focus should be on new powers for the English regions”
(BBC website 19th September 2014)
Mr Cameron says: “We’ve heard the voice of Scotland, but now the millions of voices of England must also be heard. The question of English votes for English laws, the so-called West Lothian question, requires a decisive answer.”
(LondonNews24 website 19th September 2014)
The message to Scotland is loud and clear; “you’ve spoken, now be quiet again.”

The scenes in George Square on the evening of Friday 19th September were disgusting and only confounded my fears of what might happen regardless of which way the country voted; anger and violence from drunk, career thugs, looking for a fight. Union Flags waving to choruses of ‘Rule Britannia’. The Guardian reported on Saturday 20th September that loyalists had attacked pro-independence supporters;
“Six arrests as young men shout loyalist slogans and racist abuse and appear to make Nazi salutes, as well as chanting Rule Britannia.”
On Sunday the Herald reported;
“Police Scotland yesterday said the number of arrests had risen to 11 for various offences including disorder, breach of the peace and vandalism.“
I’m sure this is not what anyone voted for and it certainly does not represent the fairer, safer, more democratic country with a social conscience and a genuine sense of community that I’m sure we can still achieve. This vision was shown in George Square on Saturday when thousands of bags of food were left for Needy charity campaigner Andrew Carnegie who was delivering a speech about peace.

Moving on…
In the days since the Referendum results were confirmed I have been very upset and can’t say I’m not still devastated to find my views are so out of kilter with such a large portion of the people in Scotland. I have always been a proud Scot but found myself wondering what this actually meant now. My version of “being Scottish” and my hopes for Scotland’s future, are all based on my own experiences, my upbringing, my struggles, successes and so many other factors that I’ve been exposed to over the years and these haven’t changed as a result of this vote.
I decided yesterday to do something positive and joined the Scottish Socialist Party, who I’ve supported in the booths (when possible) since I have been able to cast a vote. I thought about joining the Scottish Green Party (inspired by a friend of a friend) but in all honesty I’m a Socialist and if this referendum has taught me anything, it’s to stand up for what you believe. The Scottish Green Party (and Patrick Harvey in particular who was very visible on both TV and on the ground) were amazing throughout the Referendum campaign and I have every respect for the work they do, and I will continue to support the Greens whenever I can.
Many people have decided to take action in this way, with all three YES parties receiving thousands of new member applications in the wake of the NO result. I’m sure the future can be bright and positive for all the UK’s countries and hope that the turnout in future votes (whatever they may be for) can be as high as we saw for this important question.
I will finish this post with a quote which has brought a different light to my view of the last few days;
“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” ~ Mark Twain

Saturday 2nd August – Day Off, London
For our final day in London we went out early to make the most of our time; Celeb spotting in Soho without even trying over a coffee… Peter Capaldi (Thick of It / Dr Who), a picnic in Soho Square, an hour in Bar Italia for apple juice and a catch up with KMT (The Penny Black Remedy), free chocolate at Choccy Woccy Doo Dah (mmmm) and a chat with Ann in My Art Invest (an art share idea from Paris – investments coming soon) before heading over to Whitechapel for dinner.

Last Day Triptich 1

Last Day Triptich 1

We had made a reservation at Café Spice Namastae which is the restaurant run by Cyrus Todiwala (The Spice Boys / Celebrity Masterchef) and was possibly the best Indian food I’ve ever eaten. We started with the homemade chutneys and popadoms (all excellent, but the crab apple was the most unusual) before our ‘real’ starters arrived, then the Thalis for main, all washed down with mocktails and lassi – it was a perfect 2 hours of chatting, eating and being looked after by the fantastic staff. We left feeling very luck to have experienced such original, freshly prepared food in a fantastic atmosphere on our last night in such an exciting city.
Last Day Triptich 2

Last Day Triptich 2

Sunday 3rd August – Travel Day (London – Edinburgh)
We had a lazy Sunday morning with coffees on Pitshanger Lane before the ritual of packing, un-packing and re-packing on a travel day. Then it was off to Euston Station for our traditional meal at Ed’s diner before leaving London once more. We’ve had a great time in London staying with the super-cool Joe McG (one time flatmate of Robert Plant / designer of Black Sabbath LP covers / daughter who works at Vogue etc etc). We’ve had so much freedom whilst being looked after at the same time; BBQs in the garden and limitless tea and wee-fee… we love staying at Ealing Towers and hope we can show Joe a good time in Edinburgh if he makes it up for a show or two during the Fringe.
The train journey home was painless – no delays or problems with luggage and we arrived as expected into the madness that is The Fringe Festival.
Home Sweet Home

We still have a few shows to play & a video to launch this month, but it feels like the bulk of this tour is done and dusted.

Paris was amazing!
Thanks to; TT – for the great apartment / Pierre, Juliette, Laetitia and all the staff at La Dame De Canton / Teresa, Chakal & all the staff at AbracadaBar / Vincent and all the staff at Au Chat Noir / Dave, Lea, Ben, Leatitia & Tom for being cool / Victor at Midnight Special Records / Popper Must (Be) for a great set at Au Chat Noir / Aubry at Madoro Music Management for being the nicest person we didn’t meet (you really helped loads and we’ll be forever grateful to you for being so cool and professional) and most of all our new best friends Chloé, Ben, Ablass, Dan, Charly, Damien and Robert from AsOne – by far the best band in Paris!
Extra thanks to Chaval for the fantastic pics and to Sithara Ieng for the amazing video of our show at AbracadaBar from his “j’ai filmé pour vous” series.

London was fantastic!
Thanks to; Joe for the run of Ealing Towers / Martin / Andy Docherty and all the staff at The Village Inn for letting us hijack your acoustic show / all the “open mic’ers” we met in Putney & Ealing / Barry & Ray / Lisa & Bob / Phil M / Muir V / Tinderdust / Grand Bassam / all the staff at Power Lunches (especially their amazing sound engineer) / Andunemir for filming the show at Power Lunches and to Tom, Charles, David & Ben (dressmaker) for all their support.

Summer Tour 2014: Gig 9 Wednesday 6th August @ The Central Bar (Gateshead)

Friday 1st August @ Power Lunches, London
After catching up with some work and emails we had a pretty quiet morning; we went out for coffee / lunch and decided to just stay in Ealing and not go too far. We had coffee at Farm W5 and had a wander in the area before lunch at Cote on Ealing Green. One of the local parks is named after a harvest festival which was traditionally held on August 1st so it seemed quite fitting to spend some time there.

Lammas Park, Ealing

Lammas Park, Ealing

In the afternoon we went to St Pancras to collect Alexis’s large drum bag and then made our way over to Hackney for the gig. There had been a terrible accident at Ealing Broadway station (someone was hit by a train & killed) so there were some delays and even more people than usual. We made it to sound checks by 6pm and the night ran so smoothly that I think there may be more ‘dressmaker presents…’ shows in the future. Most musicians have a general dis-like for promoters, but if more bands put on nights like this, we’d be doing okay.
First up was Grand Bassam – a solo act for the evening as one half of the band is on holiday in Greece (popular this year as a destination it seems).
With a machine and a mic and a pedal of sorts this one man show was brutal on the eyes (due to the strobe being on for the full 25 minute set) and brilliant on the ears. Original and poetic, unusual and intriguing all at the same time, it was quite an intense performance from within the crowd.
Grand Bassam live at Power Lunches, London

Grand Bassam live at Power Lunches, London

Next up was the band I’d been most excited about play with in London; Tinderdust. From their online content I’d genuinely fallen for the concept of this act and their execution on the night was blinding. Vocalist / front-woman ‘Lovebeads’ seemed mysteriously cool and musically interesting in interviews etc and live the 3-piece band brought the music to life. They are not a copy-cat of anything, so trying to put labels on this band and draw comparisons would be silly, but for me they are one of the most original and creative musical acts I’ve discovered this year.
It’s noise music but not as I know it.
It’s electronica but not as we (Sacre Noir) do it.
Tinderdust live at Power Lunches, London

Tinderdust live at Power Lunches, London

Then it was time for us to take to the stage… with friends & family in the crowd this evening we hoped for a smooth run, but as always there were one or two technical difficulties. Nothing major and the crowd were great at putting up with my chat while we sorted things out.
The sound on stage was great (very loud and bass heavy), the audience were amazing (great reception to songs old & new) and the sweat was running off the walls by the time we’d finished.
Sacre Noir live at Power Lunches, London

Sacre Noir live at Power Lunches, London

It was great to catch up with old friends and band mates (The Duncans) as well as possible new collaborators (Mr Phil M) in London. We have made some great new friends and fans during this tour but it is always great when people you know and trust come to shows and enjoy themselves. So to have family (cousin Muir and Uncle Barry & Ray) coming along to this show was very special indeed.
This has to be one of the best nights we’ve played in London; great acts on the bill and hosted by the coolest band in town – we went home feeling very lucky indeed.

George Orwell one wrote of London “it was queer after Paris; everything was so much cleaner and quieter and drearier.”
Well George if you could see her now – after Paris we found London more dirty & noisy, and I can only imagine London being dreary if you don’t know the right people… we have had a fantastic time in London this year and it has been great to catch up with dressmaker too; can’t wait to have them play in Scotland again.

Summer Tour 2014: Gig 9 Wednesday 6th August @ The Central Bar (Gateshead)
With Jen Stevens & The Hiccups

Sunday 27th July – Day Off, Paris
After the success of the Paris leg of this year’s summer tour and some much needed sleep, we went into the 10th Arr. & had brunch in a lovely bar called ‘Swinging Londress’. It was great value (quiche, salad, eggs, rice & olives, bread, juice, coffee & dessert for €12), with great service and in a really nice location too.

Sunday Brunch in Paris

Sunday Brunch in Paris

Later in the day we went back to Au Chat Noir as I left my hat & mask the previous night after our show, before heading out into the suburbs for a BBQ with friends and in the evening we ate at an American style café.
Paris street art & AlexisSs

Paris street art & AlexisSs

Having had a pretty lazy day, we went back to the apartment to discover that a local music fan had filmed our show from Friday night at AbracadaBar and uploaded the full set to YouTube. Although we always record our rehearsals and live shows to watch back and evaluate, the angle is usually from the side of the stage and it’s often more like watching again from your own viewpoint rather than that of the audience. As this was all from the audience’s view it provided us with a little insight into the delivery and performance aspect of a Sacre Noir show, which was really nice.

We were really pleased with our set after the show and having watched it back we were pleased to see that everything did indeed sound & look just as great out front. The Tour de France finished today & apart from all the fans in polka dot tops, we managed to miss the whole thing. We were in Paris at the same time 4 years ago (honeymoon) and saw the final sprint down the Champs Elyssee, which was really cool, but I do remember having to walk the long way round the city as many of the streets and roads were closed off, so we were keen to avoid that this time.

Monday 28th July – Day Off, Paris (Alexis’s birthday)
As with all birthdays, I was more excited than Alexis today, but after a quick call from his mum & dad, we went out for the day.

Paris Metro

Paris Metro

Starting with a trip to the Albert Khan gardens and photography exhibition, which involved 3 changes on the Metro. When we got there we discovered that it was closed on Mondays, but as we found ourselves in an unfamiliar and a nice part of town, we decided to stay for a coffee, and after a trip to the supermarket we ate our picnic there too. Keen to spend some time in a ‘green space’ today, we went over to the park Andre Citroen (on the site of his old car factory).
Paris park

Paris park

It was really lovely & peaceful in the park, so we stayed there for a while then went back into town for a spot of shopping near Montmartre.
"I love you"

“I love you”

In the evening we ate at a local Indian restaurant, which was really lovely. It can be very difficult going out for food in Paris as a vegetarian, but thankfully some national cuisines can always be relied upon to provide lots of options.
Back in the apartment for our last night in Paris before midnight (this has been rare on this trip), we caught up with some emails and watched TV and had some birthday cake.
Birthday cake

Birthday cake

It really has been a great trip and we’ll have to make a special post for all the “thank-yous” at the end of the tour.

Tuesday 29th July – Travel Day (Paris – London)
Got up early and headed out for coffee before packing the bags and heading into for lunch near GDN. We also managed to find time for some cake before leaving Paris.
Our train back to London was just after 3pm, getting into St Pancras before 5pm. It was raining when we left Paris, but the sun was shining when we arrived in London. We made it back to Ealing in time for a quick cuppa and a change of clothes before going out to The Village for a small acoustic show with Andy Docherty and friends. We met Andy last year when we played at Power’s Bar in Kilburn (sadly gone now).
Andy (a fellow Scot) is running the open mic at this nice pub on Pitshanger Lane, bringing some of his very talented friends into the leafy suburbs of Ealing. Tonight, as well as Andy and ourselves, one of the other acts who performed was a fantastically talented young lady called Jai Blue – she has a stunning voice and managed to bring the crowd to silence with her beautiful voice and lovely lyrics. Her first song was about her relationship with her mum (who “didn’t raise no quitter”) and told a story of strength and trust – just beautiful. There were a few first timers to the open mic scene but everyone had a great night and the crowd was very supportive.

Jai Blue at The Village Inn (Ealing)

Jai Blue at The Village Inn (Ealing)

The Village Inn is a lovely bar with really great staff (super friendly and full of fun) and I’m sure their ‘acoustic night’ will go from strength to strength. Andy finished the evening with a cover of ‘Hey Laura’ by Gregory Porter, which was a very classy way to end the evening.

Wednesday 30th July – Day off in London
“So I went and sat in Crystal Palace, by the plastic dinosaurs”… and all because of some lyrics in a Brett Anderson song. The park was beautiful & the dinosaurs (which aren’t plastic) were really cool. They pre-date Darwin’s ‘The Origin of Species’ and are really quite different from the more contemporary versions. The song “To The Winter” makes the park sound bleak and dark and lonely, but on a beautiful sunny day, with kids running and playing everywhere and families in small boats in the pond, it was anything but bleak.

Crystal Palace Park

Crystal Palace Park

In the afternoon we went to Camden and had coffee by the lock. I love Camden! It really is one of the most vibrant areas of London with a great mix of bars and cafés and strange sights like the DJ Granddad (who entertained the crowds by playing dance track while his friends did a strange dance routine (if you can call it a routine)… it was very funny.
"People are strange, when you're a stranger"

“People are strange, when you’re a stranger”

We also discovered the ‘Edinburgh’ area of Camden (near Parkway) which is home to a pub called the ‘Edinboro Castle’ and streets called Holyrood Court and Northbridge schools…. Very funny for us natives.
The Edinboro Castle, Camden

The Edinboro Castle, Camden

In the evening we went back to Ealing for a BBQ in the garden to make the most of the beautiful weather.

Thursday 31st July – Day off in London
We went out early in the morning to Holland Park which is really stunning.
Just before you get to the park there is a statue of St Volodymyr of Ukraine with a tribute to those who have recently lost their lives in the recent conflict. It was very emotional reading the stories of how these young men were found or killed, and some are still missing (since March this year).

St Volodymyr of Ukraine

St Volodymyr of Ukraine

Inside Holland Park there are a few peacocks that live there and they were really cool to see up close – very calm and quite friendly with the public and squirrels. The park has a beautiful Japanese garden and loads of natural play areas for kids. It is a really relaxing space in the city, I think because there is no cycling, skating allowed and dogs have to stay on a lead, and as a consequence everything seems very controlled.
AlexisSs in Holland Park

AlexisSs in Holland Park

After a picnic in the park we headed over to Hackney to catch up with friends, Barry & Ray. We started off in their local pub, The Cock Tavern then heading out for food at the Hackney Bureau. Both the craft beer and cider at the pub were lovely and in the bistro the food was simple and fresh. It was great to get together and have a good chat before they gig tomorrow evening when I’m sure Alexis & I will be in ‘show mode’ and not really able to spend as much time with them as we’d like to.
at Barry & Ray's in Hackney

at Barry & Ray’s in Hackney

Summer Tour 2014: Gig 8 Friday 1st August @ Power Lunches (London)
dressmaker presents: Sacre Noir (Dark Female Lo-Fi from Scotland), Introverts,
Tinderdust, Grand Bassam

Saturday 26th July @ Au Chat Noir, Paris
Feeling very tired after yesterday’s excitement, we got up late and after a coffee at the bar downstairs went into town for lunch at a curry house near Gare Du Nord, which was just what the doctor ordered. Well fed and feeling a little more human it was time to head back to the apartment and get our selves together for tonight’s show.

graffiti at GDN

graffiti at GDN

We arrived at Au Chat Noir and set up our equipment early as we are doing everything ourselves this evening (door, sound, promotion etc) and we were very pleased when the guys from AsOne arrived to help with the balance. It’s always difficult to be the musician and sound engineer at the same time but because we’d played together last night both bands could help each other (and the bass player from AsOne is a sound engineer for TV & Film so this was a great advantage). Our support act for this evening is a local musician who goes by the moniker of Popper Must (Be). A friend of a friend, he has kindly agreed to join us for this show after we had to cancel our original choice a few weeks ago. His music is new to me but having listened online, Alexis & I were both very impressed with his alt.folk style. He played a set of original material with a cover of “Nights in White Satin” which was amazing! His performance was rich in dynamic range and his lyrics are full of emotion and honesty. He is the kind of artist that makes you pay attention and he really draws you in to his performance.
Popper Must (Be)

Popper Must (Be)

Next up was AsOne, and after our show together last night we were really looking forward to seeing them again. We were not disappointed. Just like the previous night they played a full on set of trip-hop sounds and once again we were blown away! Unlike last night (when I was a little nervous) I was able to really enjoy their set and from the back of the room, beside the cash desk, I danced away to the whole set and tried to pick up some vocal jazz tips from their fantastic vocalist, Chloe.
The crowds gather from AsOne

The crowds gather from AsOne

Then it was our turn to take to the stage for our final show in Paris for this tour. With a mixture of excitement and sadness we played a heavier set than in AbracadaBar and again everyone seemed to really enjoy our show.
Sacre Noir @ Au Chat Noir - photo by Chacal Fréville

Sacre Noir @ Au Chat Noir – photo by Chacal Fréville

We are really keen to work with AsOne again & outside the bar after the gig we talked about future collaborations, remixes and tours together. We have had a fantastic time in Paris, playing in some great venues and making great new friends as well as getting to catch up with old ones. Now it is time for a few days off in this beautiful city before our next show in London, which we are really excited about.
dressmaker presents: Sacre Noir (Dark Female Lo-Fi from Scotland), Introverts, Tinderdust, Grand Bassam

dressmaker presents: Sacre Noir (Dark Female Lo-Fi from Scotland), Introverts, Tinderdust, Grand Bassam

Friday 18th July
After the excitement of having Dressmaker & Terminal Gods in Edinburgh, we were feeling very tired but thankfully we didn’t have much to do before we hit the road tomorrow. We managed to fit in lots of packing (and re-packing) of clothes and stage clothes, stock, posters, promos and musical gear.

Saturday 19th July
Today we’re off to London!

Ready. Set. Time to go...

Ready. Set. Time to go…

There were no delays or problems at all on the way and even though it was raining for the entire five and a half hour journey, when we arrived at London Euston the sun was shining and everyone was suddenly very stylish. When we arrived we headed over to St. Pancras to send the large drum bag to Paris via Euro Despatch and then it was time to head over to our lodging in Ealing.
Sacre Noir in Ealing

Sacre Noir in Ealing

We have a show at The Duke’s Head in Putney tomorrow evening, so decided to have a meal at lovely Italian on Pitshanger Lane and enjoy our first night in London.

Thursday 17th July @ Bannerman’s Bar, Edinburgh
We’ve all be really excited about this show for a few months now. Alexis and I played a show with Dressmaker last summer at The Dublin Castle in Camden and we were both utterly blown away by them. It just happened that this gig was their very first and as you can see from my blog after that gig, I was sure they’d be a force to be reckoned with.
BLOG POST 054 – Summer Tour 2013

I hate to say “I told you so” but … One year later they have mastered their live show (less crazy but somehow more chaotic), they have a fantastic EP under their belt (Glass) and every blogger in London seems to be cooing over their very being (Vice are big fans). This month they have taken to the road with the Terminal Gods for a bunch of UK shows and after a successful show in Glasgow’s fantastic 13th Note last night, Dressmaker are now in Edinburgh.

We (Alexis) booked Bannerman’s as the venue for a number of reasons; location, value for money, quality of sound engineer and perhaps the point that clinched the deal, they have recently re-decorated the band flat and with 8 touring musicians to house, this seemed like an amazing opportunity to offer them all a decent space to stay.

Bannerman's Bar, Edinburgh

Bannerman’s Bar, Edinburgh

Load-in and sound check was between 5pm and 7pm and by 8pm the first act of the evening took to the stage.
The Omega Corridor, one of our favourite Edinburgh bands, had agreed to open the show for us, playing a mixture of tracks from their new EP ‘Local Anaesthetic’ and their up-coming album.
I really love Andrew’s guitar sound, always epic but somehow understated at the same time. Stephen’s lyrics are dark and self-deprecating and with the addition of Euan (2nd guitar) and Frazer (drums) their sound continues to grow. I always feel that their brand of post-rock deserves more attention and urge you all to go check out their music on SoundCloud.

The Omega Corridor - live at Bannerman's Bar, Edinburgh

The Omega Corridor – live at Bannerman’s Bar, Edinburgh

Sacre Noir were up next and after having had such a problem-free sound check we were really looking forward to playing. The make-up artist who we’ve been working with for the Sacre Noir music videos had come along, and not only is she a dab-hand with a brush and some fake lashes, but she has done a great job at promoting us to her friends and has even brought some with her to the gig. Erin Culley make-up artist and promoter extraordinaire… we love you!
The bass sounds fired out of the sub-woofers with the most impressive low-end growl I’ve heard for a long time. The crowd danced, the drinks flowed and everyone seemed to have a good time – job done!

Live picture by Gabby Stone Photography

Live picture by Gabby Stone Photography

Next up was the mighty Dressmaker who delivered a blistering set and made a whole bunch of new fans. Their stage show is frantic and new drummer Ben (the Frenchman who played topless in a kilt) is so good, he’d give Thor Harris a headache. Dressmaker have a definite Swans influence but they play with no specific agenda and everything they produce seems to sound original. They played an arrangement of the classic Ronettes track ‘Be My Baby’ which was really cool – nothing like the original however Charles vocals sounded amazing and during the verse sections the audience were given a rare moment of less intense noise. I really love this band and can’t wait to play with them again (perhaps at our show in London at Power Launches on August 1st). A special mention goes out to the Dressmaker fan, who is making the effort to see them at every show they play during this tour. Music fans like this are a very rare breed indeed and every musician I know is thankful to every one of you who take it upon yourself to support the artists you love. THANK YOU!

Dressmaker - live at Bannerman's Bar, Edinburgh

Dressmaker – live at Bannerman’s Bar, Edinburgh

The final act of the evening was the fantastic Terminal Gods: 4 young lads with fantastic poses and a kick ass sampler. They are a solid rock ‘n’ roll band based in London, who played a mixture of original tracks and some well chosen covers and had the crowd eating out of the palm of their hands. The strange sight of Edinburgh folk at a gig enjoying themselves reminded me that when you have the right combination of venue, people and music, a little bit of magic happens.

Terminal Gods - live at Bannerman's Bar, Edinburgh

Terminal Gods – live at Bannerman’s Bar, Edinburgh

Thanks so much the Terminal Gods, Dressmaker and The Omega Corridor for sharing this night with us.
Also thanks to Christian at Bannerman’s for having us, Hev for the great job at the sound desk and to Gabby Stone Photography for the pictures.

Summer Tour 2014: Gig 4 Sunday 20th July @ The Duke’s Head, Putney (London)
Special guitar / vocal set featuring a selection of originals & covers.

Monday 14th July – Wednesday 16th July
We’ve spent the last few days finalising the details for our Paris shows; signing the contract for our show at La Dame de Canton & re-arranging the line up for our final gig in the city at Au Chat Noir on July 26th – we will now be joined by Popper Must (Be), an Alt.Folk act from Paris as well as the fantastic Trip-Hop/Rock band AsOne. There has also been an issue or two with one of our Glasgow shows, so there may well be a venue change in the offing. More details and dramas to follow…

Posters spotted in the Grassmarket

Posters spotted in the Grassmarket

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

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.

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


Terminal Gods / dressmaker / Sacre Noir / The Omega Corridor

Terminal Gods / dressmaker / Sacre Noir / The Omega Corridor