Archive for the ‘Power’s Bar’ Category

Gig 14 – Sunday 1st September 2013 @ Henry’s Cellar Bar, Edinburgh
The end is neigh and the final show of this year’s summer tour looms large!
A last minute line-up change is called for after Lewis Gibson goes on a last minute holiday… to the rescue are a drum student, a local guitar legend and a couple of festival performers all brought together by the one and only Ewan Gibson. Naming themselves after a poetry meet The Soul Cypher featuring Mekkah & Twenty20 had a practice in the afternoon before the show and delivered a pretty convincing set (I’d love to have seen them if they were a full-time collective). Along with their sense of adventure the two American MCs also brought a touch of musical magic to the start of this event as everything was so relaxed and in the spirit of making good music and enjoying sharing the results.

The Soul Cypher live at Henry's Cellar Bar, Edinburgh

The Soul Cypher live at Henry’s Cellar Bar, Edinburgh

We get ourselves set-up on the familiar stage of Henry’s and launch into our forty-minute set of dark electronica. The sound is tight and loud and we are pleased to hear that we’ve ‘awakened the goth’ in one enthusiastic fan in particular. It’s a good crowd that includes some familiar faces who are here to support our last show of the tour and check out The Penny Black Remedy. We’re really pleased with the response and happy to have played 14 great gigs stretching back to the first night of the tour back in July.
Sacre Noir live at Henry's Cellar Bar, Edinburgh - Photo by Flare Photography

Sacre Noir live at Henry’s Cellar Bar, Edinburgh – Photo by Flare Photography

By the time The Penny Black Remedy took to the stage everyone in the venue was ready for their unique brand of musical mayhem, and once again the group didn’t disappoint. As with their show in Glasgow they mixed tracks from their debut LP with tracks from their latest release ‘Inhale… Exhale… Ok, Now You Can Panic!’ to great effect and had the crowd dancing and whooping for Keith’s guitar solos.
The Penny Black Remedy live at Henry's Cellar Bar, Edinburgh

The Penny Black Remedy live at Henry’s Cellar Bar, Edinburgh

Looking back it’s been an amazing month and a half of gigs and travelling, playing to the new audiences and hanging out in some great cities. Big thanks are due to all the venues and promoters who have helped along the way; The Banshee Labyrinth, Box, The Vibe Bar, The Arc, Power’s Bar, The Dublin Castle, Belushi’s Gare du Nord and Canal Paris, Le Vieux Leon, Soupanova, Little Stage, Pfefferbett Hostel, Pivo Pivo, Henry’s Cellar Bar, Craig McGee, Plugged In Switched On, Bearsuit Promotions, Ben & Lio @ Belushi’s, Selina @ Soupanova, Alex @ Little Stage, Charlotte @ Pfefferbett, It’s a XXXX Blog Thing and Claire @ Henry’s. Big thanks are also due to all the fine bands we played with along the way; Llennett, Hot Jupiter, Little Love and the Friendly Vibes, Tom Coyne, Sir Spence, The Joy, George Frakes, Andy Docherty and The Caped Crusaders, Dressmaker, The Ocean’s Above, Mickey 9s, The Soul Cypher featuring Mekkah and Twenty20 and The Penny Black Remedy.
You can check out a video below which features footage from the gigs, interviews during the tour and more – a great snapshot into the touring life with Sacre Noir.

Gig 10 – Tuesday 6th August 2013 @ Soupanova, Berlin

Arriving in Berlin is always a joy, unfortunately everything on tour has gone too well for this to last and we encountered a few problems…
1 – our train was due to arrive at 8:28 am – it was over an hour late (we were informed by the guard when we asked what was going on that “the plan had changed” – this wasn’t a great help)
2 – our train was meant to terminate at the main station in Berlin HBF, but in another unexpected twist it didn’t get that far and we were left at a (building site) station further to the north. Again, no explanation from the staff at all and this led to a much more convoluted trip across the city with all our bags.
I can’t help feel this is not the face of German efficiency that we’ve previously experienced. Part of what we love about this city is that everything works as it’s meant to and with very little sleep on the “sleeper” it’s safe to say I was not in the best mood.
We arrived at our apartment in Charlottenburg around 11am and this immediately turned our mood around as it’s really great. Huge rooms, nice and clean & fully furnished, so nothing to moan about there at all. After our host showed us round we headed straight out for a much needed cup of coffee / tea and a visit to Kaiser (supermarket) for some supplies for the apartment. We had lunch in the flat on the balcony in the sun (almost 40 degrees), showered and before we knew it, it was time to head off to Soupanova for the first of our 3 Berlin shows.
Having played at this venue last year we were confident in finding the place so didn’t stress too much about leaving loads of time to get tickets etc… perhaps the 3rd problem of the day. The machines in the station didn’t take our cards and some of the ATMs in the city also refused to give us money. We eventually got the cash to buy our 7 day travel passes (which are mega cheap at only 28.80 Euros each) and headed across the city to Prenzlauerberg.
Set up and sound-check went really well so we headed along the road to eat at ‘Mai Thai’ which was great on our last visit and was very nice again this time round. We played two sets at Soupanova; both quite chilled out, the second more so than the first.

Soundcheck @ Soupanova, Berlin

Soundcheck @ Soupanova, Berlin

In the audience from the start was a girl who had seen us at Power’s Bar in London & enjoyed our set then so was keen to see us again (this is the kind of music fan we love). Not only has this girl seen us at two of our tour shows in two different cities, but she brought her music journalist friend with her, who is going to do a review for us in an online magazine he writes for, but she also managed to convince the bar manager to let us play for longer than we were meant to. The bar is in a residential area and they have problems with their neighbours (just like in Edinburgh), so we were due to finish at 10pm, however after a few nice words from our new (best) fan, we ended up playing until 10.45pm. We did turn the volume down a fair bit and kept our fingers crossed that the neighbours either couldn’t hear us or actually liked the tunes, but either way we had fun!
Feeling knackered after such an eventful day and night and in need of some proper sleep, we headed back on the last tube (U-Bahn) and were in bed by 1am.

Next gig: Wednesday 7th August, 2013 from 10.30pm at Little Stage, Berlin

Friday 26th July 2013
Gig 5 – Power’s Bar, London

Feeling a little lazy after last night’s excitement we had a bit of a slow morning, catching up with e-mails and work stuff. I hadn’t realised quite how ‘leafy’ Ealing actually is. Pitshanger Park is huge and seems to go on forever so we had a lovely walk there before heading out to lunch. We ate at ‘Fat Boys’ a nice Thai restaurant on Haven Green, where we had some of the nicest and prettiest drinks we’ve had so far.

Before I go on about what a great night we had at Power’s Bar, here’s little history about tonight’s gig venue, and the man behind it Vince Power.

“A trip to Tennessee and a desire to bring the sound of Nashville to London prompted Power to open the original Mean Fiddler, his country & western club, in 1982, in Harlesden, North West London, establishing it as a key venue for up and coming talent, Irish music, country stars and true music legends.”

Vince (known as the ‘godfather of gigs’) is credited with popularising music festivals in the UK through the rise of Reading, Leeds, The Phoenix, Hop-Farm and numerous other one offs including the first Sex Pistols re-union in Finsbury Park, and until this year was a major stakeholder in Spain’s Benicàssim Festival, which was voted Best Overseas Festival in 2012.
So needless to say we’re feeling very pleased to have secured a gig in this fine gentleman’s venue.

We arrive just before 7pm for sound check and Andy, our sound engineer (more on him shortly) lets us know that a 40 min set will be fine as he’s booked another artist to play and his band will also play a set or two. We set up and run through a couple of tracks from the set whilst Andy does his thing at the sound desk. By the time we’re finished he’s managed to find some extra bass frequencies and everything sounds amazing. We sat outside drinking with Andy chatting about music and enjoying the evening sunshine, whilst we waited for friends and family to arrive… first up was good friends Bob and Lisa who have recently moved down south for work. It was great to have a catch up with such good friends and to see them both so happy. Then Alexis’s cousin Stewart and his wife Jackie arrived – both are on excellent form and ready to see some good live music.
So here’s a short history of our new favourite sound engineer Andy Docherty. Singer/songwriter/muli-instumentalist/band leader & recording artist, Andy was the frontman of the seminal 90’s group ‘N. T’ who signed to Response records on R.C.A. Further spells with Epic resulted in collaborations with ‘The Black Eyed Peas’ & DJ Femi Femme among others. As pioneers of the trip-hop sound we felt really lucky to have someone who really understood our sound at the mixer (and he is Scottish so a nice connection there too).
The first act up was much-touted George Frakes… fresh from gigs with Frank Turner, all the cool music festivals and a show at The Albert Hall, his set was fantastic. When people say “he’s the next big thing in the new wave of British folk” they’re not exaggerating. His guitar playing skills were intricate and technically impressive and his voice was lovely too. He played a mixture of old folk songs and originals and the crowd were certainly impressed.
We played after George and despite the dramatic change of musical stylings the punters in Power’s Bar were not at all phased. The reaction after each song we played was great; including some dancing (of the Kilburn shuffle variety) to ‘Ou Est L’arret Pour Moi?’ and a great end to our set with ‘She Can’t Take It’. Alexis went round with the mailing list after we’d paced up and again the feedback from the crowd was really positive. We seemed to have been termed ‘avant-garde’ and that’s okay with us!

We stayed for a few more drinks and a boogie before heading back for the tube just after midnight. We’d love to have stayed longer and seen more of Andy and his band The Caped Crusaders but the last tube was calling to get us back to Ealing.
All in all a great night & we’ll definitely be keeping in touch with Andy and all at Power’s Bar – can’t wait to come back and play again.

Next gig: Monday 29th July @ The Dublin Castle, Camden, London

Thursday 25th July 2013
Gig 4 – The Arc Angel, London

An interesting morning… we’ve had to alter our set for Friday’s gig (now possibly playing for an hour instead of just 40 minutes), and also get some shopping in and eat and relax etc. – really is a hard life on the road. We were also lucky enough to get a shot of our ‘flatmate’ in London Martin’s guitar to run through a few tracks in preparation.
So once we’d extended our set it was time to think about tracks for tonight’s 20-minute slot at The Arc Angel in Islington. This is another night run by Iain at Plugged In Switched On so we were pretty relaxed about tonight and decided to head along for 7pm to set up but just get a line check before we play. With over 10 acts on the bill it seemed to be the best way forward.
To kick-start things the host Iain played a cool version of the Groovejet hit ‘If This Ain’t Love’ which got everyone in the mood. Next up was an act we’d seen perform at The Vibe Bar on Monday night, Jay Hoffman and he was followed by singer / songwriter Phil Crosby. The act I enjoyed most was up next – two guys called Billy & Chris with pretty guitars and lovely harmonies playing a mixture of covers and originals.

Billy & Chris

Billy & Chris

There was a really good vibe in the bar so we decided to alter our set on the fly and play our cover of ‘Time’ by Chase & Status to keep the party atmosphere going.

As always it went down a treat; such a great track & everyone enjoyed our version.

The featured act of the night was a band called ‘The Joy’ who played a great set of original material with an indie-pop vibe reminiscent of Teenage Fanclub or The Pixies. After they played the night was finished off by a couple of singers and MCs with a mellow hip-hop vibe.
Big thanks to our good friend Ines who came down with the friend Marie to catch up and check out our set – always a pleasure to see a familiar face or two while we’re away on tour.
Photo of Sacre Noir by Ines

Back home via the Northern and Central line tube, plus the late bus from Ealing Broadway – really looking forward to playing again tomorrow night.

Next gig: Friday 26th July @ Power’s Bar, Kilburn, London (£3.00 after 9pm)