Posts Tagged ‘It’s Too Late Now’

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

Advertisements

Thursday 24th July @ La Dame de Canton, Paris

In the morning we went to The Château de Vincennes, which is a massive 14th/17th century castle about 20 minutes walk from our apartment. Inside the Château de Vincennes are the relics of the Crown of Thorns, but the weather was too nice for us to go indoors, so instead we went to the Parc floral de Paris, which is on the outskirts of the bois de Vincennes (part of the ancient forest).

Alexis & Carrie - Parc floral de Paris

Alexis & Carrie – Parc floral de Paris

In the afternoon we had lunch in the apartment before going to GDN to collect Alexis’s large drum bag from Euro Despatch and then headed along to the venue for tonight’s show.

Arriving at the venue a little before 6pm, we met up with Pierre (our sound engineer) and set up our equipment on the boat. It was a little strange to begin with, the motion was unusual, but we’re not at sea so it’s not so bad.

AlexisSs - Sound Check @ La Dame de Canton

AlexisSs – Sound Check @ La Dame de Canton

For this concert we have been asked to perform two 45-minute sets, starting at 9pm, so after sound-check we had something to eat and then a nice walk along the seine before show time. We had a great night and the sound on stage was excellent. Afterwards we met a lovely couple, who were incredibly positive about our music and even got us to sign their CDs. La Dame de Canton is a very cool venue; we got to watch the sun set over the Seine as we played – that’s pretty special!

Homeward bound and our minds wander to the next two shows we have in Paris – playing with our new favourite band, AsOne. Tomorrow evening the show is at AbracadaBar (a concert venue in the 19th Arr. – an area of Paris we know very well) and then on Saturday evening we will be in one of Paris’s best know music areas, with a show at Au Chat Noir.

NEXT SHOW
Summer Tour 2014: Gig 6 Friday 26th July @ Abracadabar (Paris)

Monday 21st July @ Day off in London
We headed out to the Greenwich Peninsula in the morning and took a trip on the Emirates Skyline – what an amazing view of the city. You get a little voice-over during the journey with the history of the area and some info about the new developments like The Crystal (Siemens eco building) and the forthcoming ‘Asian Dock’, which will welcome new businesses to the area for import & export trades.

View from the skylink

View from the skylink


We wandered round the area, which is also home to the O2 (ex Millennium Dome), which was a nice space, but without a concert or show on during the day it’s just filled with places to eat and drink. They have a great wall filled with old vinyl & CD sleeves, VHS & cassette tapes and old amps and TV’s where you can plug in headphones and listen to music.
Alexis at The O2

Alexis at The O2


In the afternoon we headed over to Shoreditch (one of our favourite areas in London) for some lunch and graffiti spotting. There is always loads of great street art in London & here is my favourite piece spotted on this trip so far.
Street art in London

Street art in London


After lunch we took a wander down to Hackney to check out the area and hand out some flyers before our show at the start of August at Power Lunches. It turns out Hackney is pretty cool too. We have friends that stay in the area but have never spent much time wandering the streets. We walked along Kingsland Road (which entertained me; the X-Factor boy band perhaps should have gone for a name that was more reflective of their style like Holland Park or Saville Row – but Kingsland Road now seems far too cool for them, even if this is where they stay). The area was pretty nice with cool cafés and shops.
Canal in Hackney

Canal in Hackney


We discovered a tattoo parlour, which had the most creepy dolls I’ve ever seen (I wish we had these for the ‘It’s Too Late Now’ video shoot last month).
Dolls

Dolls


In the evening we had a BBQ with our hosts. “A veggie at a BBQ” I hear you cry. Actually it was lovely! I had fresh corn-cobs, a lovely fresh salad & Joe’s famous Mediterranean Vegetable dish finished off with a large helping of banoffee pie.
Everyone else had burger and sausages from some fancy butchers, so everyone was well fed and loving the al fresco dining.
Carrie & Joe at Ealing Towers

Carrie & Joe at Ealing Towers

Tuesday 22nd July @ Travel to Paris
We’re super excited to be heading back to Paris and we both got up pretty early. After packing the bags (again) we walk into Ealing’s centre and grabbed some coffees whilst we discussed the sets for our upcoming shows.
There seems to have been a lot of last minute changes with this tour (in comparison to previous years), in particular, over the last few days we have been finalising the details for our show in Glasgow and thanks to the amazing attitude of Adam the drummer in Jen Stevens and the Hiccups and some help from The Academy of Music & Sound in Glasgow we should be ready to take the city by storm next month.
Sacre Noir at The Beresford Lounge

Ealing really is a lovely area of the city with loads of great places to eat & drink so we decided to grab a bite here before heading back to grab our bags & then off to Paris.

Alexis at St Pancras

Alexis at St Pancras


Arriving in Paris around after 9pm we went straight to our apartment (which is small but perfect for us) and then out to discover the area and eat more food. Italian for lunch in Ealing and Italian for supper in Paris

We are very excited to have arranged great shows in Paris with some fantastic bands. We have two shows with the amazing Trip-Hop/Rock band AsOne (our new favourite Paris band) and we will be joined by acoustic alt.folk acts Benares for our gig at AbracadaBar on the 25th and Popper Must (Be) at Au Chat Noir on the 26th.
For both these gigs I have been working with local band managers and promoters, which has made the process a lot easier. Not everyone I have been in contact with has been as capable, so I’d like to extend a special thank-you to Aubrey at (LABEL NAME) & Victor at Midnight Special Records for being so professional & helpful. You guys are amazing & we look forward to working with you more in the future.
We have already arranged some shows in Scotland for Midnight Special artist Michelle Blades & can’t wait to show them a good time in Edinburgh & Glasgow later in August.

NEXT SHOW
Summer Tour 2014: Gig 5 Thursday 24th July @ La Dame De Canton (Paris)
2 sets of electronica spanning both Sacre Noir LPs with some other gems thrown in for good measure and perhaps a little cover or two too.
https://www.facebook.com/events/1472777432967498/

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.

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

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/

Saturday 17th August – Wednesday 28th August
Back home and back to work… there are exciting projects in the pipeline though. During this time we caught up with Barry Smith (artist) and agreed a new collaboration, had a meeting with a local film-maker to discuss a Sacre Noir short film project for this winter, attended a friend’s book launch and even managed to fit in a practice with Phil as he’d be joining us again for the final two shows of this year’s summer tour.

Phil and Alexis - Sacre Noir rehearsal at Bainbridge / Iona St, Edinburgh

Phil and Alexis – Sacre Noir rehearsal at Bainbridge / Iona St, Edinburgh

Gig 13 – Thursday 29th August 2013 @ Pivo Pivo, Glasgow
This show was booked & promoted by ‘It’s A XXXX Thing’ blog and everyone was pretty excited about the line-up. The Penny Black Remedy have never played a show in Glasgow but it’s a gig on home turf for the Mickey 9’s! There are some great pictures and a review on the New Hellfire Club website. This is the first time in ages we’ve seen the Mickey 9’s and they had a few new tracks in their set… ‘Berlin’ being my favourite. Energetic and a little crazy, they were as always very entertaining.

Thursday 29th August 2013 at Pivo Pivo, Glasgow

Thursday 29th August 2013 at Pivo Pivo, Glasgow


We always enjoy playing at Pivo Pivo in Glasgow – we finished our 2012 tour with a gig here and it feels good to be back and adding Phil’s guitar sounds to the set. After a few technical problems at the start of the show, we soon hit our stride and play a raucous crescendo of ‘She Can’t Take It’ to finish our set. One song that has been popular throughout the tour is ‘It’s Too Late Now’ and we’re able to really take advantage of the live guitar on this track in particular – leading to a dark, rockier performance.
Sacre Noir live at Pivo Pivo, Glasgow - photo by Gobo Photography

Sacre Noir live at Pivo Pivo, Glasgow – photo by Gobo Photography


The Penny Black Remedy then took to the stage like a whirlwind and blew through an hour’s worth of songs in what seemed like no time at all. Covering much of their very own blend of ska-rock, surf-punk, country-folk-pop stylings, including crowd favourite ‘Bring Back Brando’ (a song written with more honesty than you’d imagine for something so catchy). Keith fronts the band like a true professional and has the audience wrapped round his finger from the get-go, although vocalist Marijana also takes centre stage for a few tracks and wows the crowd. The other band members Wilco and Paul both show a similar enthusiasm and a good night was had by all.
The Penny Black Remedy live at Pivo Pivo, Glasgow

The Penny Black Remedy live at Pivo Pivo, Glasgow