Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Lost in Music... or rather Not

Oh dear... I feel terrible. Not hungover or anything, just mildly guilty at having walked out of a gig for the first time in my life. And not just any old gig you understand, the Sisters of Mercy Gig.

'The Sisters' are dear to me historically, but Tuesday night at the Astoria was pretty bloody awful. The sound was TERRIBLE!.... Muffled and quiet, squealing feedback and not in a good way. The band kept the gaps between songs to about 5 seconds to cover up the screeching. I don't know enough to know whether this the fault of the venue or the band but the Astoria is hardly large and we were able to have a conversation at normal volume while an unseen Mr Eldritch droned inaudibly somewhere in the customary cloak of dry ice only a short distance away.

Even diehard fans were shouting 'off, Off OFF!' and people were leaving in droves... Ordinarily I'd see it through but this was very bad. I couldn't even make out what they were playing. It was like listening to something in another room!

Comedy value was had however by Crazy G sympathising on the way out with a statuesque lady goth. When G said 'yes I complained as well but they didn't want to know' she looked him up and down said 'well, I'm not surprised dressed like that!' and swooped off with a twirl of her cape. It seems that grey-marl Duffer tops cut no mustard with vampiric ladies of the nite or indeed gothic mixing desks. Dawn and I rather enjoyed poor G's knock-back as you can imagine and we repaired to the pub for a titter. Ha!

Well, in honour of their long-standing importance, and to remind me of the good times, I held a little Sisters disco in my head on the walk to work the morning after courtesy of my iPod. My favourite Sisters tunes are Heartland, Temple of Love (the original version only, please), Alice, Body Electric, Body and Soul, Afterhours, Train.... I could go on. The sad thing about last nite was that the last time I saw them they were great and I couldn't stop dancing. Anyway, I enjoyed my own little inner concert in the sunshine. I had smoke and mirrors AND laserbeam searchlights.

In contrast I LOVED Morrissey on Bank Holiday Monday at Alexandra Palace with Hayloid, Skinny Jake and Kevin. Also met up with Ritchie Rich and saw a few familiar faces.

Hales gets SERIOUS Morrissey Mania and was beginning to blub before we'd even left the Retro... the atmosphere build-up was so tense I thought she was going to burst and needless to say the poor love was practically SCREAMING by the time he eventually took the stage with 'First of the Gang'... I did wonder whether we should have been slightly nearer the medical tent..

Morrissey did 'Still ill' which sent shivers down my spine (how great is it that you can still see someone who can do that!!??) and 'How Soon is Now' but not 'Everyday is like Sunday' or 'Last Night I Dreamt' or Piccadilly Palare' which are my faves. Actually probably just as well for Hales that he didn't do 'Last Night I Dreamt' otherwise we could potentially have had a serious casualty on our hands... (believe me...something akin to beatlemania is alive and well and we've two Sundays at the Palladium to go yet... NURSE!! THE SCREENS!!!)...

We've seen Morrissey a few times before and he seemed more fluid and relaxed this time. At the Albert Hall he was a tad wooden but slightly better at Earl's Court. I'm not a massive fan but always like to see him and I like the laddishness of the crowd, although the Morrissey crew doesn't feel a aggressive these days.

Ally Pally is a great venue with the added bonus of punters being able to smoke and drink anywhere (this is becoming increasing difficult at larger places): you couldn't do a thing at the Cure the other week. The orange squash and no fags brigade are taking over! Only one encore which seemed a bit disappointing but then I guess you should always leave the crowd wanting more... which makes more sense than dispelling them after five songs!