Another competition win, and a last minute one, my guess is that the original winner couldn’t make it and I was next in line! I’m not complaining..hehehe…just saying ;-), so thank you Fly Magazine, much appreciated. I had a chance last year to see TOY as I had heard great things about them, sadly I couldn’t make it, not sure for what reason now. The gig was at Heaven, a venue I haven’t been to before so another reason Charlie Boyer & The Voyeursto make the trip to London, despite midweek burn out!!
Heaven was easy to get to, Embankment station, up the road into the Arches and there we were. This must have been the latest we’d ever got to a gig, the first support band ‘Charlie Boyer & The Voyeurs‘ was already on stage and we hurried inside.

The first thing that hit me like a smack in the face was that wall of music, unbelievably loud. Also the infamous HMV venue smoke machine handler is on the loose, the whole room seemed to be engulfed in fog, my pet hate, straight after bad sound!
This wasn’t boding well, scrambling for my earplugs we moved closer to the stage and soon realised why it was easy to do! The baseline was so loud, your nostrils flared, heart raced, it even came through your feet, very uncomfortable! We were forced to move further back again, such a shame, David was looking forward especially to this band but it was more or less impossible to judge if we like them or not. Hope it doesn’t carry on with the next two bands! I’m not giving up on this band and will try to catch them again at a different venue, I liked the tracks I heard online, so all is not lost!!!

Now the band has finished I get a chance to have a look round, an interesting place, but I don’t feel entirely comfortable, why  I can’t explain. As it is under the Arches, the room is long, the stage quite high with proper steps going up to it on either side. At the end there are more steps leading upstairs to what looks like the sound and lightning desk, I can’t quite see but there seems to be more room for spectators behind it. To the left when facing the stage is a long bar……interesting place.

The next band is called Dark Horses, please let the sound be better! 🙂 I can see large posters mounted on boards being displayed around the stage, a young girl appears dressed in a Poncho type garment, when she turns around it had ‘Dark Horses’ written on it, nice touch. The sound is still far too loud, it’s hard to make out any lyrics, I hear the girl say a couple of things: “Hello Lodonnnn” sounding like she is quite bored to be Dark Horseshere, and “we are all dark horses” in the same dull voice. For me all the songs sounded pretty much the same and I got bored very quickly. Looking around, I think most people feel similar, just standing there and occasionally I see a bobbing head. I glance at the girl next to me, she’s got her fingers over her ears, muffling the volume no doubt. I’m sorry, but it can’t be over fast enough for me, I really don’t like it much, is it the sound volume or the actual band or my dry throat from breathing in all that smoke, who knows…..but it’s not for me 🙂

I’m now getting worried about TOY, David and I agreed to move to the side where the bar is, as we made a pact to leave if it’s as bad as the previous two sets. Other reasons to move is of course that potentially  it could get “moshie” in the middle….:-) It doesn’t take long, and the stage is set, TOY arrive on stage, not much is said. The first song starts quietly and gently, I have hopes for a decent sound….arrrggghhhhh, I was wrong, the drums come in and the guitars are being teased, producing a distorted sound hurting my ears rather than entertaining me. I look at David behind me, I TOYdon’t think he is enjoying it much either, a couple more songs, and if it doesn’t get better we are out of here! I’m sorry to say it doesn’t improve, looking around I’m not sure people are really loving it, I see the odd person wildly head banging but most people just stand there. Shame, I feel I wasn’t given a fair chance to hear these guys potential, well all 3 bands potential. I won’t be rushing out buying their album and will think twice before attending another gig of theirs, especially here at Heaven.

We leave the venue, and trust me, we are not the only ones, the staff seems pretty uninterested why we are leaving, so we wander out. We get stopped by a random guy outside asking us if we’ve had enough, we explain our reasons why we’re going, he tells us he is loving it here and thinks it’s ok.  So, there are some people who did think it was fine, is it me? Am I getting less tolerant in my old age? ok ok, I can see you agreeing with me…lol, let’s stop right here 😉
We turned to go home, I looked up to my left and spotted Herman-ze-German, I wanted to come here for ages! We had to go in, just bought coffee and Bretzels and promised ourselves we’d come back soon for some Sauerkraut and Leberkäse…yummmy! And, we ended up buying one of their T-shirts….hehehehe.
A day later I came across this review on the Gigwise site, I did wonder if it was the same gig I went to, and at the end there was this comment by James:
I think this reviewer was at a different gig to me then. Firstly, I did not see one ‘do’ flailing about, and I was right in the mix of it all. It was filled of people just standing around with their hands in their pockets. Secondly, we couldn’t make out any of the songs as it was WAY too loud. Worst sound I have heard. It was like they were playing underwater. Everything was muffled. We left half way through the set as it was that bad. As I was leaving, I saw DIdz from the Cooper Temple Clause also leaving.”

That made me laugh out loud – hallelujah – it’s not just me!!

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About FrontRowStef

Following months of putting in the necessary hours of research, I have been bullied into writing a blog about my gig experiences! I can’t claim in-depth technical musical knowledge, or a massive CD collection, but, I know what I like and what doesn’t sound good in a live setting. I’m not intending to write great reviews about bands, but more of stuff that happen to me while out and about. Like when a dear friend of mine pointed out that it looks like I’m putting my towel down when I hit the barriers at the front and claim my spot with my jacket draped over the railings. What does he mean? Is it because I’m German? Enough introductions, you will get to know me sooner or later! Oh and apparently I’m going to be referred to as Front Row Stef, simply because that is my rightful place!

One response »

  1. Martina Weidmann says:

    Wauwau so youuuuu walked Out ! Not often !

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