Friday, 17 January 2014

Shiny Darkness album launch weekend

The Journey

Train, coach and Taxi and we got to our hotel. Saturday morning, all fresh, ready to see four great electro bands.
First piece of advice, only take the train straight to London. Coach in Oxford, although it is a good service, has way too many stops. There is no such thing as NEXT DAY RETURN to Oxford from Banbury,

Anyway, got on the Oxford Tube coach, After loads of stops and loads of people, we made to Marble Arch.  We got some food from Sainsburys and by chance, outside, was a cab. We were going to take the Tube, but it's not as simple as hoping on a train. It's very confusing, if you are not used to it. We decided to take a cab to the hotel. This was not cheap, but, direct, took about 40 minutes. Roughly £1 a mile. The hotel is on the London Docks, which is nice, the area is half under construction. The room was nice and great of Lee Sargent (SDs manager) to reserve a room for us. The next mission was getting to the venue which  was as far as Marble Arch to the hotel. We went to the Tube and found it was automated. I think about 12 machines with ques 20 foot deep, it was crazy.  We looked at each other and thought, no way. I said, I don't care, take a cab. Its expensive, but we will get there.
Got to the pre gig pub, turned out it was an Irish pub and no one had showed (That we knew of) that was going to the venue. We was in the pub for about an hour. We then wondered over to the venue, which was open. The bands were sound checking, Various partners of musicians were there. Some had travelled or had come to see from France and Finland

Here We go

Johnny Normal was on first and played many new songs, Their new material is outstanding live. As usual, Pete gets the crowd going. Miss Razorblade is my favourite of the new music,
 i love the song Time, Save me, their new single, also sounds great and of course their rendition of 20th Centry Boy, which goes down well with the crowd. The J No supporters were out in force( Fine marketing there) although, some of the power was cuts in that song, leaving Pete to play the rest of it. What is up with sound at venues?
Next up was, Among the Echoes. Aside from the Flapper, this was one of their best performances i have seen. The first song, which i had not really noticed before, Cities,  really stood, out. It sounded different and very 80s, Smiths in sound.
Considering Ian, the singer, had a soar throat for the last week, he did very well.
Ian, as usual, whooing the ladies, including my wife( Funny). He had a guest on the night, who i had not recognise until she walked from the crowd., but i have on my friends list, Kira Gemini. Great singer and was a pleasure to meet her
Then come Howard and Jez, Spacebuoy.

I like the way they do the songs and arrangements here. I see them as the modern Pet Shop Boy. Spacebuoy do what the Pet Shopboy should have done in their "Disco" faze. Howard is a really good singer and showman and is really down to earth as well. Great songs, including some new songs, including Shine. Spacebuoy had remixed a song on the album by Shiny Darkness. The last song, Howard invited, Sebastien,  of Shiny Darkness. Great colaboration song, Oblivion. They ought to do more together on stage as it was very well.
Footage will be here when uploaded

We then had the headline act, Shiny Darkness. This gig is their album launch, New Substance. They played several songs from all three albums, including, Highs and Lows, Mother, and Dolphine. Sebastien has a really powerful voice that really does project.  In the video i took, his voice is more apparant than anyone elses. They have set design of synth lights, drum machine and smoke, which creates a good atmoshere. Very tight act, great singer, music and gets the crowd going, including setting the smoke alarm ( I believe is was the smoke machine that did that) I thought their set was short. Turns out it was 50 minutes.
There will be no footage of their set as permission was not given

Bring the Power Back
I was told that the sound engineer thought there was only one band coming. The sound gave out more than once though several songs, not really noticable and believable enough to sound like the song had pauses.  No matter what venue, they should check their equipment.  Other than that, a great night. We met. Phil Marsh and his wife, Zosia had a chat with them. I could not believe how tired i was, even just there stood filming. I was not dancing much, just bobbing to the music.  I was just whiped after filming the acts.

The cab adventures
One thing i learned from Saturday night, is try and flag a cab driver down, the right ones ( I was told later) who knows where he was going. Although it was a far distance, drivers are trained to know London. Its about 40 minutes drive to the hotel, yes that is far out. I was facing the other direction in the cab, but Phil Marsh said that he had looped round twice as he was getting lost. The cab driver, obviously had no idea, and stopped at a closed road. The driver who took us to the hotel from Marble Arche, did get us there,( Should have took his number) This guy, didn't We were tired and it was early in the morning. When we got out the cab and started walking, we were not next door the hotel at all.  If we weren't as tired, we would have reported him

The same day but the morning after
We had about 5 hours sleep and i was just aching all over. We packed and headed out. Again, we tried the Tube. The stations close to the hotel are new and all automated. People like us who do not know London that well, easy confusing by the stupid circuit map design of the underground system, Its not like taking a train, which is far easier to read and understand. Its not the same at all. In my opinion, way too many stations. Although, London is a big city, why are there so many?.
We again took a cab, this time we went to the nearest landmark. We got a cab and went to Tower Bridge. We have been there before but this time, walked the other side of the Thames and did a bit of sight seeing.
We spent a good two hours walking back to Marble Arch, I love walking and it was fine weather. After going through Oxford Street, we go to Marble Arch and got on the coach......sigh of relief. The rest was, Oxford, then train, then home

The main reason for all the travelling was due to the gig being moved. The original venue was a lot closer to the hotel. The Archway Tavern was a plan b essentially

The footage is from Youtube. Spacebuoy is still to be uploaded and Among the Echoes footage is one track at a time ( Requested)

Many thanks for reading
DJ Readman
Radio Variety Show

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