Monday, 17 March 2014

Ides of March gig, The Flapper, 15th March

We returned to, The Flapper, in Birmingham to watch a few electro sounding bands, including, Among the Echoes performance on a Saturday night
This time, i filmed it all. I have enough memory and batteries, that can easily handle all the gig. I was planning to do on camera interviews, but that never happened. it just the way it goes.
This was part of two day trip to Birmingham, as me and my wife, Rhonda, booked.  Thought it was a good idea to explore a bit.  We were going to go to a gig on Friday night, to see Drag, but we changed our minds. Its funny when you book a room to stay overnight, you don't really get a chance to use it much. The Holiday Inn, is really comfortable, which, we have stayed in before. This time we booked two night. This time we spent a bit more time in the room and went out for a late meal and explored the shops. 

 You get an urban part, that goes into a newly built part. Its not just the area around the Bullring as we thought. They have done a lot of work around the canal area. I do not know when that was done, but its very nice.  A great tourist attraction.  The Flapper sits on the canal and we know how to get there from the Canal

Stupid Taxis Drivers
Have you heard this before?...I mentioned a simular sitation when we went to London to see Shiny Darkness.  When we got to, The Flapper, i was talking to the musicians, we are not the only ones who had the issue. The Flapper is not that far from the hotels, in fact many of the hotels are in within at least half or a mile of each other. Many cab drivers did not know where it was, and neither did ours. If you are a cab driver in Birmingham, why don't you know where it was? We took a cab as the roads between paths in Birmingham do irritate me, unless you know the directions of the underpasses.  Very stupid and you should learn your way around, your a cab driver. This was Astral cabs in Birmingham not using them again.

The Flapper
 A good venue for bands. It sits, right on the canal edge, great for when its a nice evening, like it was Saturday night. I was going to have the beer, Anstel. I looked on the venues website, to check what they had and they had it listed. Got there, didn't have it in. I had another one the barmadi requested but i can't
 remember what it was

Now for the bands
These guys went down well. They had bought a few supporters along and gained a few more
Their first gig performance and looked and sounded like pros. They laughed through a technical when they were playing a cover they had arranged for the gig. Two guys, who create, what my radio shows listener have called "Humanvox" sound. Great simple, synth tunes, great vocals, for the music and just great guys live.  
When i first heard their songs, they instantly sounded like the Human League. Very different sound to most synth acts i have heard and seen over the past year. I would say the only thing i would have liked to have seen,  is the vocalist, singing while play the keys at the same time. Their first gig, top notch

I like to see acts that i have not even heard much of, although i know of the name.
Very softly singing voice, although the vocals comes out louder on the film, which i was glad of. Very trance in state, with her husband/ musician/ partner( I have no idea,lol) on the keys. She only knew about the performance three days before and not one glitch. Great performance and she looked incredible
I just managed to get them both in the frame. They had images to go with the music. Many bands/acts do not do this, which is rather good.  Depends on the music and how the acts goes

The Special guest of the night
When the bands were going through Soundcheck i saw this woman with jet red hair and a large guy, who looked like the guy from. Bad Manners, floating around. Obviously, i had no idea who they were, until later
They wondered on the stage, caught everyone off guard.  Great performance from Jay Smith with bags of 
They had come all the way from Manchester to do three songs and have a techno/goth sound/look. They are Deviant U.K

Jay clear in his singing, good range and was flying all over the place. Simular act to Spacebuoy, where Howard flys all over the stage. Great stage presence by Jay
The woman on the keys, looked sensational and kept ramping up the volume. They were the loudest of the night

Ian Wall, the organiser, birthday boy and vocalist of Among the Echoes, had been trying to get these guys down for a year. Rhonda, had seen this guys in Bristol, at their album launch and they do not disappoint
Full band, full of stage presence, Iian Brownie, fabulous vocalist, outstanding range and the drummer was bouncing the kit off the floor.  . Fanstatsic set, no one could have asked for more.  
The only thing i noticed, when i was watching the video playlack, is when the vocalist was playing guitar. It seemed to me slightly out, or he had hit a cord wrong, but, that was just minor glitch compared to the all round performance. I recommend these guys to any promoter, they get the crowd going. They have a commercial round, i would say, the right commercial sound. They did a few slow songs, which suprised me. The slow ballads reminded me of Johnny Normals song "Save Me"

Johnny Normal
To be honest, i think a speak for most of the people there, were we all gutted he had to drop out, Carol manager of Among the Echoes told us, he ended up in Hosptal. Obviously just a precaution, but it was a real shame he had to drop out. From what i heard, a couple of people cancelled due to him not performing. A few people could not show up due to illness, but Johnny waited until the very last minute before making his decision.  no one likes to pull out, but health comes first

Among the Echoes

This is the night, i understood what Ian was refering to in an interview i did with him last year. Sam, the guitarist who i was talking to during sound check said that they didn't recruit another bass player as the key man Stevie Turrell, could add that and they had another guitarist? i thought, another guitarist?
Among the Echos experiment more with their sound. They had Phil on bass for a long time, until he retired from music last year.  Ian always has guests on the now, for the moment, or depends what happens next, they have an additional guitarist,  Riddel 
 I have been this band a few times now and every time they sound different. I was curious to find out how this arrangement would sound on stage. It is the first time Riddel had played in while ( via a Facebook comment) and if any bass would come through.
 As usual, Ian, Master of ceremonies, come up with the goods.  Ian, is not the best vocalist on the planet, although he can sing, but makes up for it in stage presence. Sam is fanastic on guitar. From the way Sam was playing his was adding some added bass in places.

Riddell  was doing more front cord guitar work and some lead. Very well arranged.
They played three new songs. which will be appearing on their new album, "Fracture" which is being partly funded by a Kickstart Campaign
Kira walked on and did some vocal duties. She was a guest on London as well

This time, i filmed all the performances. Unlike previous gigs, i had limitations, no more.  A few songs will not be available from, Among the Echoes as they are new songs. I took about 60 stills from the video, which are up on seperate albums this time, rather than one evening photo album as there are so many. The footage will be up after all the bands have seen them. A few songs will not be in the finished upload, due to heads in the way, but thats only one odd track, i think in the Sinesta set

In General
Great night, i like, The Flapper, as a venue. Every act, was great to watching and Eurasianeyes, i think in way were the highlight, for the debut, they were the first act on, which, is never easy. In a way, the first on is the crowd builder. They had a lot of support. My personal highlight was Eurasianeyes debut and seeing Among the Echoes with a different stage arrangement. The entire night was great

Yes, there was er, moments

I would say, the downside was Johnny not appearing, people that talk at high pitch when your trying to hear a great performance and cameraman standing up and in the way over people. When i am filming, i always make sure i am not in any ones way. I was knelt down for some of the performance to get different shots as well. I suffering for the art of recording
When your at a gig respect the rest of the audience and the performers, it adds that little but more to the night

It gets hot in there
The one thing i did this is not wear is a big coat. The Flapper is downstairs, not much air goes though it and you can get hot quick. This time i didn't come out sweating like i had come from a minors tunnel, a lot better

You always want to go back for more :)

Photo albums
Among the Echoes 

Among the Echoes

Dj Readman
filmer and radio presenter, producer and gig attendee
Radio Variety Show

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