I really like small gigs, small venues where the stage is just a couple feet high, and you can stand right in front of the band as they play.
So, after having seen Red pony clock outdoors at Indietracks last weekend, i was quite excited to see them again in London, at the much smaller and intimate stage of the Gramaphone. So there I was last night, still tired and recovering from the weekend, but all charged up for what promised to be a great gig.
But then the magic didn't work, the sound was terrible at the Gramaphone , the whole thing was way too loud, and the vocals were barely audible, actually, you couldn't hear much apart from the the bass and brass. It was such a shame, because it would have been great if it was somewhere else - all 8 (or nine?) of them managed to squeeze in the small stage, and even though they had been touring for a couple of weeks, the they were full of energy, syncronizing tons of different sounds ( a couple of guitars, a violin, drums, vibraphone, clarinet, trombone, trumpet, oboe and an accordion) and dancing non stop. They were still fun to watch, but all their effort seemed wasted as most of the music was getting lost in a big loud mess that was coming out the speakers.
And then, on the other hand, I've been wanting to see Darren Hanlon at a small venue like that for ages, I missed his shows a couple of times in the past couple of years, and only got to see him for the first time a couple of weeks ago supporting the Magnetic Fields at a big concert hall, the acoustic was beautiful, but it didn't feel right. Then i saw part of his set at Indietracks, playing in the same big outdoor stage where i later saw red pony clock. And it was nice, most people were just sitting on the grass and basking at the sunshine while watching him play, but there was still something missing...
So i guess i can only keep my fingers crossed Darren will play a couple of smaller shows before he heads back to Australia, and that someday i'll see Red pony clock again, at the exact opposite kind of venue - somewhere not so small, not so intimate, and to a bigger crowd who can dance away under the sunshine.