Anarchy Brewery - Newcastle 7th May
Following Friday's top-class happening at Hartlepool, tonight's follow-up gig was going to be a big ask. Fortunately, I know a few guitarists up to the job, and as it happens, Chris Buck was bringing his old/new (or other way round) band, Cardinal Black to town, on what was the last date of their current UK tour. And this band has an extra dimension in the form of vocalist Tom Hollister, who has probably one of the best Soul-tinged voices this side of the Atlantic. And after having seen Chris with his other band, Buck & Evans, and having missed the Cardinals first tour last year, Boy was I looking forward to this....
Well, be careful what you wish for... This was my first visit to Anarchy Brewery, who only started doing gigs less than a year ago. It may be a long time since we brewed Newkie Brown in town, but you can still have a p..er...knees up in a brewery in Newcastle. So the "room" is part of an old former machine shop at the side of brewery; large flat concrete floor, decent sized stage (about the same as The Steelies), 20ft suspended ceiling and walls part corrugated iron & part Perspex sheet: not too optimistic on the sound then, but every room has a "sweet spot", if you can find it in among the 250+ who turned out.
No, limitations of the room aside, for me, the mix was barely adequate; main fault being that the bass was too dominant in the mix. Had I been listening to Pino Palladino back in the day when he played for Paul Young, I'd have been happy; but this sounded too much like Steve Severin or some other 1980s Goth band. The net effect was that it detracted from Chris Buck's playing; to me, Chris has a style like Dave Gilmour, you hear the top of what's playing and you notice that subtly, underneath, he's doing his own counterpoint; this nuance was lost. Not the bass player's fault, Sam Williams is actually very, very good. The only remedy on the mix seemed to have been to tweak Tom's vocals up a notch; didn't work for me unfortunately.
What should have been a dream gig then, was disappointing: it won't stop me from seeing Chris & the band again, mainly to check if this was an aberration, but I'd be hesitating before going back to the brewery (for a show, leastways).
Set list (approximate as I left before the end...) - All vids from Glasgow, the previous night - much better mix....
Terra Firma https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucg9eEG6qHk
Where I've Been
Ain't My Time https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlDcj4GtY64
On My Own https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwcy0EXOtbI
Tell Me How It Feels
Warm Love https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvfyEYm_K-M
Where Do You Go
Little Bird(Annie Lennox cover) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgb-ihdNRfA
I'm Ready https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYGShqlQ4_A
Tied Up In Blue https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NQ6_JHHcUw
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana...