Support: The Natterjacks
@The Bodega Nottingham
Monday 14th November 2016
The venue was the Bodega and the doors opened at 7pm. I now have learned my lesson and didn't arrive exactly at door opening time. I went for dinner first and then headed to the venue. The time was about 7:40pm. At the entrance, the security guard greeted me and asked if I had visited the day before when there was bluegrass music - I said no (but felt as if I must have missed out!). Once I walked up the stairs and into the main area - I noticed there was just 3 guys at the bar and me! Not a great turnout!
I didn't stand at my ordinary left side, it seemed more appropriate to lean on the wall on the right side. Not long after I leaned on the wall, I noticed the 3 guys at the bar were actually the supporting act 'The Natterjacks'. Yes - I was the only one there to hear them!!! I wanted to take my jacket off but I noticed that the place had black lights and I was wearing a white knitted blouse. Not only was I the only one there but I would be shining like a blue-LED firefly!! I decided not to take it off.
They were suppose to start at 8pm but as there wasn't too many people they waited for about 10 minutes. By that time 3 more people arrived. So they started the gig.
The lead singer has a nice distinct voice. He sounds like no one else and this is a great thing for their career and future. They had their own sound. I do expect to hear more about them. Maybe in Nashville?
About half way into their performance more people started entering. I counted - we now became 15 people in total. The lead singer even commented on their arrival. 'Don't worry you only missed the sound check' or something to that effect.
Their performance didn't last that long - give or take about half an hour. They did suggest we find them on Facebook and follow them - which I did.
They left the stage and a pretty young blond with simple attire - sneakers and ripped black jeans holding a red backpack got on the stage. She left the backpack on the side and sound checked her two guitars. It wasn't long when she adjusted her mic and greeted us.
Texas born artist, Sarah Jaffe was on her first abroad tour after a long time. I think she said after 8 years. She had previously toured with Midlake. She said she had a great time but was too young to absorb it all in a sensible way. She thanked the crowd for being there and said that UK audience are very respectful diligently listening. 'I know you don't think you are different - but I'm telling you that you are'. She also commented on how we were so far away from the stage - everybody was leaning on the wall!
This woman has a gift. Her voice is from out of this world. Even though it was just her and her guitar on stage it was magnificent. The saying 'she could even read a phone book' is true here. She is exceptional. If you ever have a chance to hear her live you should definitely grab that opportunity. It baffles me how there were only 15 people there. Perhaps the day (Monday) was to her disadvantage? But it ended at 10pm - not too late. Who knows? What I do know is that she has everything for a great career: a great voice, a nice attitude and a skillful musician.
Between songs she shifted from one guitar to another. Also tunned them. At some point it was taking a bit more time to tune and she commented on it saying 'the guitar is embarrassing me now'.
She played old and new songs. Someone in the crowd whispered 'Clementine' and she heard it. 'I heard someone whisper Clementine. When you are so quiet I can hear everything'! From her new songs I enjoyed 'Overrated'. She said for a long time she wanted to be cool but she has now realized being cool is just overrated. This song is for all of us who are too school for cool!
Do take a look at her social media:
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Support: Submotion Orchestra
@ Rock City Nottingham
Tuesday 8th November 2016016
I was aware of The Cinematic Orchestra for some years now. I was really excited when I saw they would be performing in Nottingham. However in their first announcement, several months ago, they advertised that the date/time would be 4pm on a Tuesday. As a full time worker I was disappointed that I wouldn't be able to make it. Months passed by and out of a happy accident (a.k.a a boring life) as I was strolling through my facebook feed I saw a friend had indicated she was interested in attending the gig. To my surprise the time was set to 7pm (which made more sense). So a day before the gig I bought my ticket online and got an e-confirmation ( hence no ticket to display).
I arrived at 7:30pm. The venue was not packed yet. I found some space in the very front. Me against the iron barriers with just my head popping above it. I looked around to see what type of audience The Cinematic Orchestra have: hipster intellectuales. I couldn't take a picture but I counted endless beards and about 10 black thick frame glasses around me. As the night went by the venue was packed and the audience was quite diverse - a gig for everyone.
The stage was filled with instruments and a whole lot of cables. Musicians entered the stage at about 7:45pm. No word from them was spoken - they went straight to the music. I would categorize it as electronic jazz. To be honest, I didn't like the sound - it was loud and disoriented. I didn't feel the two musical waves (electronic and jazz) pairing well together. The baritone horn sounded out of place even if it was skillfully played.
Then the lead singer appeared on stage and sang a couple tunes. The crowd seemed to enjoy them - but I was baffled.
Were they The Cinematic Orchestra? Did I waste my money on this? I wanted to leave and it was only 20 minutes into the night! When the lead singer finally spoke and said 'this next song is from my second album' apart from realizing I didn't even know they had two albums I also realized they were the supporting act. The billing didn't mention any support and I wasn't sure ( I know all gigs have a support but give me some credit here ...they too are an Orchestra). Anyhow, I was more than OK for them to finish up their act. ( To be fair on them, on my way out at the end of the night, some people did say they enjoyed them and the crowd was welcoming).
Around 8:20pm people started entering the stage again. The started emptying the stage and preparing it for the main event. It took a good 40 minutes to prepare, I was wondering did the supporting act really need all that wire and equipment?!?
I am sure they are very proud to have supported this band. They also had three female vocalists accompanying them. All had very beautiful voices and I am sorry to not be able to report their names. One of them particularly stood out, a beautiful black woman with a gorgeous voice. Everybody in the crowd felt the same way I did. It was evident as she got a standing ovation - I really believe if we were seated we all would have stood up!
As I was enjoying the concert one of the lads I was next to got very drunk and was all over the place. So much so that he we starting to become a menace. At that point I thought of leaving as the time had gone 10pm too even though we still had a good hour for the gig to end. Thankfully the gentleman on my left asked me 'Are you with him?' I replied 'No' and he offered me to switch places! What a refreshing gesture! I did thank him a couple times and thanked him again at the end of the concert. Thank you kind gentleman.
I continued to enjoy the gig. At around 10:30pm they said they would end the gig. They played their 'final' song which I didn't particularly enjoy as the clarinet just kept on going. It might have been because I was directly under the speaker but I found it too piercing. Once that song was over, all musicians lined up and bowed. They then thanked us and left the stage. Of course the lights were still dim and we all know they will show up again. It took 3 minutes for them to get on the stage again. I saw the drummer indicating to the coordinator one or two songs with the coordinator indicating two as if he is indulging the drummer.
One of the songs this time was 'To build a home'. Beautiful - I just love it. The guitarist before playing it said 'Today is a special day but I won't tell you why'. This was the highlight of the night for me. They delivered it beautifully. At the end of the song the vocalist, who's name I think was Heidi, pat the guitarist on the back. They did good.
The night ended with a couple more songs. The drummer gave it his all with a long solo which was later followed by a solo of the clarinet player.
Just your average gig going creative writer. Expect these reviews to be highly subjective and completely unprofessional but hopefully entertaining and informative.