November Show Reports

Oxjam Takeover Festival, Norwich

During the last weekend of October I travelled the five hour train journey back to my hometown of Norwich. This was also to see my family by primarily to perform at the Oxjam Takeover festival held over a range of venues around Norwich.

The car pulled up outside Dragon Hall, which, at first glance appeared empty. “How do we get in?” we asked two volunteers outside.

“I don’t know, knock on that door” they replied. So we struggled through the door like pack horses to find a young girl sitting at a desk folding leaflets.

“Hi, we’re Adelaide’s Cape, here for our sound check.” The young girl looked utterly bewildered.

“Err…um…” she mumbled, and little did we know that this would be the response we would get from everyone, all day.

After speaking to the sickeningly bubbly organiser we headed upstairs to an empty room. This being just 45 minutes before the doors opened, we began to fret. After half an hour still no sign of a sound man or a PA system and when it did finally arrive it became clear that this ‘sound man’ was not a sound man at all but an ordinary man who knew nothing about sound systems or sound at all for that matter.

Finally, fellow band member Sam had had enough and took matters into his own hands. He set up the PA himself to find that they didn’t have half the equipment they needed. It was obvious that the event was badly organised as they wanted everything set up in front of the fire exit and had no gaffer tape to fix down the wires. The whole room was a health and safety nightmare!

Miraculously, we played this gig only fifteen minutes late. The audience was sparse as apparently someone forgot to open the doors and many people left confused and out of pocket. The people who did get let in watched the whole set up of the PA system and our sound check. It must have looked like a comedy act.

This report doesn’t even touch on half the things wrong with this event. The list is endless including there being no spare equipment, no trained staff, not enough microphones and some volunteers being more concerned with putting table cloths on tables than helping set up the music.

I can honestly say that this is the worst organised performance I have ever been to and I cannot believe that this organiser was representing Norwich’s music scene.

Adelaide’s Cape @ Oxjam Takeover Norwich 2009

For more information on the line up and venues of this event go to:

World music night at the Southbank club, Bristol

My friend announcing that she had free entry to a world music night in Bristol excited me because I have a really passion for it and the music has inspired a lot of events I have planned or attended in the last few years, so I begged her to take me.

We soon found, when arriving at Bristol’s Temple Meads train station that the directions given on the website would not suffice in getting us to the Southbank club as the only land marks given were Asda and a section of the river. With the aid of Google maps on my phone we arrived a little late.

I thought that it seemed a strange location for a successful arts venue as it looks to me like a local pub in a residential area, although not far from the city centre.

On entering there was a warm welcome from a rosy cheeked steward and Dan the organiser. The music had already started so we hurried to our seats. It looks like a community centre with a high ceiling, bar at the back and being perfectly square.  It was made homely with arm chairs around candle lit tables and draping fabric to soften the perpendicular angles.

On the small stage contained Catalonian singer Xavier Panades and his accompanying guitarist. Their music was round and comical but entertaining. It enhanced storytelling and visual effects as well as music which I thought was a great first act.

The next act, Geoarge Papaugeris sang beautifully lyrical folk songs which the influence of Greece which was a perfect complement to the earlier act although, I would argue that in my opinion I would consider his songs too English to be involved in a world music night.

Lastly was the very talented sarod player Simon Kohli accompanied by tabla. Although the absence of lyrics was disappointing, the talent was not endless.

The demographic for this particular even seemed to be ethnic minorities but it seemed as though locals often paid to get into the various events.

Overall, it was a very relaxing night in a warm friendly atmosphere with talented musicians. I would defiantly attend the venue again. It seemed well equipped in terms of lighting and sound system yet the facilities could have been more desirable as walking to the toilets felt like walking though an abandoned house. These are technicalities though as I thoroughly enjoyed myself.


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