October Show Reports

Here I will post my show reports for my Arts Management course.

The two reviews below are written in different styles, the first one being as an academic report and the second written as a review as seen in a magazine.

Review of Mumford and Sons at Moles, Bath

mumford and sons

On 7th October 2009 I went to moles in Bath to see Mumford and Sons a folk, bluegrass, pop band.

Upon entering the venue we found it quirky and simple yet small and very cramped. Being an old cellar it had low ceilings and many different rooms but I believe it had been made as open planned as possible. I felt that the venue was perfect for this event as it humanised the people on the stage and made it much more personal. We were even standing in the crowd with Marcus Mumford and his, also famous, girlfriend Laura Marling to watch the support bands.

Mumford and Sons had three support bands. The first being the Good Gods a rock and roll influenced indie band playing cover songs transformed into their own style. After they had played their half an hour set a singer song writer named Pete Roe appeared on stage. I thought that this was well managed as it meant that both big bands playing would not be carrying items on and off stage at the same time as this would slow down the transition and mean waiting longer in between sets. The third band, Shoreline, played mellow, almost film-like music which calmed the audience yet encapsulated their attention. There seemed to be a wave like movement as the crowd watched this large band play.

I thought that the choice of support acts were very well chosen as, while being very different to each other, shared similarities in the many different genre encompassed by Mumford and Sons, in the hope to please everybody.

In between supports it was very difficult to move towards the bar as there were so many people but when we did we found that we were served reasonably quickly considering the number of people there and the prices were very reasonably with a good range of drinks available.

Although they had trouble finding us on the guest list as we arrived, we found the stewards very helpful and friendly. They kept the crowd well in control as everybody exited the building and worked quickly to prevent queues.

There was a buzz in the audience as Mumford and Sons came on but this brought everybody to the front which was a little claustrophobic. The band played well varying their set between tracks from their old EP and newly released album. I found that there were many different age ranges there, from teenagers to middle aged couples perhaps because of the folk revival happening recently with other bands such as Johnny Flynn, Noah and the Whale and Joanna Newsom. I also found it interesting that although the event quickly sold out and many people were there the majority of the audience did not seem to be familiar with the songs and there was little singing along.

In conclusion I felt that this performance was extremely successful in every aspect. However, if I was organiser I may have chosen a different venue because although Moles suited the music and made the performance much more personal, it sold out extremely quickly suggesting that if it was based in another, larger venue it would have sold more tickets and therefore created more money. You would need to be careful, however, as to not lose the atmosphere created at this event.

Afternoon music at the Croft, Bristol

the croft

On the 10th October my acoustic folk band played a half an hour set at the Croft in Bristol. We were asked to arrive at 2pm and we were ready and raring to go by 1.55pm which I thought was pretty good for musicians. The organiser, however, was half an hour late.

The venue has a retro vibe painted red with multi- coloured spotlights throughout the building. When looking at the gaudy ‘What’s on’ board outside I found a large range of bands playing most weekends but no evidence of this particular event. When looking on the website previously I found no evidence there either. I should think you would have to be some sort of Sherlock Holmes to know this event was happening.

During our 45 minute wait for our sound check, in which no one else was sound checking so god knows what they were doing, I came across a poster in the ladies toilets. The words ‘Adelaide’s Cape’ caught my eye, being the name of the band, but otherwise it was camouflaged into the wall. This particular A5 size poster looked as though it had been made by a 5 year old on paint with small text boxes for the band names and obscure pastel coloured lines surrounding it like an optical illusion.

Not only was the poster a disappointment but when looking at the bands this also came as a bit of a shock. Along with our melodramatic folk – pop music there was a progressive jazz band, solo ukulele player and an electro-pop group. I am not quite sure which type of demographic this venue was trying to attract but they certainly didn’t attract any as the only people watching were the staff and other bands.

The bands themselves were impressive in their genre and the venue has a quirky charm to it which was friendly and well kitted out technologically but unfortunately these Saturday afternoon sessions won’t bring in any customers unless it’s at a more sociable time with more professional advertising.

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