The Imagined Village – Colston Hall Bristol

The Imagined Village – 23rd January 2010 – Colston Hall

I have to say, since discovering The Imagined Village in 2008 I have just been waiting for them to come to a venue near me. So, understandably, I was incredibly excited when I found that they were coming to Colston Hall in Bristol.
The Imagined Village are an elite folk-world fusion group headed by Simon Emmerson containing all the royalty in the folk circuit today. Obviously, with such famous musicians with successful solo careers it is difficult to get all the musicians together at one time, except maybe at festivals, so they don’t tour very often. This then led to major suspense on my part to see who the line-up would be this tour.
There has been a lot of talk about Colston Hall’s big foyer refurbishment and I have to say I like it. Although perhaps not in keeping with the old building I think it made the experience much more exciting, exclusive and luxurious. Perhaps this is why they charge high prices, £22 to see Imagined Village but it was worth it!
As expected with this type of music the demographic was very middle age and middle class. This was proven by the cackling, well spoken women sitting in front of us  sipping wine and talking incredibly loudly.
To my surprise though, the event did not sell out. This surprised me because The Imagined Village are full of such well known musicians in this circuit, and their new album “Empire and Love” has just been released.  Although, later in the show I was informed that the locations of the tour had been changed and originally The Imagined Village were only to perform in Reading but due to popular demand added another date to their list in Bristol. This could explain why it was not sold out.
Although excited, I was also curious as to the sound engineering of such a big band with so many instruments that includes: drum kit, double bass, various other percussion, DJ, sitar, two violins, 3 guitars and 4 vocals. With a set up like this common problems are often that all the instruments make the overall sound too loud or that some instruments down out the others but I have to say the sound was clear, crisp and I had no complaints about the noise level either.
One of my favourite shows of the year! Even if you’re not into your English folk – Raga fusion I recommend seeing this band!

But the best part of my evening, was when they all filmed us shouting “bollocks” to Nick Griffin and sticking our fingers up. You don’t see that at every gig…



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