Flapper And Firkin, Birmingham 28/05/2006
Line up: Volcano!
/The Cape Of Good Hope/Black Hole Orchestra
There are some idiots out there. Seriously, some people have no concept of good results, thinking that bigger/newer is always better. Rather than talking about a band here, I’m actually talking about the prize plonker otherwise known as the sound engineer. Not content with having all the volume settings on 10, a level that distorts sound through the Flapper’s PA, he’s added extra distortion to everything (on percussion and vocal this sounds extremely gash, trust me). Why oh why are people like this allowed to be born?
Making the best of a bad situation first is Black Hole Orchestra. Coming across as Isis meets GY!BE with occasional screamed vocals. An odd mix that I wouldn’t have quite expected to work, flowing from distant serenading soundscapes to post-classical structures in one long thirty minute blast of art-rock.
The Cape Of Good Hope on the other hand is a very different affair. Playing a mix of post-hardcore and swamp rock with a hint of disco, this is the ’mainstream pop’ group for the night. Or as close as you are going to get. Whilst aurally pleasing, they have a certain tendency to sound lost with several tracks being a mish mash of styles which don’t come off too well together. On top of that, a slight equipment failure hinders an otherwise brilliant set.
Thus it’s left to Volcano! to round up our evening. Kicking off with an unorthodox, but pleasantly surprising Otis Reading cover, they proceed to put the sound engineer in his place by telling him what he should of done in the first place: take off the distortion. What followed was a mesmerising journey into epic noise, with the debut of a new track. Sadly however, our experience is cut short by a curfew, though the band is quite amiable about it.
Despite a few dampeners, this was a brilliant night.