Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Liam Magill and Arlet at the Picturehouse

The Picturehouse, Canterbury
Friday 3rd August 2012

I hadn't even noticed that this place existed (it's on the High Street, through a narrow entrance). The gig was put together pretty spontaneously by Liam's girlfriend Jen, and it got a reasonably good attendance despite the last-minute announcement. I counted, approximately, at one point, and it was roughly the same size audience as we had when the same artists played in the woods on June 10th — the difference was that it was a Friday evening in a bar, so people were half listening, half socialising. As a result, the music was competing with a background chatter, which was a shame. On the other hand, not being responsible for the event, I was able to relax and enjoy it fully. And it was a good proof-of-concept for the woodland gigs, as Ben from Arlet pointed out afterwards.


Unusually, Liam played an acoustic guitar with no effects. His set included the two new Syd Arthur songs ("Out of Control" and ???), plus some songs which are almost certainly going to be on his imminent debut solo album, and an unexpected Irishy-Afro-prog 6/8 instrumental thing.

Arlet were a four-piece this evening (Aidan on accordion, Rosie on violin, Ben on acoustic guitar and Thom on euphonium). Despite the PA/background noise issues, they achieved a surprisingly good sound. Paradoxically, they could all hear each other better than acoustically in the woods (everything was coming through one amp except Thom's euphonium). An excellent vibe, musically and socially, an they were all beaming happily afterwards. There's an Arlet EP soon to be released on Dawn Chorus, and Owen and his clarinet should be back in town at the end of the summer, so more of this, let's hope.


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