Sunday, 13 October 2013

Gig Diary 1 - Nambucca & Rise 46

Nambucca - So the first gig of my Autumn London dates was North London's Indie cool Mecca Nambucca. I was looking forward to playing here as along with some other dates on this run as I haven't played here before. Nambucca has a lot of "cool" attached to it through its involvement with Pete Doherty, Amy Winehouse etc so it came as no surprise that they were playing over the pub PA as I entered the venue. The place reminds me of The Joiners in Southampton, a pub at the front with a venue out the back of the building. After a rather Spinal Tap moment of not being able to find the place because google maps was pointing me to a bin outside an Indian Resturant I decided to ask a shop owner who directed me about 100 foot down the road. I'm usually quite good at directions too!
I was billed with a young band called Memory Clinic from Wales. A psychedelic pop band who I really think could be one to watch soon. I'd say a more accessible Tame Impala was along the right lines and they were really nice guys too. They told me they had some industry coming down to see them that night and I was hoping for a good crowd. Unfortunately I was wrong and I played to a very empty room, snapping a string whilst tuning and never getting in my stride. That's the game though right!? Some you win some you lose and tonight was a bit of a false start. You could be playing in the Albert Hall but if there's no one to experience it what's the point.....If a tree falls down in a wood and no-ones there to get the idea ;-) The train home that night was rather eventful though, meeting people on my travels is always one of my favourite things and there were some characters on that late night train that could fill a prog rock double album!

Rise 46 - So right up until I was due to play the evidence was pretty conclusive that this was going to be the same and that I was going to be playing to my sister who had kindly drove me up to Clapham, but thankfully it wasn't.....Not that I would have cared though to be honest! I loved the place it's a fantastic venue to hang out, let alone play a gig. It's a 1920s themed bar with Jazz Posters, Art Deco/Nouveux stylings, and the stage is essentially where I imagined the old cellar of the building used to be. There is only space for about 50 people in there so its very intimate with low candle light, beer barrel tables, and a tiny stage.

This makes for a fantastic vibe for any acoustic act and I completely bought into its charm. I seemed to be billed with music student acts which at first made me raise an eyebrow but after hearing them made me feel a little rash in judgement. A common thing with London acts is I find many of them to be very 'showbiz'...almost like they have just stepped out of stage school which of course isn't a problem but I find it hard to believe them at times which can make me switch off...not tonight though. There was a small but engaged crowd in there and after a few Jack Daniels and generally being in love with the place I thoroughly enjoyed the intimate vibe and banter with the people that were there. Some expensively dressed city folk were at the back.. all Dolce & Gabanna and white teeth. I made some wise crack about the fact they all seemed to be drinking Martini's where as down in Portsmouth the preferred tipple was Lager. 5 minutes later I was graced onstage with a Martini and Champagne chaser, which of course I took obligingly! I chipped my guitar on a wall that night which any one who knows me will vouch for the fact this a catastrophe of the highest calibre. Much like a meteor strike or broken arm...but tonight it didn't matter as I had a fantastic time. After stopping off at the permanent motorway fixture for any musician 'The Wild Bean Cafe', we drove home along a misty motorway safe in the knowledge that the mission was accomplished. Rise 46 was the true start of my London run.

Stay Safe
Andy x

Next stop my old haunt Camden!


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