First Show at Port Office Hotel pretty good

The first show we played at the Port Office Hotel was a ‘success by serendipity’. Linus turned up with a full drum kit ‘cos he’d decided that this was the true way forwards for him to add more groove to the sound. When Brendan first found out he went a slightly pale colour and emitted all manner of oaths but then he immediately got his head around it, micd the kit and it was great. A very good job Linus did bring the kit as well, more about that in a couple of paragraphs.

The Port Office Hotel is a very nice venue: Comfortable, spacious enough but not a warehouse, and a really good sound-system. The place was pumping with a lot of fat bass but clear tops. Nice.

This week we were joined by the exceptionally talented Aled Humphrys on keyboards. We’d never met before and he’d only heard our stuff online. He played really well and did himself proud. He’s a very fine musician indeed. It was great playing with him.

Maximum respect to Kayla for turning up and bringing the voice even thought she was very, very poorly. Even with a cold Kayla sang over most of our set and improvised over at least 40 minutes of improv that we all played. Very well I might add.

We suffered about a 60% tech failure throughout this show: The Soft-step and Abelton stopped talking to each other in the first minute of the show so that meant I couldn’t record any real-time loops to play over. Then the ‘key locate’ function on Abelton failed so I couldn’t find any tracks throughout the set without first playing the intro. Because of this about 7 new tracks didn’t get played for this show. On top of all this the new ‘Push’ controller started spasming about an hour into the show so that I lost all visual feedback as to our position in a given track which meant I spent most of the show flying by braille. The result being I couldn’t really match the next track to the current mood of the audience so that the overall narrative of the 4 hours was a bit disjointed. However, because there were actual musicians on the band-stand, whenever the tech failed we just started jamming. Linus having a full kit instead of percussion really saved our arses here. With drums, keys and a bass player you can play most things. Not so with only bongos and congas instead of a kit.

A lot of the jamming was freeform but we also squeezed in a couple of covers. One such jam was the Dee-Lite classic ‘Groove is in the Heart’ as a Rhodes driven Jazz-Funk number. It was the first time Kayla sang this song and she did a first class job. Actually we’ll be releasing this on CD Baby / iTunes in the next 7 days so we can all have a listen.

All the above notwithstanding though people were grooving and various little groups came and went throughout the evening: everyone was bobbing their heads. It was good.

Every show will get more efficient: ‘Mission control’ is at the computer doctor right now getting all moving parts replaced with solid state. This should add an amount of stability. We’ve also come up with a sound-file loading fix which should smooth things out.

Another show at the Port Office Hotel to come next week only this time we’ll be joined on keys by Sarah Gall. From what we gather she is an excellent keyboard player. Can’t wait to hear what we sound like with her playing. Kayla, Aled and Linus working it well.

Kayla, Aled and Linus working it well.