zoo_music_girl: (Bikers Jacket)
Last night we went to see The Sisters of Mercy. I use the word "see" loosely as there was a huge amount of dry ice and we only got occasional glimpses of the band. I used to be a huge Sisters fan. I have This Corrosion in three formats. I have umpteen bootlegs because my local record shop used to keep them by for me. I've even got an original copy of "The Damage Done". This was my third attempt to see the Sisters (there weren't a lot of opportunities for gigs living in North East Scotland as a teenager). I had a ticket for the infamous cancelled Birmingham gig in 96 or 97, and I was at the Astoria in 2000 (2001?) but got stuck right at the back and the guy I'd just met in the pub wouldn't shut up. (He was cute, but he wasn't that cute.) Third time lucky?

We'd planned to skip the support band and have a drink with Steer and Jane first but we missed them (bumping into them as they were leaving) and ended up at the Astoria really early anyway. We were both feeling a bit crappy so we made the most of being early and grabbed a table upstairs with a good view of the stage. I'm glad we were early because support band The Ivories were very much my thing, three Chrissie Hynde impersonators on vocals, guitar and drums and a bloke on bass playing bouncy punk flavoured rock. The singer was channelling Patti and pre-Juju Siouxsie. Great stuff. I'll be buying their album, which I think the singer said was out on Monday. She used to run a club called "Release the Bats". Be still my beating heart.

The Sisters, unfortunately, sucked. Big time. The sound was awful, not much improved when we ventured downstairs, and Eldritch's vocals were absolutely buried in the mix (apparently he couldn't hear himself either), in fact the only thing I could hear clearly was Doktor Avalanche, and it was sounding tinny. For me the lyrics and Eldritch's amazing voice are absolutely crucial to the songs. What's "Giving Ground" without the deep bass growl on "ground"? I didn't even recognise "This Corrosion" till the "hey now now" bit came in, and the lovely phrasing at the end of "Dominion" was almost impossible to make out. The best ones were definitely the big crowd pleasers, because you could actually hear the words.

Lousy sound aside I'm still not sure it would have been that great a gig, there was just too much damn dry ice for them to put on a decent visual show and I really didn't like what they did to some of the songs. I felt like calling the RSPCA for what they did to "Anaconda", and you can call me a boring purist if you like, but "Something Fast" really shouldn't have a guitar solo. Even Simon said so.

On the plus side, there were lots of songs I didn't know, so it looks like they actually have new material. Unfortunately I didn't like any of it much, but perhaps it will be better on record. We stayed for one encore and buggered off. I doubt there'll be a fourth time.

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zoo_music_girl

March 2009

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