20 Jul 2012

Narrow Plains: Gig Review

Venue: 100 Club (Oxford St, London)

I have never been to this venue before and was surprised to find it located between Ann Summers & a GAME shop. There's a joke in there somewhere!

As soon as you enter the building you walk down a corridor and then there are some stairs down into the venue. The first thing I noticed was that it was much smaller than I had imagined. It was probably about the same size as the Cavern Club in Liverpool (if you have ever been there) or a 25 metre swimming pool. There was a bar at each end (only one was open) and the stage was in the centre along one of the long walls. All the walls were adorned with photographs of musicians who have played there and some of them were signed. There was a small stacks of chairs (bright orange plastic circa 1970 if you're interested) and about 4 small tables. It was pretty well lit in that it wasn't too dark and it wasn't too bright either. Most of the lighting was red though (again there is a strange theme). 



Time: 7.30pm

They came on the stage about 7.45pm possibly slightly later but to be honest I didn't check. On before them was an acoustic duo called Stewart Mac. Narrow Plains performed 6 songs and were probably on stage for about 25-30 minutes.
I also watched the band who was on after them but I didn't quite catch their name. They were an extreme contrast to the acoustic bands we had been listening to up until then, but they did sort of grow on you.



Set List: 
1.There she goes*
2.Dreams
3.Somewhere in between
4.Seventeen
5.Take me back*
6.Running to your door
*new songs*





I was surprised that they started with a new song and to be honest I can't remember it, I am sure this has something to do with trying to find a good spot to stand where I could take a photo. As you can see I failed on that front and ended up having my view obscured by a pillar. I could hear Charlie I just couldn't see him!

Once they played 'Dreams' then I was happily miming along to the songs that I knew. 'Seventeen', if you have read my review then you will know, is my favourite and I was pleased that they performed that one. The second new song that they played was 'Take me back'. When it started I was surprised because of how different the intro was to the tracks they have recorded already. It was a much faster tempo and the drumming (about a minute in) reminded me of a marching band type of rhythm. I really liked it and was pleased to see them make these subtle changes. For the final song 'Running to your door' the audience were invited to sing along if they knew it, Charlie sang a couple of lines of the chorus, and I think people did join in.

The only negative of the whole thing was the sound, the drums were overpowering the vocals, especially on the first number but fortunately it didn't ruin it. I have a pet hate about sound and oddly enough I was surprised earlier in the evening when I arrived to collect my ticket and was told to come back in 5 minutes as security were just doing the soundcheck?!

If you get the chance to go and see them then I would recommend that you do. Also watch out for a new video of a recording that they have done that will be out (possibly on YouTube or their website) in the next few weeks. All the links are on the review here.

I have never been to a gig where I have reviewed the band and it was quite a weird experience. But I managed to get over it and go and say 'hi' to them and get a photograph. I hope you didn't expect me to be in it!

Roger, Charlie & Stuart.

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