Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Caravan Palace gig, Bath

What do gigs mean? Ropy cameraphone shots!

'It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing', Duke Ellington once sang, and the man was definitely on to something.

I'd heard a bit of Caravan Palace online, so when I heard (last Tuesday) that they'd be coming to Bath on the following Monday, Mr Robot and I snapped up tickets. The venue was Komedia, a comedy club that used to be the old ABC cinema, and still has a good chink of the cinema architecture inside. Doors were supposed to open at 7:30; it was raining and there was a long queue so we had to wait outside, and the doors opened late, which did not put me in a good mood, but it's par for the course with Komedia, apparently. (I've only ever been there for silent film showings as part of the Bath Music Festival, so hadn't encountered this before.)

Asbo Disco were providing the music between bands - not my sort of thing. It didn't help that the sound in Komedia, at least in the balcony where we were, was a tad too loud. And the balcony smelled like a train loo where someone had tried to cover up the smell of piddle with joss sticks. Note to self: wear Shocking or Habanita next time you go to Komedia...

The support band was a Bristol band, Yes Sir Boss. They had the usual instruments and a brass section, and those strange hits of both spaghetti western and Easter European which I liked. (I did wonder if all groups from Bristol had to have a trumpet and saxophone nowadays, but as I like the sound, it's a rule I'd appreciate...) I quite liked them; they were lively and a bit different and I'd happily watch them again.

Then Caravan Palace. They took quite a long while to set up, which was a shame as the delay killed the mood for me somewhat. They're an electro-swing band; I'm more familiar with their swingy stuff, and quite a bit of it was more electro than swing so I didn't enjoy the show as much as I expected to, although that is an issue of personal taste rather than ability as most of the rest of the audience seemed to be having a wonderful time. Singer Zoe was fantastic, and the rest of the band members played brilliantly. The tracks I really do like by them, like Rock it for Me (which they even did a bit of enjoyable swing dancing to) and Clash, were ace. I just found a lot of the instrumental bits rather more akin to modern dance music, and I'd really hoped for a session of Rock it for Me-style stuff.

I don't regret going; I've been to two local gigs this year, which is two more than I've been to for the rest of the past decade. Even Mr Robot didn't regret it, although he detests beepy music and therefore didn't enjoy much of the evening. I did feel quite bad for putting him through it! It's been really exciting and enjoyable seeing and hearing new things.

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