Last night, Ellie Goulding pulled out of supporting Passion Pit at the O2 Academy in Bristol to go and see Alan Carr (apparently). Ellie has been all over the press recently and is the shining light of all things pop, pretty and cheerful. Little Death, on the other hand looked jetlagged, tired and about as weary as their name suggested. This was the first night of their tour and they were so, so loud that there was no point in pretending that they were playing music. A wall of noise was constantly strummed out and even when the feedback screeches became a little too piercing the sound guys at the back of the room remained unperturbed. One of the songs was mostly quite good because they left out the guitars but it descended into chaos once they were re-introduced. I was pretty bored and glanced around behind me only to see some guys singing along.
This was a shock, not only because the lyrics were barely audible above the noise, but because they were potentially fans. I turned to Paul to pass on the exciting news and he turned back to tell me that the guys behind us were Passion Pit. I didn’t realise then but this was the highlight of the evening and even prompted some effort into appearing enthused. I even ‘woohoo-ed’ appropriately. It was a wasted effort but did make for a fun few moments. The band on stage stopped at some point and their only fans walked out of the main area to prepare to go on stage. The wait felt long.
The rest of the evening went something like this [see disappointed but accurate review in the Evening Post – oh to be a reporter and rock in to an event after the support act have finished. Tsk.]
The main problem with the set became apparent during the opener I’ve Got Your Number – it was just too quiet. The bass was muted and it all just lacked oomph.
I agree, the night was underwhelming and I was not as enchanted with Angelakos high-pitched vocals live as on the recordings. No song stayed precisely true to its recorded version and Ayad Al Adhamy with his magical digital equipment seemed the most animated of all. The lights were quite funky but the music was more disco beat with hard edges rather than funky soulful embraces around beautiful vocals. The lead singer remained quite calm while the music exploded around him and the lights flashed ever brighter. The band looked like they enjoyed themselves at least and I was more disappointed with being disappointed than anything else.
The first album ‘Chunk of Change’ is wonderful and I spent most of 2009 either running or waking up to it but the second one, Manners, was less inspiring. Neither translated well last night and I found this surprising because their last performance at the Anson Rooms in October 2009 (which I missed) received a great review in the Bristol Evening Post. Nevertheless, it would be unwise to judge a band from one performance and I have high hopes for the next time (though I’m not going back to the O2 to see them). If anyone heard the band play for the first time last night then it wouldn’t have been much of a show. Saying that, the then unknown Cranberries didn’t provide much of a show a few years back, when my friend Paul walked out of their performance in Leicester after two songs, but there we were listening to a cover of Dreams. I would have been just as surprised to hear a cover version of Sleepyhead or Cuddle Fuddle at last year’s Dinosaur Jr gig. What was that all about?!