Saturday, November 03, 2007
Gigbeth Opening Ceremony Digbeth High Street Thursday 1st November 2007
I'd be interested in hearing what the rest of the audience thought of this...both of them. I jest, but only just. Where the hell was everyone? Judging by the size of the makeshift arena the organisers were expecting far more people to turn up than the 100 or so that did. Arriving there at 7.45 (and expecting the whole shebang to be in full swing) we found instead that there were soundchecks and all sorts of major technical hitches going on. I heard one guy on stage say "Shouldn't we have checked this yesterday?". Well, yes, you should've done. Could we not have had some music to listen to at least while we all waited? Would it not have been possible to have entertained the crowd in some way? How about a screen next to the stage showing some local band videos? Or just some bloody music from somewhere. It was supposed to be the bloody launch of a bloody music festival. Aaaaagggghhhhhh!!!! It was left to Nizlopi to climb down from the stage to play 'unplugged' at the front of the small crowd. Good on 'em. Things finally got going at 8.20, with Nizlopi 'plugged'. The 'lopi are always a treat and I loved it when they were joined by the lead singer of the next band Achanak (although his mic didn't work at first). It's only by reading the BiNS site that I'm now aware that this was one of the main points of the night, getting one band to jam with the next so that the whole evening formed one long session. Nice idea. Just the kind of thing that could make Gigbeth as diverse as it claims to be. Quite ambitious though, particularly given the technical tsunami that threatened to engulf everything. Achanak played a few lively Bhangra tracks (why don't we see more local Bhangra bands in places like the Academy?) before making way for jazz legend in the making Soweto Kinch. Again he was only allowed to play a few tracks, happily this included the anti-bling anthem 'So' together with some quality backing from the Nizlopi double bass player. Having see Mr Hudson and the Library recently (and fearing that the sound gremlins would muck up their set too) we wandered off into the night. I can't help thinking that the whole evening was a bit of a wasted opportunity. Not only on the part of the organisers, but the people of Birmingham too. It would have all been so much better with a decent crowd, a sound system that worked and just a bit more thought. Moan over.