Friday, December 12, 2008

The Puppini Sisters (and a rant or two) @ The Town Hall, Birmingham, Wednesday 10th December 2008

I really, really want to like the Town Hall. Really I do. It's a magnificent building, one of the few remains of our once great city. But it just lacks something. Every gig I've been to there feels like a school assembly. I assume the seats come out and maybe they've done some standing gigs there already. Maybe that would help? Certainly tonight would've benefitted from being able to stand and jiggle around a little. I had audience issues (again...is it just me?) tonight too. Namely four women in front of us. Row D seats 2,3,4 and 5 if you're reading. Yes. You. No it is not alright to lean across your mates during the gig cackling and chatting. Nor is it okay to start texting people in the middle of a gig. Clearly you don't get out much. That's a shame but, given your selfish behaviour and clear disregard for anyone who had come to listen to the band - and not your shrieking - maybe that's a good thing n'est ce pas? Next time stay at home please and watch Little Dorrit, X Factor or whatever it is that people like you do when you're not irritating the fuck out of me.

Anyway. The music. The Puppini Sisters are a wonderfully entertaining trio of ladies who 'swing up' all manner of modern (and ancient) tracks. Last time I saw them at The Glee Club (a much better venue for them) they were able to connect with each other (and the audience) far more successfully. Tonight, spread out across the large stage area, it was a lot harder to get the closeness that brings the whole thing to life. Actually they are far more suited to some dark, velvet lined bar with an intimate layout, loads of candles and a nice bottle or two of claret. They'd have been perfect at Ronnie Scotts (RIP) on Broad Street for example. There's some Big City Plan going on in Birmingham at the moment. Much to my shame I haven't really bothered to find out about it all. I think it's something to do with making Birmingham the city it could (and should be). More 'interesting' venues is a must. Bollocks to noise pollution. The city needs more venues. Let's convert the old derelict buildings that lie all over the place. Spend some of the £65million wasted on the Public and give artists, performers and budding business folk subsidised space. Pedestrianise Digbeth High Street (from the Rainbow downwards) divert the traffic down the sidestreets and make Digbeth the artistic centre is deserves to be. Get the tram system going. It ain't difficult. It ain't complicated. It doesn't need a ten year debate. Just wake up and do it. Hmmmm...this is less of a review and more of a rant today isn't it? Oh well. After the break the four 'people' in front of us seemed to lose the will to live (maybe they realised they couldn't vote anyone off?) and gave up gabbling to each other. The sound quality seemed better too and the night redeemed itself - just. It wasn't the Sisters fault. They were, as ever, superb. It just didn't suit them. Maybe The Old Rep would make a better setting next time. Or how about The Electric Cinema? The Glee's fine too. As for The Town Hall...I want it to do well but I'm not sure what the answer is. Maybe its just not for me...

4 comments:

Russ L said...

They can move the seating on the floor - I've been to a gig there where they instead had tables and space for a dancefloor.

Anonymous said...

Hi! If you liked the Puppini, you should check the Blue Dolls an Italian female vocal trio (www.bluedolls.it).
They recently published a fantastic Christmas song....
Ciao!

The Baron said...

Hi Russ, yes that would be a much better set up. I'm not much of a dancer but I do like to jiggle my left leg a little...maybe even the right one if I'm feeling adventurous. Like I say I really want to love the Town Hall. We're lucky to have it but it just needs a little more...ooomph. I'll go along to a non seated event an see what it's like.

The Baron said...

Hello anonymous!

Thanks for the tip. Love them! They should come to the UK and hook up with the Sisters for a swing off. Cool website too (that festive animation is soooo sweet).

Happy Christmas!

El Baron