Saturday, 24 October 2009

Windmill - 25/10/09 - cancelled

Unfortunately, we've decided we have to pull out of the Windmill gig tomorrow - Huw is unwell, and we don't think we can do this one without him. Sorry!

More dates in March/April 2010, we hope.
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Thursday, 15 October 2009


1. The Against Entitlement vinyl has arrived. Little Red Rabbit have a re-adjusted release date of 23rd November. But if you want to mail order it anyway, contact us on eclamp[at] and we'll let you have the Paypal details to get it direct from us.

2. There's a good quality podcast of our strange unplanned-drumless London show here. The first set is Former Utopia, the second is Lazarus Clamp.

3. We're at Brixton Windmill on Sunday 25th October.

4. There's a rather odd but positive review of Against Entitlement here.
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Saturday, 3 October 2009

The Station

'Unsatisfying' is probably the best way to describe this one, even though it was nice to do something in Birmingham, and for the Lunar Society, too. The gig was transferred from the Hare and Hounds to The Station some months ago because of a double-booking with John Cooper Clarke [which gave me a weird sense of deja vu - I'm sure the same thing happened with JCC in Leicester once?]. Naturally, the Hare and Hounds was bursting at the seams, as it is every Friday night. And naturally [this is L Clamp, after all], The Station was in less healthy form. Half the beers were off, and one none of those that were on were actually 'beer,' unfortunately.

The old PA from the Jug of Ale has been deposited in the Station, and it grumbled and crackled its way through the soundcheck, coaxed along by Justin, winner of the Super Helpful Soundman on the Night award. The tone was set though, by a an overpriced and underperforming pre-gig supper on York Rd. Complaints were made. Things were sent back. Optimism was dispersed.

As opener James Summerfield noted, it was an intimidatingly 'select' - i.e. small - and attentive audience. It didn't seem to throw him off though - I really enjoyed his set, especially the untitled new song [despite his advance disclaimer that it wouldn't work]. How about 'Not in a Biblical Sense' for a title, James? [It was a too good joke to only use once].

Chase Mist took the middle slot. They belong to a different universe to us really, and with a bigger audience that wouldn't have mattered much - electic line-ups can work well, when there's a broad shore for the waves to break upon, so to speak. But we were navigating by different stars, and it must have felt like as a difficult a gig for them as it did for us.

I couldn't figure out what to play, or what order to play it in, and during our first few songs I got lost somewhere between trying to second guess the sound [which was ok out front, I think, but very muddy on stage] and anticipate the audience [always an error]. John was almost certainly right to suggest that we should just play whatever we felt like playing - my own inclination was to kick off with Liar or Your Song, and blow some of the jangling nerves away. But we didn't - we started slow and quiet as we had at the other gigs this week, and even though it helped Justin to recover his levels, it was the wrong call, I think.

Night of the steep learning curve
New hat
Hard work
We set out to fail and succeeded
Stone beats this

I didn't hit any kind of stride until 'Fail,' really, but I did enjoy playing the last three. It can't have been as awkward as it felt; afterwards, Alan Bearos enthusiastically described our performance as like 'an American civil war pre-folk version of Uresei Yatsura,' which neither I nor Helen could make any sense of ... but it sounded encouraging!
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Thursday, 1 October 2009


Huw emailed in, sick. Nobody believed him, and so he sent us some pictures to prove it.

They didn't look good, as you can see - so we went ahead without him.

After the usual London-related car adventures [overheating in the uncivilised traffic] and the usual subsequent rushed soundcheck, we sat down with coffee and food and tried to work out what we could play without him.

Having ruled out about half the things we had prepared to play, and cast numerous aspersions in poor Huw's direction, we finally settled on a set. And told ourselves that it wouldn't work, but it wouldn't matter, because we'd swapped with Construction & Destruction to go on earlier, and so no one would see us.

John, Andrew and I sat in the back room while George got ready to play, and tried to work out how to cover up all the bits that Huw usually fixes. Tom watched us and grinned, exactly like a man who's technical frailties are not about to be exposed by the absence of a more talented colleague. Which of course they weren't: violin is violin, with or without drums.

George kicked things off and was great. The place filled up as he played. It began to look like it would probably matter a bit after all.

We eventually worked through this:

Steep learning curve
New hat
Hard work
Set out to fail
Etymologist's lament
Your song

I wasn't convinced that Spon stood up, but the rest seemed to work well - even if the songs we ended up with didn't really have the dynamic range that the lovely sound in the Luminaire merited. It got hotter, and more enjoyable, as we went along. Your Song definitely shouldn't have worked. It sort of did. Fancy that.

After that, Construction and Destruction were finally done justice, with their proper equipment, and a good soundman. Julie, Dan and Fred, were great, again. It was George's birthday, and a very enjoyable night. I drove home, but fell asleep at Oxford Services.

Right. Bring on the folk dimension. Brumdignab next.

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