Progventure Part 1: Textures, The Ocean - The Garage, London, United Kingdom, 25.11.2011
|Event:||Textures: UK Tour 2011|
Textures, The Ocean - The Garage, London, United Kingdom, 25.11.2011 by Ivor (27)
A week in England. Those who know me, or the more clairvoyant bunch of you, probably know the reason I went there. Those who don't... well, those will have to find out in a short while. Anyway, I had a week to spend there, and what can be better than to attend some concerts? The more, the merrier, as they say. Which makes me think I'm somewhat nuts. Leaving debatable (in)sanity aside, though, I got out a gig guide and started searching for gigs of some interest, preferably prog. Hence, the name suggested itself for these small concert series of no little personal significance - Progventure.
So, the first gig I ended up picking out was Textures and The Ocean with support of Aliases, taking place at a club called The Garage in Islington part of London. Although, these technical bunch are not what you'd call my first choice for a good live set but in the absence of anything more suitable, and the need of something more heavy and violent for a change, I figured, for better or worse, I'd give them a chance at kicking off my adventure.
Having spent the day walking around London, I was planning on arriving in time for the first band, or, at the worst case, make it on time. In that I failed. When I got to the venue, I had to sort out some minor issues with the photo pass while Aliases were on stage, and had been for some time already as far as I could tell. So, when I entered the hall I only managed to catch one song or so by them. Having not heard the band before, this was way too short a time to make much sense of their performance, and of what I heard I think they were too far off for my tastes.
While I essentially missed the first band, I had enough time to take a good look at the club we were in. The Garage is a rather small place, looking sort of like a downscaled hangar. It wasn't crowded yet but, by the looks of it, I was guessing it would get pretty tight. However, the first thing I was hit by upon entering, was the heat. It was not just warm, it was sweltering hot; it felt like the gig was taking place in a sauna. It really had been a while since I was at a club with that little air to breathe, and, by the looks of it, this was going to be a long and sweaty night.
After a little break for stage set up, The Ocean was ready to go. I had already seen them once at Hellfest this past year and I rather enjoyed their energetic delivery, and hence was looking forward to what would happen next. Well, the energetic delivery was still there - jumping up and around, and most notably diving into the crowd. Which is somewhat of a feat as the crowd didn't seem to be packed enough. I mean, as far as I could tell, a split chin was looking to be the most likely outcome of a stage dive. However, the devout fans kept the singer afloat and the gig went on.
I can't say I was happy with the outcome. One of the problems was the aforementioned heat. However, the second bad ingredient was the sound that was a bit off, or, rather, tuned to the heavy bass which was almost but not quite rolling at some points. Which to some extent ruined the calmer parts of The Ocean's repertoire, drowning clean vocals and cleaner guitars a bit. A shame, that, because that's the side of The Ocean I enjoy, having great tunes and melodies there. Being there and seeing them live again got me thinking, though, that I'd enjoy the band a whole lot more as an instrumental act. Nevertheless, The Ocean really warmed the crowed up, and there's a difference between being warm and being warmed up.
Then, during the break, something unusual happened. There was this random guy who took out a book, leaned on the wall and started reading it. So, my curiosity got to me and I went to check with him whether the show was bad and boring, or the book too good. Turns out he was one damn reasonable dude, as he said that while the band is doing the set up he might as well take the time and read the book. Or, in short, why not? Kind of reminded me how my friend and I ended up playing chess at a nightclub but that's a whole different story. But indeed, why the hell not read a book? A beer, or a book...
So, a short while later, up stepped Textures, the main act of the evening. Having listened to their latest album and having discovered some stuff that I dig, I was curious how they would pull it off live. First things first, though, the photos had to be taken. Which turned out to be a pretty impossible task. I mean, generally lighting conditions improve towards the main act. This time, however, Aliases got the most light, conditions were iffy during The Ocean, and downright awful during Textures. Oh well, can't have everything, so that left me with the music.
Textures suffered from some of the same problems as The Ocean, the over amplification of lows being the main one. And while their music is more coherent (read: makes more sense structurally), their delivery was quite a bit more reserved. Granted, the songs that really rocked, really rocked, making the crowd go wild. If you want a prime example of that, take "Awake" from Silhouettes, powerful song to be delivered. The new singer - and I didn't even know they had a new one - manages his stuff well. The mosh pit was not really comparable to what you might see at some good-sized festivals but people were enjoying themselves and there was room for everybody. I had feared the venue would be tightly packed but I'd rather describe it as being comfortably full.
The set of Textures felt rather short but to the point. Although, I think it was an illusion. As with The Ocean, there are some songs by Textures that I prefer quite a bit more than others, namely calmer stuff, but on the whole, it was still quite enjoyable. I was rather surprised that it was all over at about 11 PM, which seemed quite early for a Friday night. However, that left plenty of time to navigate London underground. So, although this was not the ideal choice for me for a rocking gig, heat aside, it wasn't as bad as I feared it might be. I'd say Part 1 of my Progventure was quite a success - I was in England and I had already seen some bands. Onwards!
Progventure Part 3: Arena, Touchstone, Haken - The Assembly, Royal Leamington Spa, United Kingdom, 27.11.2011
Progventure Parts 2&4: Pure Reason Revolution - The Final UK Tour
Written on 11.12.2011 by
I shoot people.
Sometimes, I also write about it.
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