Rachel Stamp (Live Review)

Sunday November 21st 2004

Bar academy,


Supports from Far From Silence and Ariel-x.

Even by the remarkably low standards of the Birmingham Academy, the Bar Academy is a shit venue. The room is long and thin; the “stage” area is elevated by an inch; the ceiling is low. All of which means that unless you are one of the lucky eight (at a push) that can fit in the front row, or maybe if you are 7 foot tall, like 2 of the punters for this gig (they really were, it was not just my very limited p.o.v) then you will see nowt. Much of my time, before I gave up gracelessly and went to sit at the back, was spent trying to see the band on people’s ‘phones (very young audience), trying to avoid being headbutted by the young woman behind me who was not so much dancing as fitting, and speculating on how amusing it would be if people’s piercings became locked together whilst they were practising their tonsil hockey. And the sound is pretty ropey too. Don’t go here, it’s not worth it.


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Having said that:… The line-up to this night was really quite promising: ‘fraid I missed Far From Silence but their downloads are good and I might well deliberately search them out at a later date.
(try www.farfromsilence.com – Ed). Ariel-x were loud but sounded pretty together and solid as the set progressed. The crowd liked them but I was still in meeting and greeting mode – afterall, it was a Sunday.

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The lovely Rachel Stamp have a new album and single out that are being well received and this tour is mainly to promote them. They have been together for nigh on 10 years i think and are undoubtedly representative of many bands who have a small cult following and hack up and down the country pedalling their craft to those who like it. And they really are very good at it. Whether or not it’s your cup of tea (kind of quite loud glam-ish rock mainly) it’s infectious and they really do give it their all. William on guitar really makes some tracks with rock-supremo axing, Shaheena on keyboards adding a touch of mystery, David as always fronting with energy and enthusiasm and in pretty good voice, in spite of a lacklustre audience response for much of the time – and I think that reflected the limitations of the venue rather than the band. The set was reasonable and the request encore featured the ever popular “Hey hey Michael”, but what can I say? They’ve been better in better venues – I’d recommend you go and see them – just not here. And the kick-out is 10:30…

Locally, they’ll be back at JBs in Dudley on the 6th Dec, which should be a better bet.

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