Monday, 19 September 2016

Memories of 2016 gigs #6

#6: Pretty Vicious
The Globe, Cardiff - 17 September 2016
Support: Fangclub, Hollow Nothing

Are we losing the art of good sound? What I mean is, are the people manning the mixing desk at gigs these days more concerned about the volume being extra loud than anyone actually being able to hear what's being played? Not for the first time this year we've left a show with our ears buzzing by an overly loud PA, only this time I have to say it was very probably one of the worst sounding gigs I've attended in more than 25 years.

Of course, the support bands suffered from the atrocious sound, but opener Hollow Nothing also suffered from a lack of songs. The most memorable thing about them was their singer, wearing a low-cut top and taking every opportunity to wiggle her assets. More interesting than anything they played, and maybe she knew it. Irish trio Fangclub were better - they had tunes - but they aren't really doing much new. Reminded me a lot of The Vines and numerous other young groups who sprang up post-grunge. I'd like to hear them with a decent sound.

If you've never heard of Pretty Vicious, I refer you to one of my Welsh Wednesday posts from earlier in the year. They're a bunch of teenagers from Merthyr Tydfil who, while not quite teetering on the edge of superstardom, they've made their way to the verge and are looking in. You WILL hear of them soon, I promise you. I was looking forward to seeing them, expecting the energy and ferocity of an early Clash gig. The audience wasn't as predominantly young as I thought it would be (though to be fair, I have a daughter older than a lot of them!), I suspect a lot of family members were in attendance. One woman (one of their mums, perhaps?) seemed to know every word of every song, and threw her drink into the mosh pit like the young folks do. Then she made some weird dance moves with her arms and did Devil Horns and completely gave herself away...

Anyway, unfortunately, Pretty Vicious also fell victim to the appalling sound. The bass was just a rumble and actually hurt my ears (a first). The guitars could barely be heard in some songs. I think the band could have been very decent, but I couldn't hear them above the noise coming out of the speakers! I could make out some of their songs - Are You Ready For Me sounded dreadful, Cave Song sounded OK. They did a version of the Stooges' I Wanna Be Your Dog which wasn't a great idea - it's not up there in the top 100 renditions I've heard before by numerous bands.

A real shame. I've no doubt Pretty Vicious are going to be huge, and I've no doubt they'll make some excellent records; they've already put some great singles out. I've also no doubt they'll be a brilliant live act as long as they get the sound they deserve. But tonight we left feeling more than a little disappointed. Hope my ears get better in time for our next show in three weeks.

MrsRobster's verdict: "I thought all their songs were rubbish except for the last three. Thank god I had my earplugs."


1 comment:

  1. Never heard them but Mrs Robster cuts to the heart of the matter.
    Swiss Adam