Last time I posted, I said I was going to review the last Liquorice Allstars gig. However, since then, I’ve played another Liquorice Allstars gig – different venue, different lineup – so now there’s two to review. Better get down to it then.
Liquorice Allstars at Heswall Squash Club was, if nothing else, the gig with the most equipment I’ve ever used for a show. Me? I was travelling relatively light, with just my Epiphone Sheraton semi-acoustic, a borrowed Vox Cambridge amp, my mic and stand and a bag full of leads. Gafro had brought along his Roland drum electronic kit and a compact PA through which to hear himself.
Joe Elephant, meanwhile, had brought along, well, just about everything he could cram into his van: PA, subwoofers, monitors, power amps, lights, stands, bass guitar, bass amp, acoustic guitar, bags and bags of leads of all different shapes and sizes. I was so impressed by the size of his equipment (ooer missus!) that I took this picture:
As you can imagine, it took quite some time to unload, carry all that gear up the stairs and set up, so by the time we were all plugged in and switched on it was time for the first set. I’d changed my mind in the van on the way to the gig and decided we should open with an easy-listening, easy-playing acoustic set – I wasn’t confident that we had enough electric material to stretch over two sets.
How we managed to make a complete plums of the opening number – Somewhere in my Heart by Aztec Camera, a song I could play in my sleep (and I probably have) – I don’t know. Perhaps it’s coz we were so tired from having lugged all that equipment up the stairs. Or maybe it’s coz we were being blinded by the stage lights. Or maybe it’s coz I always make a plums of the opening number. I reckon even if I had a song with just one chord as an opener, I’d start off in the wrong key.
Mind you, the good thing about starting off really badly is things can only get better. And so the did, ever so gradually. By the end of the night, we were sounding pretty good. It was just a shame that the audience didn’t seem to recognize any of the songs we were playing, to appreciate how pretty good we were actually sounding.
To be honest, I got a little bit cheesed off with some of the more inebriated members of the audience, who had invaded the stage asking for Sex on Fire and other such populist nonsense (no Sex on Fire, no Brown Eyed Girl). I subsequently reacted by playing the remaining songs much faster and louder than normal (we’re normally very polite), which made us sound even better. I swear, by the end, you would’ve thought we were a real band… and not Liquorice Allstars.