Gig Diary: London Welsh Centre 21/03/14 | March 23, 2014

We missed the horse. One escaped its trailer on the M6 motorway, Camera (the headline band) got caught in the aftermath. I just tried to find out what happened using Google, but it was awash with other stories of confused animals on motorways like streaking protesters, so I gave up.

The London Welsh Centre is like a Welsh Embassy, but one that sells cheap beer and a solitary bulb-warmed sausage roll (which apparently someone ate during our set. I’d like to think our music ignited the courage required to order it). The place has this honest, homely Welsh feel, I can picture the building in transit from Merthyr or somewhere on the back of a truck, like ancient standing stones being dragged to Wiltshire to make the druids feel more at home. The main part of the venue is on the first floor, it’s black and white vaulted ceiling, curtained stage and dim-lit dark furniture were a welcome haven after Friday night London traffic.

Jamie Wrecs played first, as if to reinforce the feeling that we had somehow travelled 180 miles from Wrecsam to Wrexham. Jamie complained about getting electric shocks from the Microphone, something that morphed from genuine concern to genuine amusement over the course of 6 or 7 songs. I believe people die from these kind of grounding issues, but the show went on without fatality.

Macbooks are reliable, Macbooks are powerful, Macbooks will not let you down. That holds true until you really need them to work obviously, in which case they die on their arse. But blessed are the squeezed-middle-classes for they always bring a spare. We got that set up and played our first show in about a year. Since that last gig we now use a Roland sp404, which looks like the Dom Jolly’s mobile phone but let’s us improvise around songs using samples that can be triggered, looped and processed. The 404 output is passed through a Kaoss pad 2 where the sound can again be mangled/sampled/filtered, before being sent to whatever mess of wires and audio equipment awaits at the mixing desk. This forms the back bone of the songs, Maff then breathes life into them using a Yamaha CS1x, a sample based synth from the mid-90s, which once routed through a DD6-Delay pedal is ready to make some big noise. The aforementioned Macbook is used basically as a sound module and sampler which Maff controls using a Midi controller keyboard and a Korg NanoKontrol. For the sci-fi noise obsessive in him, he also has a Monotron Delay. All in all, it’s a set up we can work with, but will probably evolve.

The show went well. By which I mean people seemed to enjoy it, we didn’t melt any gear, didn’t burst into tears, didn’t burst any eardrums and we got to play everything we intended. Camera, with their crafted indie/rock/pop songs finished their show in style and we set about taking in some of the local London ale, “Wrexham lager”.

We played our sets in-between DJ spots from Andy Garside, flush with new decks and a swiss army record collection. It’s really good to hear someone play such a diverse set of songs where the quality of the songs, and not just their diversity is the driving force.

Also, any English Language graduates out there, we need something settling. Should it be:

a. Lloyds leads… for Animal Feeds
b. Lloyds leads… in Animal Feeds
c. Neither
d. Either

(This question follows a full 45 minute conversation on the way back home stuck behind an agricultural supply vehicle.)

See you at the next show, which at the moment is Focus Wales in Wrexham. However we’re actively seeking out shows to play, so please email us if you’re interested.

Mike