The Alchemist 05/07/2007

“Turning gold into lead”

It’s the end of an era – we’ve played our last ever Thursday night gig at The Alchemist. The management has taken the decision to stop putting on gigs as they aren’t taking enough money behind the bar; they say that they need to take £700 otherwise it’s not worth opening. Personally, I think that this is a very short sighted view since the students are all back at home now and it’s been raining non-stop for the last three months. Surely, they’d have been as well to give it another three months? With the students back, you could build up the reputation of the place as a great music venue with free entry and cheap drinks and then the popularity would grow through word of mouth. Just for fun I had a quick look at the numbers – £700 is five bands, each with five members, each band brings 9 people and everyone who comes drinks four pints at £2.50 a pint. It’s such a shame because it’s an amazing venue and it deserves to be filled by at least the 70 people described above. The problem with putting on bands who can bring that many people is that you often have to pay them to play.

Anyway, we put the disappointment behind us and played a blistering set. We even included a couple of “new” songs – T-Shirt Hero, which hasn’t been played live since our Solution days, and Audrey Hepburn blues, which is of a similar age but this is the first time that we’ve ever played it live. Ant was his usual amazing self; in the words of our promoter Will, “that guy can play guitar”. Stu was drumming so hard at one point that his started to fall apart. Meanwhile, I was balancing precariously on the seven foot tall speaker stacks. The whole set lasted about half-an-hour:

I Don’t Know What It Is
T-Shirt Hero
You Throw My Love Away
After Quatermass
Audrey Hepburn Blues
While You Wait
Dead To The World

We got Elmo to play bubble technician during After Quatermass and switch on our bubble machine, which we’d placed on the top floor so that it filled the stage with bubbles. Meanwhile, we had another one on the stage firing bubbles down to the ground seven feet below. It looked incredible, but you’ll have to take my word for it as our usual photographer, Bob, couldn’t make it and it was too dark to get any photos on a camera-phone.

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