It does seem that sometimes being good isn’t enough. On the back of a superb debut LP, I always expect De Rosa to attract bigger crowds than they do, even in their hometown. Last night’s gig at Oran Mor was a case in point. I think Oran Mor is one of my favourite venues at the moment due to a good sound and sightlines. Yet despite a great band and a great venue it’s still less than half full.
As ever De Rosa did little to suggest why this should be the case. Musically this was another magnificent performance. The version of ‘A Love Economy’ is possibly the best version I’ve heard so far whilst a song I hadn’t heard before, ‘Flight Recorder’ is an absolute revelation as well.
There’s plenty of other new songs as well and both ‘Nocturne’ and ‘The Sea Cup’ seem a notch up from the versions played at the Sauchiehall Crawl. Add in the fact that the trio of songs from ‘Mend’, ‘Evelyn’, ‘New Lanark’ and a ferocious closing ‘Cathkin Braes’ are all fantastic and you might have imagined that the band would have had the audience eating out of their hands by the end.
That the response wasn’t much above polite is remarkable. But there was a degree of reserve about the audience right from the start. There was no reaction when the band actually take the stage and a large-ish gap was left in front of the band. Even between songs there was really only brief applause although admittedly there were a handful of very enthusiastic cheers for each and every song.
Part of this may be down to a lack of familiarity with the material, since, increasingly the band are focussing on tunes for the new LP. And in truth De Rosa aren’t an immediate band so the new material will take time to grow. But it does add a slight air of frustration to what could have been a wonderful show and prevents it from being a great experience.
De Rosa setlist.
1. In Code 2. Evelyn 3. Nocture 4. Tinto 5. New Lanark 6. The Sea Cup 7.Flight Recorder 8. A Love Economy 9. Under The Stairs 10. Cathkin Braes
Here’s one of the new songs from the ‘Appendices’ project. Appendix 8 should be out on Monday (4th):
De Rosa – The Sea Cup (Get the other Appendices here)
El Padre, as they freely admitted from stage, were something of a shambles. The sound was poor throughout with the laptop provided rhythm section too often given precedence in the mix over the 3 musicians whilst the first couple of songs didn’t so much finish as disintegrate.
Yet there is undoubtedly something here. It was a relatively short set at five songs but in amongst all the chaos there are definitely good songs. And the way that the band dealt with their problems (other than the draconian, nay, vindictive sacking of the offending laptop) was good humoured and self deprecating. On the evidence of the live show I like them and I like them even more having listened to and recognised songs on their Myspace.
The show was opened by electronic duo Integra TV. The closest point of reference for me would be the chill out aspects of Will Sergeant’s Glide project and by and large their set drifted by pleasantly enough.
So all in all it’s a fine evening’s music for just a fiver. And as you can gather, the photos have reverted to being crap again. I’ll try and salvage a few over the weekend.