Yamba gig 12th January...
The heat here in Yamba is oppressive. It's a lovely town, the people are great but the goddamn heat.... My brain is so fried from the sun that I don't think it can function coherently enough to compose a report on last night's gig.
So I'll sum up in one paragraph (my shortest gig report ever)....
Folsom just gets better. Mr. Harris worked perfectly (despite the umpty-odd number of times they fluffed it in sound-check.) *wink* RSLs are NOT the type of venue to find appreciation of insightful lyrics and slower ballads. (Moving the rousing Barry Kable to opener to grab the crowd, instead of having it as the finale was a commendable tactic but just not quite enough for this raucous crowd. I appreciate the Vanguard venue all the more now. But having said that, Coffs is always something special and will hopefully be fun. Here's hoping our loquacious Preacher will be tending to his flock! Oh, and isn't Dave Kelly is one of the nicest guys you could hope to meet?
(PS.... is that heat affecting my eyesight or did I really see a guy wandering around setting up, in nothing but a pair of red underpants?) *grin*
This was a very difficult venue with a mostly 'just there because we can be' crowd. The faithful stood at the front of the stage about 15 strong, there was an expanse of empty dance floor in back of us and then rows of tables filled with mostly locals and vacationers who spent most of the evening talking among themselves. Now they weren't talking loudly, but when you have that many people talking, it's a loud buzz. It wasn't so much the issue of audience response but more the distance from the stage that really seemed to be the more the problem that would be hard for any band to overcome. Russell did make an attempt to talk a bit when he introduced Mickey but the noise was too distracting and they just launched into the music.
The band sounded great, and they continue to get better. As much as I really want him to get a concert situation where he really can continue to combine all aspects of the evening - music, storytelling and entertainment, on this night music alone was good enough for me. What was cool was that for the first time in this incarnation of Tofog I could look at the people standing alongside of me and get a bit of the vibe of concerts past with all of us enjoying the show on the same level, singing along and having a great time.
If I never see a show at an RSL or a Bowling Club again it will be too soon. This band really is so suited (in both dress and materal lol) to a smaller venue, where even if the audience is a tough sell, the guys can work with them better to bring them into the music and through his combination of storytelling and force of personality Russell can better engage them into enjoying an evening of entertainment.
As for me, I can't wait for the Preacher's next 'thematic' and it better be all raunchy Fire and Brimstone, or he won't get much of a donation from me when the collection plate is passed along the pews!