Sunday, October 14, 2012

Gravenhurst Show at Init for the Roma Ultrasuoni Festival : A Statement

The show at Init for the Roma Ultrasuoni  festival was ruined for us and the audience because  of circumstances completely beyond our control. I hesitate to point the finger of blame at people  publicly but in this situation I have no choice  because we are absolutely furious about this and it needs to be made clear that the chaos was  not our fault. We drove for eight hours to play at  this festival and were met with a completely  shambolic set up and incompetent staff. The sound  check was totally pointless as the engineers clearly  had no idea what they were doing, and we stood on  the stage for an hour while they milled around  slowly plugging and unplugging things, then they cut  us short before we could finish, saying we had run out of time. We then went off  for our dinner, which was served to us cold,  and we  were given only water to drink. Cold food and water  after an eight hour drive, nice hospitality; while  all around us the public were being served hot food  and drinks. So contrary to what we were being told, the kitchens were open, but just not for  the artists. Still, we were determined to play a  good show. When we got on stage we could not hear  our voices. We were singing 'deaf'. You know the way  deaf people sound when they talk? They sound like that because they cannot hear their voices. That was  the situation we were in onstage. Try singing like that - you won't sound good. We are not a  difficult band to engineer. All we need is to be able to hear our own voices in our monitors, Rachel needs to hear her synth and  Claire needs to hear my guitar. That's it. That's  all there is to it. Instead, Rachel and Claire's  voices were coming through my monitor, while my voice was not in any of the monitors. We struggled  through the first two songs, continually telling the  engineer of our monitoring problems, to no avail. Then in 'Saints'  my microphone dropped out completely, so the audience could not hear my voice either. The staff  scrambled around trying to sort it out;  it  transpired that Rachel's monitor wasn't even plugged  in. If you know anything about sound engineering or  performing you will be sympathetic to our plight -  the onstage sound was a complete nightmare.  Eventually I tired of telling the engineer where to  put our voices and simply walked across the stage  and switched my microphone with Rachel's, a coarse but completely essential intervention, thus solving a problem that should have been done at the  sound desk at the beginning. We were then told we had to play our last song, so we played ' 'Black Holes In the Sand' as well as we possibly could in the circumstances. Anyone who has seen Gravenhurst live  will attest that we are a professional band that  knows how to play live. I've played live for fifteen  years, hundreds and hundreds of shows all over the  world, and i've never come across a situation like  this - total incompetence. Between us, Claire, Rachel and I have played over a thousand gigs. We are good at our job -  the people running this stage were not. It was a humiliating waste of time for us and our audience.  We are sorry for the fans who were looking forward  to the show. We will play Roma again, and we will  ensure we play in a professional venue suited to professional musicians.

7 comments:

Sullied Red Secret said...

Heinous, egregious, poopy. I actually feel sorriest for the sound engineers because they have to attempt to breach the surface of their own incompetence.

Sullied Red Secret said...

Heinous, egregious, poopy. I actually feel sorriest for the sound engineers because they have to attempt to breach the surface of their own incompetence.

Lullabier said...

I'm sorry about that. Incompetent people are everywhere, I hope you will come back in Italy soon, we could demonstrate that in our country there are great stages to play!

Marco Dicuio said...

Ok, but why going away from stage so fast, saying nothing to the audience? I didn't like the way you did

Odd said...

I'm sorry for what happened to you Nick, I was there with another band, after you started I noticed the sound was totally unbalanced and not properly equalized. I don't know why, since many other bands were mixed in a good way.
I know what it means this lack of respect while playing and I totally agree with you, but I just hope you won't have a bad opinion of Italian hospitality because of this gig.
For what it's worth, I liked you and over all others, despite of that inconvenience.
Come back soon guys!

Daniele

Nick Talbot said...

"Marco Dicuio said...

Ok, but why going away from stage so fast, saying nothing to the audience? I didn't like the way you did"

-I'm sorry about that Marco, it was a very frustrating and humiliating situation and i certainly didn't mean to insult the audience. At most gigs i chat to the audience but this was such a shambles i couldn't even begin to think about connecting with the audience; as i'm sure you can imagine we were under a great deal of stress. I walked off stage because i had completely despaired of the situation. Nothing like that has ever happned before and i hope it doesn't happen again; i doubt it will. The central problem is that when you are onstage, whatever happens, it looks like you are the one being a prick, a primadonna, precious, sulky. There is a lot of pressure to look like you are having a good gig even when you are not, and there has been a few shows where things haven't been right but you grin and bear it and try to be professional in difficult situations that aren't you're fault and you can't do anything about. But that situation just pushed me right to the edge of my professionalism, and i'm sure it would have done the same to any other performer. I'm sorry you felt insulted dude, i hope you can come to another show in the future and you'll see that I usually really enjoy chatting to the audience and connecting with them.
best wishes, nick

Nick Talbot said...

In addition, the show we played the night before in Milan was great; the sound engineer was a cool dude, a really nice guy who did a great job. We've always had good shows in Italy, I certainly don't judge Italy on the basis of one unusually bad gig. We'll be back for sure.