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.