Garbage

Last night I got to go to see Garbage at Brixton Academy. I'd forgotten what a good venue Brixton was.

The place was completely packed. I think its about a 5000 capacity venue, and it sold out within a day of the tickets going on sale. We were lucky to get downstairs tickets, a friend of mine also went but could only get upstairs. For some reason, it's not the same if you have seats and can't get down the front. Mind you we couldn't get further forward than the mixing desk as we only got there 10 minutes before they were on. (Putting children to bed does cramp your giggin' style).

So lets just say the sound was not the best I've heard there. Especially during the first couple of songs. Shirley's voice sounded way too brittle. Guitars were scratchy and there was a sever lack of bass. Either I got used to it or after a few songs the sound guys managed to get most of it under control. There were some moments of brilliance, Why do you love me?, Only happy when it rains, When I grow Up. I think I'm Paranoid, and Push It really stand out. Androgyny was excellent too. I haven't listened to the new album too much so I didn't know the songs as well as I'd have liked. I'm listening to it now.

There was a clever backdrop. They had 4 plasma TVs which showed some video footage. The backcloth of the stage was then projected with probably 200x200 spotlights which showed a pixelated interpretation of the TV's image. It worked really well.

Garbage's music lost a lot of it's subtlety live. They don't use (much) sequenced stuff, there's no backing vocals. OK there were a couple of drum loops I spotted, but generally anything sampled was triggered by one of the guys on stage. So you get a much more raw interpretation of the songs. Shirley, two guitars, bass and drums. Overall excellent.

On a human note, the couple in front were interesting to watch. She was obviously not a fan, had probably only in the new album. He was obviously a die hard fan, new everything. The look she gave him when he wolf whistled waiting for the encore was priceless.

A fantastic evenings music

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Chris W Beal

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