Monday 21 February 2011

Gig Review - Chapel Club @ Newcastle Cluny, 12/2/11

Attending a gig has never seemed like such a gamble as it has in recent months. It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what changed and when, but where once, if my memory serves, you could be fairly certain that a great band more-or-less guaranteed a great gig, that no longer seems to be the case. Whether the band plays well or not is besides the point – the atmosphere is just as important as the music when it comes to a live performance.

Therefore reviewing Chapel Club’s gig at the Cluny is quite a difficult proposition. The band were mostly on good form – their setlist on the whole served to highlight how many great tracks can be found on their recently released debut Palace, from the Smiths-esque swoon of ‘O Maybe I’ to the thunderous drums of ‘Five Trees’, passionate sing-a-long tunes in waiting.

Complicating matters was the atmosphere; was it the Saturday night crowd? Was it the amount of people who came just to see what all the fuss is about? Admittedly, many of Chapel Club’s songs aren’t obvious toe-tappers, but the sheer lack of any movement or reaction from the crowd was alarming. At points the band didn’t help themselves – the choice to centre their set upon an eight-minute EP track was a badly misjudged one. Yet the many loud conversations taking place during the more intimate moments, combined with a general lack of attention from the audience led to a sonically impressive but awkward evening.

Chapel Club's debut album Palace is out now - listen on Spotify, or buy from Amazon

Originally published in The Courier

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