Tonight I went (with Dawn) to the Maltings to see a guy called Larry Miller. He’s a blues guitarist. And he’s very good…from what we could tell. The only problem was the volume. Now don’t get me wrong, I grew up with very loud music (Led Zep, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, etc) and still love it even though I’m far too old, really. No, the trouble was it was like the sound engineer had just shoved all the sliders on the sound desk up to 11 with scant regard for any sort of level balance or finesse.
This meant that when all the instruments were playing at once and Larry was singing, it all sounded like musical mashed potatoes…a big muffled mess. You couldn’t understand what he was saying and when the bass played at the same time as Larry’s lead guitar, it actually sounded off key – I think this was caused by the sound reflecting back.
A lot of the problem was the venue. It’s a small, low ceilinged room, with steel supports. The acoustics are nothing to write home about but then, it wasn’t built for performance but for drying hops. A bit of clever knob twiddling on the sound desk, however, would have solved this problem.
It was a big shame because, from what I could see, he’s a fine guitarist and a great showman. It’s just a pity we couldn’t really hear any of his greatness. Needless to say, we left after the first set.
It was also incredibly hot in the room. So much so that Larry had an electric fan in front of him, blowing air up into his face. The lucky fella. We were suffering. Going outside into the rain afterwards was a welcome relief.
I’m afraid I can’t supply the bass player’s name because it was too difficult to decipher when Larry introduced him to us.