Got out to the “revamped” Royal Theatre last night for the Cat Empire, supported by Paprika Balkanicus. Quite a piss poor turnout, possible a third full, but obviously many possible attendees out at Corinbank. Hadn’t see the Empire since a red hot show 18 months ago in Adelaide, and my take was that their musicianship has improved significantly, but they didn’t have the same physical energy on stage as they did back then (18 months of constant touring would probably have those effects). Paprika were great, although probably had ten minutes more of them than I needed (I swear there was a couple of songs that you couldn’t kill with a stick!)
Above all else however it confirmed what a half assed venue the Royal is, even revamped. A vast space between the band and the seats, the usual technical incompetence (the Empire’s lighting guy had to chase someone in management to get the house lights dimmed after interval) and total lack of feel for the occasion (security trying to stop people from joining the dancing throng from the seats, until Felix told them to desist).
Surely there are more appropriate venues for this sort of gig..but if so, why don’t promoters use them?