17 September 2010


I’m frequently asked if I have a favorite place to play, country,
city,venue. My response is always that the best places to play are determined
by the person(s) who run the space. If they care about the music and
the musicians they will take care of what needs to happen to
make a concert successful- publicity, audience, sound, and, most importantly,
musicians. The dichotomy between the concert experience in London on
Thursday and Manchester last night gave a perfect example of what
goes wrong when a presenter doesn’t care. In London the show was
sold out, there was press, the BBC will broadcast the performance
later this month, etc. In Manchester the band was given the wrong
start time in our tour information, and we were never told that the
gig was going to start at 7:30pm (?!) until 7:25, we thought the
first set was at 8pm so half the V5 was at the hotel when the presenter
told us we had 5 minutes to get on stage. In addition, we then found
out that the room had to be clear of audience and equipment by 9:45
so that a dj set could begin. The quintet had to charge through our
set to let Atomic have enough time, and the audience that was there
(who were great) was extremely disappointed by the scenario though
happy with the music they heard. The focus of the venue was clearly
on the dance club following us on a Friday night. I respect the
necessity for a business to make money to survive, but why present
music you don’t care about? What is accomplished? I’ve played
incredible shows in places as diverse as Richmond, South Carolina;
Lviv, Ukraine; Krakow, Poland; Wels,Austria… Sometimes cities,
sometimes small towns- in every case it was the organizer(s), aside
from the musicians themselves, who mattered most to the success of
the concert. Thankfully, I am sure that the Atomic/Vandermark 5 tour
will end in Birmingham on a high note; the presenter, Tony
Dudley-Evans, has been one of the strongest supporters of this music
in England.Going to see the Muybridge this week!