Monday, July 04, 2005

Smog has a bad time in the Highlands

A couple weeks old but still interesting -- this comes from icScotland:

Smog came on stage about 10:45pm and to be honest, I wish they hadn't bothered! After the first song, front man Bill Callahan did nothing but complain about the sound and make weird, unsettling facial expressions at the crowd.

Pushing the mic stand from left to right he groaned to the sound engineer 'Why is the mic moving like this? Does anyone know how to fix it?' and for the best part of five minutes he stood and played around with the mic stand, glaring at the sound engineer until he eventually came up and tightened it for him. So I was thinking ok I will let that go. Then as he began playing the next song, his acoustic guitar started giving feedback. 'You might wanna fix that now', groaned the arrogant front man. 'It's your amp!' shouted the now extremely unhappy sound engineer.

By then I had had enough and they had only played one song. The gig did not get any better for me. Every song consisted of the glaring, never smiling Bill, strumming a few chords on his highly slung acoustic guitar, while the band stood coyly in the background waiting for Bill to give the nod for them to join in.

His vocals were ghastly, sounding like a demented Leonard Cohen. Everything about this man bugged me; the way he sang, the way he spoke, the way he played guitar, the way he growled at every member of the audience, continually shaking his head.

Watching Smog made me feel extremely uncomfortable, like I was slowly descending into a vat of boiling oil. As bad as they were, I stayed almost to the death to see if they would get any better. Unfortunately they did not, every song just sounded the same.

In between songs, Bill would often stop for long uncomfortable silences as he tried to decide on what song to play next. The audience began shouting out 'Play a fast one'.

As I was so bored, I spent a lot of time looking at the audience and wondering how they were enjoying the performance. To my surprise, the bar was really busy and as a result everyone was wilting with the heat. At one point just a metre in front of me I saw a young Chinese girl faint and her friends grabbing her; that was the only exciting part of the night.


Post a Comment

<< Home