REVIEW: Lawrence Arabia's Singles Club Album Release Tour
Something Something’s Official Gig Review Checklist
Here at Something Something, we feel that gig reviews tend to ignore the basics, bag on the hard working musicians, and leave little room for the next artists to improve their events, at the end of the day sometimes you just want to know if there is good selfie lighting. However we’ve constructed a Gig Review Checklist through the lens of a more industry perspective.
Lawrence Arabia brought his nine-stop, national album release tour to Wellington last Friday night and here’s our thoughts on how it went.
We’ve scored them out of one to five SOMETHINGS in each of our crucial gig requirements:
(1 being ‘not your best’, 5 being ‘wow amazing!’)
Promotions: 4 SOMETHINGS
Ticked all of the usual boxes one would hope to see, and all the people I expected to be there were there. Mature 40-something-or-rathers, assemble. Lawrence Arabia undertook a unique and steady release with The Singles Club album, sharing a new song each month throughout 2018 with his ‘Singles Club’, an exclusive club fans could subscribe to. This drip-feed was almost promotion in itself for this tour, which was bound to follow after such a generous gifting spree. And all of the anticipating 40-something-or-rathers rejoiced!
Turnout/Audience: 4.5 SOMETHINGS
Majority of the crowd flooded in before support act Motte had begun, or just after. And they didn’t just excel at punctuality; it was probably the most pleasant and respectful crowd I’ve come across at San Fran. Especially during the delicate, solo set from Motte and her violin. Throughout the night, drunk murmurs were kept to an all time low, so even chilling at the back I was able bask in the musical goodness and give the frown lines between my eyebrows a day off.
Atmosphere: 5 SOMETHINGS
It could have been the candles, warm disco, and couples cosying up at the tables which made it feel like Friday date night at San Fran. Maybe it was the mesmerising, enchanting Motte, or the crooning, lovestruck Lawrence Arabia. Whatever it was, had you bent down on one knee I would’ve said yes. Despite the romantic vibe, I didn’t take anyone home that night. But if I could take one thing away, it had to be after Lawrence Arabia had finished showering in the glory of ‘Apple Pie Bed’ and returned on stage for an encore. He then proceeded, and in true rockstar fashion, to crowd dive right into a bunch of the mature 40-something-or-rathers. “I forgot that you were meant to go backwards...” he said once he made it back on stage, following with an intimate rationale. After last Friday, I believe anything is possible.
Sound: 4 SOMETHINGS
I’ve already mentioned it, but I was seriously amazed at how quiet and present the crowd was during Motte. From previous gigs I’ve been to in the past, it’s really not often that an act is able to get San Fran that quiet, let alone a support act. Great performances all round. The volume hit a high at some points, to which my ears were in need of some earplugs. PS it’s important and actually super cool to look after your hearing. Next time you try to talk to me while I’m wearing my headphones and a shirt that says “I like my music at a moderate volume”, I’ll pretend not to hear you.
Venue: 5 SOMETHINGS
Situated right on Cuba Street, San Fran is one of the most familiar venues in Wellington. It was pouring down with rain, so the idea of being inside was all I could focus on and I wasn’t going to be picky about it. With surprisingly low Uber rates, a covered area to scramble for my ID card, and an ATM just across the road - I just couldn’t fault it. Foot traffic can be optimised for all of these reasons, which is always great news for the promoter. After getting my daily cardio in and charging up the stairs, the inside was rather inviting, as I discussed in the atmosphere category.
Bathrooms: 4 SOMETHINGS
You really can’t go wrong with the San Fran bathrooms. Although because this is a gig review and I’m allowed to be as critical as I want, I will be. It’s a little close to the the front of the stage, so you end up having to wade through the crowd. This is particularly a problem with packed out shows, not so much with small to medium ones. Word of advice to my small-bladdered friends, so all 40-something-or-rathers for that matter: occupy a spot close to the front and listen to your triggers, once the venue fills up you won’t be able to get there in a flash.
Bar/food: 4 SOMETHINGS
I pre-fuelled before attending, so food wasn’t on my radar. Although the curly fries and pakora & samosa snack box was very tempting to one. To make this review further convince you that I could in fact be one of the 40-something-or-rathers, I would have liked to see some more drinks of the non-alcoholic variety, some tea or a kombucha would have been a delight, especially for those who didn’t have the pleasure of an alcohol blanket on a night as frigid as last Friday. I won’t mark them down on that though. As long as they’ve got the water flowing, it’s sober approved.
Merch: 3.75 SOMETHINGS
The audience were spoilt for choice! T-shirts, vinyl, CDs, tea towels (is this just a New Zealand thing?) - but it didn’t stop there, with a slick trifecta of red, pink and white AS Colour t-shirts based on the album artwork. Pink was the crowd favourite; people dismissed their usual maple or staple for whatever was left and it quickly disappeared by the end of the night. It was all reasonably priced and typical cash only, but that’s common sense. I still feel like I wanted to see something a little more unique though, like a pack of coffee table icebreakers or a QR code which took you to an NZ dating site.
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