Marc Atkinson – The Terrace, 28/03/08

…and, together with two of the next generation of music-lovers, we head down to the Roman Bath only to find that the advertised band have been replaced by Prime Example, a “popular covers band”.

The Bath was about as full as I’ve seen it since it became one of our regular venues, but most of the punters seemed to have come along with the band, rather than wandering in off the street, as each song ended with generous (perhaps over-generous) applause and cheering. The set started with three songs from the “book of generic rock covers” – Whitesnake’s Here I Go Again (complete with twiddly keyboard bits which made it seem more like a pop version), Hold The Line from ToTo and Rainbow’s Since You’ve Been Gone. If it wasn’t for the slightly wishy-washy sound of the band and the poor backing vocals, I would have been enjoying things so far. However, rock was then dispensed with, to be replaced with Danny Wilson (Mary’s Prayer) and Maroon 5 – good songs but not to the rest of the gang’s tastes (except for one of the younger generation who was, apparently, enjoying herself). Following a bit of Thin Lizzy (Dancing in the Moonlight), things went from bad to worse for me when the band started playing The Kaiser Chiefs Ruby – not my favourite band and certainly not their best song. It was at this point that we decided to move venues and try out The Terrace.

On the walk across town, I was told (based on the gang’s previous visit) that The Terrace would be full of youngsters and that we wouldn’t be able to see the band. Those statements couldn’t have been much more wrong.

The pub was virtually empty and, if there had been a band, it would have been in full view. As it was , we got Marc Atkinson. According to Marc’s MySpace page, he is an acoustic singer/songwriter but, for tonight at least, he was doing covers – U2, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Muse and Maroon 5, among others – and taking requests (most of which he responded to with, “I can’t do that one.”) Given that he does, apparently, have his own material I would have liked him to drop at least a couple of his own songs into the mix.

To be fair to him, he was pretty good and it must take quite a lots of guts to sit on your own in a pub, with just a guitar and perform for an audience that isn’t really listening very closely. His guitar-playing was impressive and his vocals clear and, as far as I could tell, in tune.

However, this was where the music faded into the background a bit. This was the first time that we, as a group, decided to sit during the performance and while we were still listening to the music (and, indeed, the father and daughter in the gang were trying to beat each other playing Name That Tune) there was a lot more chat than normal so it can’t be said that we were paying that much attention, at least up until the point where I left to get the bus home.

So, a pleasant evening out, but no musical highlight this week.

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About Ian

Regular gig-goer in York, both to see local and touring bands. Huge music fan, with more CDs than my wife thinks any one person should own. I also collect American comics, read a lot of SF and fantasy and am a season-ticket holder at Leeds United.
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