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Acoustic Shows

Posted: Sat Nov 07, 2015 10:29 am
by NickSouthampton
Hi,

I was at the Southampton show last night and went home after about 20 minutes (during Josephine ). I love your music and particularly the new album but I just couldn't cope with the sound, it was so loud.
When it was just you and your guitar the sound was loud but clear, as soon as the bass and drums started I struggled to hear any dynamics as it was just so loud. I've been to 3 other shows (Portsmouth Guildhall, Winchester Guildhall and Oxford Town hall) and it has been fine but last night it seemed like everything was much louder, particularly the bass. I tried earplugs but that didn't help.
It's not just that the loudness is uncomfortable, all the beautiful dynamics were lost in a mush. A bit like when an album is remastered with maximum compression.

I'd love to hear you again, but if most of your fans want this sort of volume then I'll just have to accept it isn't for me.The show you did at Cecil sharp House for the book tour was brilliant. I could hear ever little detail of the songs, a wonderful experience.
If you should decide to do some acoustic shows or a less amplified performance in future then I will be at the front of the queue.

Hope this doesn't sound too much of a moan but I wanted to share my experience. I'll still be listening to recordings, just not going to the shows any more.

Re: Acoustic Shows

Posted: Sat Nov 07, 2015 10:56 am
by Marty_j
http://www.theguardian.com/music/2011/jun/12/bob-dylan

Seriously though depends sometimes on venue acoustics and where you stand. I love it loud often find next to walls in venue it distorts sound so try and stand centrally in a gig for balanced sound.

Re: Acoustic Shows

Posted: Sat Nov 07, 2015 11:35 am
by NickSouthampton
I'm fine with Frank playing an electric guitar Marty. :) It's just the volume in the hall that killed all the dynamics for me. I just wish there had been the clarity that I heard at previous shows.

You may be right about the position in the hall, I was standing near a wall due to a knackered leg at the moment, but it did seem that the show was a lot louder last night than previously. I've seen lots of other acts at the Guildhall and the Joiners and had good sound. I think volume was my main issue last night.

Re: Acoustic Shows

Posted: Sat Nov 07, 2015 1:40 pm
by Sivvy
I'd suggest it was related to where you were standing - the mix and volume sounded just fine where I was (front right). It would be a real shame to give up on FT live shows just because of one less-than-perfect experience . . .

Re: Acoustic Shows

Posted: Sat Nov 07, 2015 8:30 pm
by NickSouthampton
Thanks Sivvy,

I'm afraid there is a bit more to it than that. When I was younger I went to a lot of shows where my ears were ringing the next day. consequently my ears don't work as well as they used to. It's OK listening to music at home or playing live but listening to very heavily amplified stuff is just unpleasant for me. I just can't take shows where the amps are set to 11.
Frank used to be within my comfort zone but sadly, either my hearing has got worse or the Southampton Show was a lot louder.

I'll wait a few years till he a has a slight change of direction and makes a country album. :)

Re: Acoustic Shows

Posted: Sat Nov 07, 2015 8:32 pm
by Faulksp
Surely it's not just about the quality of the sound ....., I love absolutely every thing about a live show ....meeting all types of people with a shared love of a particular artist ....and those who attend as the 'plus one'. Not only in the venue but in the local pubs....I love the anticipation ...all of the supports ...plastic glasses ......that moment when the lights go down and, in Franks case, a sea shanty plays ...then boom ... Right through to the end when, in Franks case, Chas and Dave come on and I wade through the empty beer glasses left with a sweaty shirt, great memories and new friends to go to the next Frank show with.

In short ...the live show experience is not just about the music !!!

Ps Journey of the Magi would be good at Nottingham Sunday or Birmingham Wednesday ...not only a great song but it will also give me a chance to get my breath back !

Re: Acoustic Shows

Posted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 9:22 am
by Marty_j
Fair enough. I had a similar experience at an Anvil show!!

Re: Acoustic Shows

Posted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 1:18 pm
by NickSouthampton
I guess it must be a tricky balance getting it loud enough for people people who like it loud, without forcing people like me to leave. I guess I should have listened to my parents when I was younger so that my ears didn't get damaged.

I've ordered some musician's earplugs, they claim to reduce the sound level whilst keeping the sound balance right. The normal type just make it sound muddy.

Re: Acoustic Shows

Posted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 3:54 pm
by Faulksp
Root canal tomorrow ...I should have listened to my parents when they told me to clean my teeth !!!!!!

Re: Acoustic Shows

Posted: Sun Nov 08, 2015 4:18 pm
by NickSouthampton
Sorry to hear that Faulksp, if it's any help, I have had a couple of those and they are nowhere near as bad as you think they will be. All the best.

Re: Acoustic Shows

Posted: Mon Nov 09, 2015 10:11 am
by marowak
I sat up in the balcony for Saturday nights show and it looked and sounded amazing.

At most gigs I go to I tend to wear ear protectors which help keep the nasty sound levels out and protect your ears. I highly suggest you try some for future shows.

Re: Acoustic Shows

Posted: Mon Nov 09, 2015 12:56 pm
by Watergirl
I agree with Marowak - wear earplugs.
I have tinnitus. It doesn't bother me hugely, but I certainly don't want it to get worse. I wear earplugs for all but the quietest gigs. I have a pair moulded for my ears that are great for loud gigs. Sometimes I feel they block out too much and end up wearing the foam ones. The only disadvantages are that the chat around you seems louder with earplugs in, plus you hear yourself sing….
Standing somewhere in the middle, equal distance from the speakers on either side, always seems the best spot sound wise (though not so great when the moshing starts).

Re: Acoustic Shows

Posted: Mon Nov 09, 2015 7:14 pm
by NickSouthampton
Thanks for the suggestions both of you.I get mild tinnitus, but it tends to fade out if I don't abuse my ears. I wonder if loud music will get to be like smoking one day, one of those things that are banned or controlled.

I was really pissed off leaving so early but I just couldn't stand the volume any more. I think it was also extra grumpy because my leg hurt, spent this afternoon having tests at the hospital, they say it will be fine but couple of weeks before back to normal.

I now have some "Alpine Music safe earplugs", about 17 quid but they look promising. I will road test them at a few gigs and report back. Hope to catch Frank again when I have worked out a way to do it.

Re: Acoustic Shows

Posted: Mon Nov 09, 2015 8:44 pm
by Faulksp
NickSouthampton wrote:Sorry to hear that Faulksp, if it's any help, I have had a couple of those and they are nowhere near as bad as you think they will be. All the best.
Thank you ..all done ...I have come out the other side in one piece ..now I can look forward to Nottigham and Birmingham without the need to be dosed up on painkillers ... As a drug worker I should know better !!!