11 December 2015

Saying a fond farewell to Stackridge

Originally I was happy to see Stackridge twice on their farewell tour but the arguments mounted for seeing them a third and final time. The argument could be summarised as "what would be the reason for not going?". So I went.

I had already been to the two London concerts, at the Half Moon and the Borderline, so the third concert meant a little more travelling - to Farncombe (never heard of it) which seemed to be close to Guildford (heard of that). There were not many trains between there are Surbiton, only one or two an hour each way, but that was enough to make the travel possible.

Having decided to go, I bought my ticket, which was just as well as the place sold-out, and that was impressive for a venue in the middle of nowhere that takes 350 people.

The advice was to arrive early, with the doors opening at 6:45pm, but the unhelpful train times meant that I could not get there until 7:30pm and by then all the seats were taken and jealously protected. That meant that I ended up standing right at the back when every other time that I had seen Stackridge I had been standing at the front.

In the end my position worked well. Standing meant that I could easily see over all the people sitting in front of me (which I could not have done had I been sitting in the middle somewhere) and the balance of the sound was perfect (the mixing desk was just in front of me, that is the lights in the picture above). Standing also meant that I could sway a bit to the music, always a good thing to do.

The set was, as far as I can tell, identical to other concerts on this tour, as expected and wanted. Standing further back helped me to appreciate the quality of the sound and there was a lot of quality to appreciate. The acoustics were spot on too and while I am not a fan of church architecture aesthetically I do like what it does to sound.

The concert was fantastic and even the little bit of talking behind me could not spoil that. Stackridge played for almost two sublime hours.

I had another motive for attending this concert and that was to try and meet the band. I had not done that before, nor had I tried too, and this would be my last opportunity to say "thank you" in person. This time the train timetable helped and I had half an hour after the show before I had to make the short trip back to the station. In that time I was lucky enough to swap a few words with Glenn Tommey (keyboards), Andy Cresswell-Davis (lead guitar), James Warren (bass), and Clare Lindley(violin), only Eddie John (drums) escaped me.

Those words were mostly me saying thanks and how much I liked the current combination of set and line-up. In return I heard that the band were also very happy with the way the tour was going and that most of them would carry on playing in some form after Stackridge stopped and that some of them would be playing together. That is definitely something to look out for in 2016.

It was a sad occasion to see Stackridge for the last time but they left on a high-note, I had the opportunity to say a proper farewell and I have the memories of many wonderful concerts.

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