15.3 C
Saturday, July 20, 2024

Administering The Sound

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What to do on a driech July evening in Inverness? This was the question on my mind as the relentlessly wet summer of 2024 continued unabated. So off to the big tent at the Bught Park to see the Ministry of Sound Classical. What’s that you might ask? It’s an orchestra playing music made famous by the record label Ministry of Sound, but with some heavy bass and other lines thrown in. Good old club music from the past with a spot of classical interpretation – why not.

Arriving at the Bught ticketless but having checked that you could pay at the door, we were pleasantly surprised that the box office took cash and there was no booking fee to pay. Back to the 90s indeed. The venue and facilities were first class – the bar well staffed, service good, decent food outlets and plenty of toilets. Well done LCC events.

Inside the tent, with it being a late decision, we’d missed K-Klass, the first act but were suitably entertained by Ellie Sax. She’s taken saxophone playing to the rave scene, playing over DJ tracks, and did a great job of warming up the crowd. A good entertainer, she also interacted well with the audience and left us with the thought that it was going to be a great evening. Ellie warmed us all on a cold night in Inverness.

Up next was Tall Paul, a DJ who’s been around since the mid 80s. I can only assume that he did his Ibiza club set or similar but other than a for a few Tall aficionados, it left the crowd wanting. He said a couple of words during the set (‘C’mon Inverness’ or something similarly generic) and just walked off at the end. If ever I’d seen someone just going through the motions, this was it – a pre planned set with no thought for working a live non-club audience and even the ‘live’ DJ add on noises (the only way to describe them) were at best generic and at worst out of time. Oh Dear.

Then the main act. The Scottish Chamber Orchestra (but called a Concert Orchestra on the night) backing some live singers and a heavy club bass track and other taped music thrown in. We all thought it would be a night of retro club classics. Alas, it wasn’t to be. Again, if it had been a club night in Ibiza, the set would probably have been OK but it left may wanting in the Highland capital. 

To be fair, the audience made the best of it but the large number of people outside the tent probably said it all. The backing tracks were so overpowering, there wasn’t any point in the orchestra being there but, as I say, it didn’t stop a a large part of the audience trying to transport themselves back to their youth. By the way, I’d say the average age was 40 plus at least. 

Towards the end, as some scraps started (a little too much imbibing by some one would think), it was time to leave. We then discovered that the sound mix was best to listen to some 300 yards away from the tent, but out in the rain the atmosphere just wasn’t the same. So things haven’t changed much in 30 years, An overpowering bass sound that kills everything else and best enjoyed when you’ve taken enough of your tipple of choice to make you forget that you’re just in a big tent with a lot of inebriated people, just listening to pre recorded tracks with a bit of karaoke thrown in – and all on a wet night in the Highlands.

Final thought. Well done Ellie Sax – you actually entertained us which is what live events are meant to do.

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