May 2 - London Astoria

Gig reviews, set lists, thoughts, comments and observations on the mammoth 2006 25th Anniversary tour.
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Scardwel
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AFAIK The Sisters have had the same soundman (Jurgen Jansen from Projekt Pitchfork) for the last few tours so it's not unreasonable to assume he knows what he's doing and is just working within the limitations of the PA/venue.

They appear to be using a hired-in PA for this leg of the tour (instead of the venues "in house" ones) and it's noticably smaller than what they had for the 'Smoke & Mirrors' Tour. Another money-saving exercise perhaps? :roll:

I remember the speaker stacks were piled high to the ceiling at Manc Academy 2003. That wasn't the case last night, and may help to explain the low volume we've been getting lately.
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TheBoyNextDoor
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Thanks for the information Scardwel, that may explain a lot of the sound problems during this tour. :(
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Obviousman
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Scardwel wrote:AFAIK The Sisters have had the same soundman (Jurgen Jansen from Projekt Pitchfork) for the last few tours so it's not unreasonable to assume he knows what he's doing and is just working within the limitations of the PA/venue.

They appear to be using a hired-in PA for this leg of the tour (instead of the venues "in house" ones) and it's noticably smaller than what they had for the 'Smoke & Mirrors' Tour. Another money-saving exercise perhaps? :roll:

I remember the speaker stacks were piled high to the ceiling at Manc Academy 2003. That wasn't the case last night, and may help to explain the low volume we've been getting lately.
Is this a guy with a big beard and long hair? Remember seeing him in Brussels at the PA, friendly guy. Heard him explaining the lights and smoke to another guy - some assistant I presume 'Got this colour, that colour there, err, smoke machines: Have fun!' :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Mickpit
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Scardwel wrote:AFAIK The Sisters have had the same soundman (Jurgen Jansen from Projekt Pitchfork) for the last few tours so it's not unreasonable to assume he knows what he's doing and is just working within the limitations of the PA/venue.

They appear to be using a hired-in PA for this leg of the tour (instead of the venues "in house" ones) and it's noticably smaller than what they had for the 'Smoke & Mirrors' Tour. Another money-saving exercise perhaps? :roll:

I remember the speaker stacks were piled high to the ceiling at Manc Academy 2003. That wasn't the case last night, and may help to explain the low volume we've been getting lately.
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Black Planet
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Not reading 18 pages...But my 2 cents.


I heard the gig was awful. Sound was so bad patrons were leaving early and asking for there money back. My source is very reliable.

Von should be aware and correct the deficiencies in his performances.


Von...Want to respond? I can only say, my source told me I did the right thing by not attending your gig near me.

Again, Von... tell me why your quality control ... is horrible?
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Wolfenstein
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Some interesting points about the sound This may or may not explain/excuse things but thanks for suggesting them anyway

Regardless of whether the reason was the venue, the sound engineer, the LACK of sound engineer or Von himself's vocals - the end result was the same, namely a gig I found appalling and regret going to. I figure that Von owes me the price of a ticket plus beer plus travelcard. Good Laugh Terry has also assured me that I will suffer in the future for making him endure it. Christ knows what fould punishment I will be forced to endure. I assume he'll take me to a Robbie Williams gig just to spite me. More importantly he owes me a refund for years of devotion and loyalty (which after a complicated scientific equation I price at about 3 quid) Do you suppose he'll give me it if I ask nicely? Is there a call centre in Bangalore I could call to register a complaint with or shoud I just send a bill... :?
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zippy
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Wolfenstein wrote:Some interesting points about the sound This may or may not explain/excuse things but thanks for suggesting them anyway

Regardless of whether the reason was the venue, the sound engineer, the LACK of sound engineer or Von himself's vocals - the end result was the same, namely a gig I found appalling and regret going to. I figure that Von owes me the price of a ticket plus beer plus travelcard. Good Laugh Terry has also assured me that I will suffer in the future for making him endure it. Christ knows what fould punishment I will be forced to endure. I assume he'll take me to a Robbie Williams gig just to spite me. More importantly he owes me a refund for years of devotion and loyalty (which after a complicated scientific equation I price at about 3 quid) Do you suppose he'll give me it if I ask nicely? Is there a call centre in Bangalore I could call to register a complaint with or shoud I just send a bill... :?

I had a great time in London seeing the The Sisters,a shame about the sound and NO songs of frist last and always :roll:
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ruffers
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From http://www.thesistersofmercy.com/tech/outboard.htm , under Microphones -

"........ At the moment we're pursuing the quieter-but-better policy......"

Might have been bleedin' perfect for all we knew :lol: :lol:

I've read somewhere but can't remember where that Von does sing surprisingly quietly anyway and levels are a problem at the best of times. Given the long tour and recent Barcelona lost voice incident then it all starts to add up to what we saw and heard (or didn't). The question then becomes if it is a known problem should he have cancelled the show? How much would we have whinged then?

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bismarck
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For those of you who haven't been reading this forum since the beginning of the tour, my review from the NYC show noted that the sound was waaay to low, and that Andy's vocals were way too low in an already too low mix. I pegged this fact as by far the most disappointing thing of the night, and mentioned that I could hold and hear normal conversations with the people next to me despite being in the very front row. Barcelona *may* have made the voice worse, but trust me: the mix has SUCKED since the early US dates.

As ruffers said, I too have read somewhere that Andy sings at a very low volume in the best of times (he's a smoker, don't ya know?). My best gusss is that his voice is so far gone (and has been since at least Vegas) that the vocals are potted at full gain and are STILL quiet. Therefore the rest of the band (the doktor and the 2 guitars) have to be kept relatively quiet as well or Andy would be entirely lost (instead of just mostly lost as he is now). In any case, the sound has been AWFUL since day one of this tour, with only a few notable exceptions which have mostly to do with the venue, in my opinion.

My 2¢.

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bismarck
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Here's some quotes from the NYC thread:

"My first, overwhelming impression as the good Doktor thumped out the opening beats of FALAA was that the sound was waaay too low. If I had been listening to my stereo at home I would've turned it up quite a bit. The Warlocks sounded great and loud, so I know it wasn't the sound system. Something seemed wrong. I mentioned this to Eva but she seemed unperturbed... was I imagining this? I know the vocals always sound low in the front rows because the PA speakers are usually positioned behind the 3rd row or so (and way above), but this problem was about much more than just the vocals. I could have and hear ordinary conversations without shouting... was I going to be disappointed all night? The vocals were indeed low in an already too-quiet mix. The only sound I heard with appropriate volume was Chirs's guitar, but that was because I was listening to his amplifier on the stage. Ben, on the other side of the stage, was virtually inaudible. hmmm.... "

....

"Unfortunately the sound problems were never remedied and the entire show seemed to me as if it was played on "5" when it ought to have been played at "10" (or "11"). This, to me, was a HUGE disappointment. I have been vacillating about going to see the band play Philly tomorrow, but I think I will go in the hopes that they can get the sound right this time. This is rock and roll: we want it f**king LOUD please! We want to hear our ears ring for days afterwards!"
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Wolfenstein
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Nice one Bismarck - like the idea... Turning it up to 11 would have done the trick. I don't think you can go any higher than that. A simple yet effective solution really.
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jande
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I see that a dvd of this gig has just been listed on ebay.
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/THE-SISTERS-OF-ME ... dZViewItem
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euphoria
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Erh...have I missed something here? WHEN were the Sisters ever playing LOUD? All bands I have seen play louder!
I have seen 1 or 2 dates of most tours since 97, and I can not remember any single concert where they have played loud. The sound, except quiet-singing Andrew, has always been of good quality though.

I'm on average in row 5 in front of one of the guitar players, if that helps...during this tour I have been able to test all kinds of positions, but this is still the best I think.
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ruffers
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euphoria wrote:Erh...have I missed something here? WHEN were the Sisters ever playing LOUD? .
I've tried very hard to be constructive with my comments here (check 'em) but there's a difference between "not loud" and "not loud enough".

Guess which one this was?
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bismarck
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I've seen The Sisters in 85, 91, 93, 98, 99, 03 and 06. Some years I went to multiple gigs. All of them were quite loud, especially during the early 90s. NYC in 91 left my ears ringing. NYC in 06 was by far and away the quietest gig by any band in any venue in any year I've ever attended. And the support band was L-O-U-D! The Sisters in 2006 have a sound problem, pure and simple. They are not loud enough (at least in some venues), and it damn near ruins the show for some people. I am one such person.
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euphoria
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ruffers wrote:
euphoria wrote:Erh...have I missed something here? WHEN were the Sisters ever playing LOUD? .
I've tried very hard to be constructive with my comments here (check 'em) but there's a difference between "not loud" and "not loud enough".

Guess which one this was?
My point is that I could have held conversations down the front at a lot of gigs, even before 2006 => not loud enough. I have never felt the Doktor's beats boom in my stomach either, that feeling you get from almost any band playing live. Maybe I have just had bad luck.

@Bismarck: Haven't seen them before 1997, so I guess the early 90's was the time to see them then! A time machine would be useful.
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Mickpit
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bismarck wrote:My best gusss is that his voice is so far gone (and has been since at least Vegas) that the vocals are potted at full gain and are STILL quiet. Therefore the rest of the band (the doktor and the 2 guitars) have to be kept relatively quiet as well or Andy would be entirely lost (instead of just mostly lost as he is now).
IMHO, i think you have it in one!

I don't go for the "I sing quiet" excuse. I've heard him many times '84-03. I've been to see many bands at The Astoria (3 this year) and I've never experienced poor sound quality. It's down to the effort (and financial input) of the band performing to get it right.

arrrgghhhh
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Gimme_The_Ring
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jande wrote:I see that a dvd of this gig has just been listed on ebay.
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/THE-SISTERS-OF-ME ... dZViewItem
Has anybody bought one of these DVD's yet? I'd be quite interested in getting one even though I went to the Norwich gig and not the London one......

Just wondering if it was filmed on a crappy phone or something. :|

edit: OK I've bitten the bullet and purchased one. I'll let you know whether it's any good when it arrives. 8)
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Obviousman
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Interesting stuff that DVD, I was going to make comments about selling boots and all that, but now all I'm saying is: Weeding? ;D :innocent: :lol:
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robertzombie
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If it is weeded... then I may have to get FAQ'ing :D
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Gimme_The_Ring wrote: edit: OK I've bitten the bullet and purchased one. I'll let you know whether it's any good when it arrives. 8)
Be interesting to see how it turns out, I've emailed this seller questions about this DVD and also a Placebo one but never had a reply :|
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Brad
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I have purchased a London DVD as well.
Save your money, and wait to trade. :innocent:
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I´ve bought one copy as weel. I´m really courious about this show
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Methedrome wrote:I have purchased a London DVD as well.
Save your money, and wait to trade. :innocent:
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Johnny M
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A lot of these Silver Bullet threads are staring to cross-pollinate, and why not? :wink:

But if we deal with the issue of Smoke:

I'm guessing whoever has his finger on the trigger of the smoke machine(s) uses the same cues every night? Though I'm now starting to wonder whether it's all pre-programmed? I can't honestly believe that a real person, seeing the venue, bars, toilets are awash with fog would continue to pump out more dry ice. There's a crowd safety issue here after all ... and doesn't Andy bemoan the fact that sometimes on stage they walk into each other and burn themselves on the ground level spot lights?

So, if it is pre-programmed then it all comes down to the characteristics, architecture and ventilation systems of the venue. The Astoria is a hateful venue. Very wide, very flat and not the highest ceiling so I can understand why the smoke won't dissipate at times. And, if it is pre-programmed, then more smoke is being pumped out before the previous smoke has had a chance to clear.

The Forum on the other hand is long and narrow and has an extremely high ceiling. The smoke pumps out at the start of each song but has usually cleared by the end of each song (see 18.04.03 DVD which is the finest going) which leads me back to the pre-programmed angle. Yes, have a human being who can pump more smoke when required if it's clearing too quickly but I can't believe a guy will sit there unable to even see the band (or his hand in front of his face) and think 'more smoke, more smoke'.

Paris was perfect (listen to the audio boot). I was in the HL continental mainland mosh and sound was great, lights were great and smoke was great. From standing somewhere between Ben and Andy, I could still see Chris on the other side of the stage from 4-5 rows back and heard a perfect mix and a great light/smoke show. It was the same in Tilburg In 05 (when I met the HL Johnny Foreigners for the first time. 8) )

Big venues (13, le Zenith) the Sissies thang works. Small venues it doesn't. :von:
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