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15th November 2011

Live: Sophie Barker @ Band on the Wall

A gig so bad, you have to question why anyone bothered to turn up. Ouch.

Sophie Barker
Band on the Wall
24th October
1 star

Sophie Barker may not mean much to most people, but she has lent her vocals to both Zero 7 and Groove Armada. Even if you are unfamiliar with them, you will have heard Zero 7’s ‘In the Waiting Line’ on one soundtrack or another.

But before we get excited about putting a face to the voice, I must make it clear that this was a terrible gig. This music should not be played live. While it works brilliantly on a soundtrack, played live there’s no visual image or dialogue to stimulate our minds and all we have to look at is a woman, making some vague attempt to dance. For the most part, the music is not just boring, but actively bad. I’m sure they are accomplished musicians but the band’s backing tracks are so monotonous they sound like crap demos on those cheap little keyboards you had at school. This could perhaps be forgiven were her voice captivating and unique. But no; it is bland.

It was a strange affair with everyone sitting at tables, which didn’t help to hide the lack of enthusiasm. The crowd consisted entirely of mum and dad types except for a curious group of early 20-somethings at the back, which confused me; they were quite a trendy looking group, who seemed to fancy themselves as rather cool. So then, what were they doing here? Then again, you have to question why anyone was here at all.

The feeble climax came as the crowd cheered (an extravagant show of emotion for this bunch) after the first few bars of the aforementioned ‘In the Waiting Line’. For just a moment, I was excited too: A song I don’t thoroughly dislike! But no, 30 seconds into the track we were regretting those cheers and I was bored again.


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