XOYO is one of my least favourite venues. Ever. Especially if I'm photographing there... weird layout, bad lighting, technical issues & 'cool' in an overly self conscious way... I don't know, other people seem to like it so maybe it's just me... whatever, this night was no exception in my opinion.
Door times seem to be a 'suggestion' because I swear I've never been in on time, so by the time we've all queued, been confused by the signage for ticket holders, guest list & box office queues there's barely time to grab my spot & get my camera out before the first support come on. Openers Mazes are quick to get frustrated with the awful monitor feedback, for which you can't blame them & it plagues them the whole set. They seem to be getting some good coverage, but I remember the nineties the first time around, so their sound comes across as more 'been-there-done-that... next' to me, rather than nostalgia, or whatever it is they're trying to do.
Next up were Veronica Falls... They sound different from most other bands out there & it's not often you see that. Unfortunately they also fell foul of the feedback from the monitor & no amount of pleading at the sound man could sort it out.
My other pet hate about XOYO is the stage... band members are strung out across the entire length, resulting in someone, most often the bassist, being perched on the edge, unlit, way off to the right. Anyway, all my moaning detracts from the fact that in spite of all this, Veronica Falls were great & I was duly impressed.
Thankfully The Vivian Girls didn't suffer from the squeal of the monitor & for one glorious song the lighting guy even remembered where the 'on' switch was... The girls were furiously fast, energetic & engaging. There was a sudden surge of people pushing to the front to get a better look & the crowd were lapping up every second. Totally worth enduring this venue for!
For more photos click here for the Ragged Words gallery...