Sunday, 14 September 2014

27/1/2013 The Gasoline Queens @ The Islington

SubjectThe Gasoline Queens @ The Islington
DateCreated2/3/2013 4:07:00 PM

Sunday night finds me heading to another new venue in Islington - in fact it's actually called 'The Islington'. I arrive in Tolpuddle Street where the venue is situated with time to spare, but I can't find the bloody place!

I walk the whole length of the street without spotting anything that looks much like a pub or a music venue. After crossing the road and walking back down the other side I pass a building on a corner that looks like it used to be a pub once. The band aren't due to have started yet, but I hear music coming though a door - and through the window I recognise Zig the bass player of the Gasoline Queens on a stage. I have found The Islington at last. It's almost as if they don't want you to find the place - although it purports to be a pub there is no pub sign or similar hanging outside - no visible signage on the building at all - just a couple of blackboards propped up on the pavement outside proclaiming what is taking place inside - hardly visible from the other side of the street.

It's supposed to be a cheap gig - only £4 on the door. In fact it's even cheaper than that because the pub management have decided not to bother putting anyone on the door to take the money.

There is just a half length curtain dividing the room the band are playing in from the rest of the building - I'm not sure why they even bothered with this as there is no one 'on the door'. Nobody pays to get in - and consequently the band don't get paid either. They are not happy about this. However, the Gasoline Queens put on a good show to their followers who have actually managed to find the place.

This lot play well and have a good sound. The venue is small and although there is a stage it looks more suited to acoustic acts. To be fair, the sound mix is actually quite good in spite of the modest house PA - the 'engineer' does move around the room quite a bit trying to ensure optimum sound quality as he adjusts the mixer.

The Gasoline Queens have a bunch of catchy rock 'n' roll tunes of their own, and I actually prefer their cover of the Dogs D'Amour classic 'Last Bandit' to the original.

The band shorten their set a bit - probably due to the apparent apathy of the venue management. However, I don't think any of the people who have made the effort to come out on a Sunday night in January leave disappointed with what they have heard - although I hear several people complaining about the selection of beers (or lack of) behind the bar and also the prices!

I took one look at the bar selection on arrival and decided straight away not to bother - no real ales, and I don't think the girl behind the bar even knew what Newcastle Brown was!

As a result I think very little money was spent at the bar by people here to see the band and the place emptied very quickly when the band finished playing - but the nearby Weatherspoons did quite well as most of the people watching the band turned up there later and enjoyed a few drinks.

I as usual had one or two too many and stayed too long - forgetting that the trains stop earlier on a Sunday night.

It took me 3 night buses to get home. To make matters worse, I paid for a cheeseburger while waiting for a bus at Wood Green - then had to abandon it before it had cooked as my bus finally arrived! It was a shit journey home and I wasn't happy, but I had no one to blame but myself.

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