With all of the restrictions that have been imposed on live music performance we as the general public have had to come to terms with the changes, but we are not alone. The bands and artists that are performing during this period are also coming to terms with what this means for the atmosphere and style of show that they can put on.
Speaking with the Inner West Independent just last week Matt Bodiam, the drummer for The Smith Street Band, explained how his band has adapted to these changes.
“We basically took a gamble that if we were to tour again sooner rather than later it was likely going to have us performing to a seated audience, which meant we wouldn’t be able to have the energy or crowd participation that we were used to,” Bodiam siad. “So we designed this show, in the loosest sense of the word, with that in mind. Which means this show is all about us trying to highlight the textural stuff that can get lost in a loud, distorted environment.”
Bearing that in mind The Smith Street Band set out to create alternative versions for an array of songs in their back catalogue, which ultimately led to the new record Unplugged In Wombat State Forrest. Luckily for the band they did have a number of songs that could be reworked from which to choose from.
“A lot of Smith Street songs do have lovely layers, so it’s actually quite nice to be able to highlight those in this set,” said Bodiam. “We’ve never done this before, which maybe is a sign we’re becoming older and more adult, but hopefully it translates well to a seated audience.”
Given that this show has been transformed to suit the more subdued vibe of a seated show the performance is a lot less physically demanding but a lot more challenging mentally according to Bodiam.
“Normally we book in 3-4 days of rehearsals and aim to do 2-3 sets per day, so by the end of the day you’ve go nothing left in the tank. Whereas these rehearsals have made us think we could probably do an 8 hour show if we have to.
“In saying that though there is a lot more stuff going on. There’s a lot more parts. Everyone is busier playing other instruments that they wouldn’t normally be playing in Smith Street on top of their normal stuff. Jess [Locke] is playing a lot of keys, I’m playing a lot of percussion, including glockenspiel which I’ve never played live before. So it’s a bit more mentally challenging, but that is also the cool part about it.”
Looking ahead to the show Bodiam spoke about his love for the Enmore Theatre and just how special it will be to perform this new arrangement in the newly renovated venue.
“Enmore is always awesome. I love theatres, they are great places. I like a pub show but a theatre is a special place. The hunger to get out there and perform again is definitely there for us.”
Mar 12. Enmore Theatre, 118-132 Enmore Rd, Newtown. $59.25+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.enmoretheatre.com.au