We had a weekend in Melbourne to play two shows - The Esplanade on Friday and Sounds Like Chicken's final show out at a community centre in Bayswater. In spite (or because of) the reputation of the venue I've been disappointed with our previous shows at the Espy, but I really enjoyed Friday night. A few fans in the crowd knew some words had everybody dancing and the awesome sound guy set up quickly and mixed up a great sound.
Saturday night, however, was a bit different, the room and lights weren't great and my sample pad wasn't working at all which threw the others a bit. Also, even though there were millions of cool kids there, they had come to see SLC and clearly weren't going to dance or go off until had proved ourselves. It's a bit scary to have people standing so close evaluating how cool you are (a complex calculation involving adding up hundreds of factors involving positive or negative scene points). We won a couple with Scene Queen and Surfin' but that was towards the end of our set.
Little things like the sound guys and the audience reaction can unfortunately really affect our performance, or at least the way we think about it. The sound guys at SLC's show were very professional, but inflexible about the gear we had and they failed to get a sound from my pad - wrongly blaming both my lead and the output on the pad itself. Since you have to do a sound check right before you play, a little frustration then can hurt your concentration and reflect on the whole flow. I hope the kids at the show appreciated us and maybe visit the myspace and listen to our recordings.
Since we're (in fact) inexperienced and at the beginning of our musical careers, and due to the energetic nature of our show, we can sometimes fall a bit flat (maybe just inside our heads) without support from the audience. So it sometimes seems to us that we haven't had a good show when the really the audience just want to see what we're like before going spastic. Clearly people aren't always going to dance if they haven't heard the band before and it's probably alright if we just chill out a bit and have a fun set, but our live persona isn't really based in a world of clear and rational decision making, so we have a tendency to fockman a bit.
Sounds Like Chicken were great and I wrote a little eulogy for the band on the Los Cap website.