VNV Nation – Scala

The Scala is a curious venue in Kings Cross. It might not actually be in Kings Cross geographically but it is close enough to the station and so that is where I proclaim it to be. I had been here before to see Therapy? and quite liked the venue. This time I was watching VNV Nation who I very briefly saw last year at M’Era Luna when they got a harsh review from me but Smith and I were rushing off to see Hocico so we only saw them briefly.

Doors were at 7pm and we got in there around 19:30 hrs after grabbing some food at a Cho Zen [where I had never eaten before]. The room is up three flights of art-deco stairs [I think they were art-deco] and around a few corners. It’s not an easy venue to fire exit I imagine.

This particular tour was a compendium tour. I hadn’t realised that, I think Smith and I got tickets because we thought the atmosphere and people would be quite similar to Slimelight and we figured the music would be bearable. There was no support. Just straight in to VNV Nation playing loud and proud.

I didn’t know a great deal about the band before this gig and I still don’t really but I can tell you the singer is Irish. He also has similar issues with people using camera phones as I do. After the first song he said that he is happy with people videoing or photographing the band but everyone needed to turn off their flash/lights and also keep the camera in front of their own face, not block those around. In terms of the flash he is spot on. Why use a low powered flash in that sort of scene, it won’t work, it’ll just ruin your final product.

VNV Nation
VNV Nation

One of my issues with people and cameras is they use the digital zoom to get a “better close up” but the problem is they would be better off taking a full zoomed-out picture and then cropping. Digital zoom and cropping achieve roughly the same thing but less jerky.

More VNV Nation
More VNV Nation

So, I need to speak about the songs. All of their songs are pretty good. They are well constructed and good to dance to. The lead singer was good at getting the crowd going and he was really the only one doing any movement as the others were stuck behind electronic stuff.

They played two slow songs. During a song, which may or may not have been a slow one, the singer got the lights turned down and the room was lit by people holding the lights on their phones up. This was very nice and atmospheric.

This was a good fun gig. Nearly three hours of a single band playing their greatest songs from over twenty years of work. I enjoyed it. I’d happily see them again.

The “scene” wasn’t as alternative as I was expecting. There weren’t that many people who were part of the dress up scene such as the ones at Slimelight or M’Era Luna.

Quality Gig
Quality Gig


I travelled to the big smoke last night to see Therapy? play at the Scala near Kings Cross. The journey out was good, the trains were on time and the sun was out. London looked gorgeous. While I waited for Smith to turn up I sat and watched the world go by. I’m sure I remember more nutters hanging around train stations when I was younger!

The venue was good. It was smaller than I expected but there were plenty of balconies and raised areas where a good view of the band could be found. We waited in the middle of the pit.

The first band on were called Only The Brave. It was guitar based music and not my stuff. I was wondering what it was about the music that I didn’t like and finally Andy told me it was Indie Wank. I suddenly understood why it did noting for me! For the last few songs I spent the time browsing various news sites and apps on my phone. I was glad to get 4G service inside the venue.


These were a funny band. The singer looked as though he had personality issues and spent his time staring at the side of the stage [which doesn’t really matter as long as he can sing], the RH guitarist never looked up, the bassist seemed worried about stuff and the frontman was too happy. All their songs sounded the same and rubbish [sorry, not my stuff].

Therapy?, by contrast, were an active band who looked at the crowd and actually seemed to enjoy what they were doing. It is twenty years since the release of the Troublegum album and they played it in its entirety. It’s a very good album and the show was dynamic. The crowd were jumping and I sweated loads in the middle of the pit. Smith had someone try to steal his mobile phone a few times and so he was disappointed with some members of the crowd. I had noticed around three people looking for their phones on the floor. I can’t imagine that you would put a phone somewhere where it would fall out so maybe their phones were stolen?

The sound was good and I really enjoyed the show. I stayed in the pit for around 3/4 of the set and then spent the last few songs watching from the edge of the pit. I will confirm to @trusmoov that it was a “normal” pit.


The real excitement of the evening was waiting for me at the train station. Smith and I wandered to Kings Cross and said our farewells. Then I headed to the correct platforms in St Pancras. There was a queue of people nearside of the barriers all talking to the railway people. I glanced a the departures board and saw that the 20 past was about to leave. I was wrong. It was the 2220 train and the time now was 2318. There were delays.

Apparently some kids had entered a tunnel near to Stratford station and so we were waiting for the police to make sure that the route was clear. I boarded the train and found a seat. I was feeling a little tired and tried to read a book on the Kindle app. There were announcements about how we could head to Victoria or London Bridge to get trains from there, but a quick check of the app on my phone told me that there were no other departures to Ebbsfleet, where my car was parked. I was stuck waiting for the fast train to leave.

At about 0130 we had the announcement that we would be departing soon. I arrived at Ebbsfleet at around 0150 and was home by 0215. I guess the journey could have been a lot worse but I was tired. I didn’t care. I was just glad to be home.