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.
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.
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.