Gig Review – Midlake at Halifax Minster

Midlake 3 v3

Sorry. I’m a bit late with this. The gig was last Friday evening, and I was supposed to write it up and post within 24hrs. But first of all I had a bit of a cider hangover (thanks Bruv, Gordon & Ali), which took out Saturday. Then I ended up working all the way up on the Cumbrian coast on Sunday (took me so long to get back I missed the World Cup Final). And finally I got an email from Michael Hann on Monday morning saying that The Graun wouldn’t be using the review even if I sent it! So that kinda took away any sense of urgency I might have had.

But back on-topic, our mini-social group eventually prised ourselves away from the Ring O’Bells bar and the sunshine, and made our way into the Minster, and we settled into a pew. A little further back and out than I normally manage, so not the best view in the place. But then DsUncle had said – with the experience of having seen Midlake several times already – that they weren’t the most visually arresting band anyway.

First up, a support band by the name of GoldLake that I admit I’ve never heard of. Interesting enough, if a little schizophrenic. They seemed to range from folk-rock to shoegaze musically, and from hippy-chick to 2-Tone visually. They played this one in their seven song set:

When I suggested and bought the Midlake tickets, I’ll admit I was more fuelled by my enthusiasm for The Minster as a venue than by my near-forgotten copy of The Trials Of Van Occupanther album. Playing that whilst working in the week running up to the gig, I found I didn’t feel the love for it that I thought I remembered. This could have turned into a rather awkward evening! Fortunately, it didn’t. A simple but effective lighting rig worked well with the venue; they didn’t try to turn the sound up too loud (which is the one time it goes wrong in The Minster); the playing was immaculate; and the songs definitely pushed my buttons more with some live oomph added to their sound. And as they played almost every song from recent album Antiphon, I may have to check that out sooner rather than later. That would certainly be the opinion of ‘Bill’ & Emma Finn, Midlake fans who’d travelled down from Teesside to see the band for the umpteenth time. I don’t know them, but the band do, calling them out for a namecheck and thanks. A quick chat with Bill made me a little ashamed of my indifference towards TTOVO, but I didn’t let on. 😳

Here, to finish, is a three song playlist, all from the gig. Band intro (from promoters The DogHouse) and Ages; the well-known Roscoe; and a Dylan cover, with added GoldLake, from the encores. Ages in particular has some sweeping shots of the inside of the church, if you’re interested.

7 thoughts on “Gig Review – Midlake at Halifax Minster

  1. Thanks for posting this, DsD. I knew very little about Midlake before I went but I enjoyed it: the Minster made it special with the vaulted ceiling and stained glass. And they seemed like really nice people.

    Gold Lake reminded me slightly of Fleetwood Mac?

  2. Nice review DsD. I like Midlake without ever having properly fallen in love with them (though if my girls had been boys, one of them might well have ended up with the name Roscoe). Will try to watch the video with the visuals. Growing up in Salisbury, our local venue was a deconsecrated church, so gigs in churches feels normal.

  3. Anonymous, but with the picture, weird!
    I’ve liked Midlake for a while, not quite so keen on the new album, but I love gigs in religious buildings and the videos are fab, thanks for posting.

  4. Overall I enjoyed it but I must admit that I got a bit bored in the middle section – I had only listened to the Antiphon album a couple of times before going so couldn’t really identify any of the songs on the night. It picked up at the end tho’ – ironically when they played a couple of Occupanther songs (I’ll endorse Darceysdad’s comment about not finding that album as interesting as I had done but the songs are more lively in a concert setting than Antiphon).
    I’m not totally convinced about the church as gig setting tho’. The fact that there is a restricted view over about half of the floorspace due to the columns makes it feel a bit cramped. On the other hand, I liked the way the lighting lit up the high walls above the band and the audience. Oh, and I had to smile ruefully at the requests (and endorsing appalause) from the MC about not talking during the performances. IT’S A FREAKING ROCK AND ROLL CONCERT!

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