Panic Room – Marrs Bar, Worcester

Hello all, hope you’re all well on this rather cold day – how did it get to be November already??? Really not sure where this years has gone!

Anyway, last Friday saw Panic Room head off to the Marrs Bar in Worcester for a Halloween gig. The journey up was really picturesque – Jon decided it was a nice day so we’d avoid the motorways and take the Heads of The Valleys up to Hereford and go up from there. The scenery is stunning up there, especially as a lot of the mountains still had snow on. Apart from one idiot white van man nearly ramming us off the road, it was a pretty nice ride.

The Marrs Bar is a really nice rock club in the centre of Worcester and has one of the biggest, most luxurious dressing rooms you’ll find in a club. It’s basically a studio flat and can be seen, along with assorted other pics on my tour page.

We were soon set up and myself and Anne set about decorating the stage with assorted cobwebs ( no, not cotton wool – cobwebs 😉 ), skulls and Anne also had an assortment of cuddly toys ( again, piccies on the tour page). Soundcheck went pretty smoothly despite some of the monitors not working so the on stage sound was a little weird. I think we may have confused the staff slightly as we were billed as “folk rock” and then preceded to run through Black Noise and our surprise Halloween cover 🙂

Soundcheck done, we found a takewaway nearby and returned to our luxury backstage area with pizzas and chips – such a healthy band!

Anne had found a CD of “spooky sounds” while shopping for decorations so that made a slightly surreal pre-gig CD. I have to also mention the club’s regular PA music which included King Crimson, Zappa, and assorted other “none ever plays that in a club!” music – great stuff 🙂

The stage sound was great from where I was, the fretless in particular sounded really nice even if I do so myself :-). For some reason the keyboards had gone off between soundcheck and the gig so Jon’s sounds had gone a little mad – the drone and synth bass were fine but when he went to start the verse we were met with a brief blast of Eurodisco as the top keyboard had gone back to its slightly oddly chosen default setting 🙂

The setlist was basically the same as we’ve done elsewhere but with a couple of variations…

Elektra City, Reborn, Sandstorms, Into The Fire, Banks of The Ohio , Firefly, Go, Endgame, Hadditfeel, Murder ( the last two were performed solo by Anne), Yasuni, Black Noise, Apocalypstick, I Wonder, Blood Red Sky, Toccata/Enter Sandman

It was great to hear “Murder” from Anne’s solo EP The Contact, it’s such a powerful piece of music. The encore saw Jon donning a black wig and me donning a rubber witch mask for our Halloween encore  – Jon playing Bach’s Toccata  followed by Metallica’s Enter Sandman. It was during Sandman that I realised I hadn’t put the mask on entirely straight meaning that I was struggling with two minor issues – seeing my bass and breathing! I now have a lot of respect for Slipknot 🙂 It was great fun to play though and went down really well.

The venue turns into a nightclub at midnight ( not a pumpkin sadly), so we quickly got the gear into the van and headed back to the takeaway ( there must be more than one in Worcester surely!) for a pre-journey meal.Thanks as always to Ray and Steph for doing the merchandise, the venue staff and crew , and everyone who came along.

Alas it’ll be a month before our next gig ( Dec 4 in the Limelight, Crewe) but the way this year has gone it’ll be here before we know it!

Take care,

Alun

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