On their last few UK tours, I’ve missed seeing Barb Wire Dolls as their gigs have always clashed with something, so I was looking forward to my first time seeing them. Sadly it appeared I was in a minority – I walked into the venue to find it almost empty, despite the show being advertised on the band’s facebook page as “early show”. In the end shortly before the band came on around 9pm (so much for an early show), the venue did get busier but it was still a poor turnout.
The lack of a support act was very disappointing – fans stupid enough to arrive when doors opened at 7pm had 2 hours to wait for some live music with typical London expensive prices at the bar for drinks.
When things finally got underway, the first thing that was clear is that the change from Barfly to Camden Assembly and the refurb had done nothing to improve the stage lighting – in fact it’s worse than ever, which isn’t great for fans wanting to watch a band. Happily things weren’t all bad – once the band started playing they got a lot better. With three albums released and a seemingly non-stop touring schedule then it’s no surprise to see how good they are live. I did get the impression that they weren’t in the best of moods, which may be related to the lack of the promised early start, but they still put in a great show. Singer Isis Queen is a great punk frontwoman but it’s hard to get a really good atmosphere with such a small crowd (sadly there were several other gigs nearby that night which probably hurt attendance).
It was a good gig, but I think with a better crowd and with the addition of a support to get the crowd warmed up then it would have been a lot better. I look forward to seeing them again soon.