Camel - Live at Birmingham Town Hall, UK (AUD)
Venue: The Town Hall, Birmingham, UK
Date: Monday 10th March 2014
Quality: Pretty good for an audience recording I reckon - you be the judge, check the sound samples.
Audience Recording Notes & Location
Main balcony, Row A Seat 9, right at the front about 20m back from the stage. Fairly centred, right in front of Andy about 3 feet above his head (see images).
The recording level was pretty much spot on and I have not had to adjust the dynamics or perform any kind of audio processing. A straightforward transfer to .wav - what you hear is exactly what was recorded in the night.
As a minor disappointment I did have to remove three 'clicks' during 'Rhayader / Rhayader Goes To Town' caused by having to move the mic for not one but TWO sets of late arrivals who had to squeeze by (hmmm!). Fortunately these are now not too prevalent and do not spoil the overall enjoyment of the track - you'll have to listen hard to hear them although you can hear the sound shift as I temporarily move the mic. Everything else is okay though and I'm very pleased with how it all came out.
Sony Hi-MD MZ-RH10 (Hi-SP) with external Sony ECM-MS907 Mic (in 120deg) placed on balcony ledge (secured with 'blu-tack').
USB transfer to PC (WAV) -> Soundforge 9.0 (remove clicks x3 as described and track split) -> TLH SB align and Flac encode (Level 8)
Thoughts and Observations
Comparing with last year's gig in Wolverhampton I felt that Ton Scherpenzeel's playing added a 'dreamier' quality to the soundscape which made the gigs quite different. Not any better or wose than Guy LeBlanc, just different.
The Town Hall has a big, high vaulted ceiling and I noticed there were several suspended sound 'squares/baffles' (in clear glass/plastic? see picture) and I felt that the reflections from these contributed to the sound being a little bit 'wooly' at times, at least from where I was sat. This was more prevalent in first set but the sound seemed to settle down more in the second set (at least to my ears). I also felt that the first set was perhaps a little sterile probably due to the concert style, all-seater setting and an audience that seemed quite reserved to begin with (just my personal opinion). Of course, I think this all made for a great recording and it was genuinely a really great gig even if Andy and Colin screwed up a couple of times (lyrics in Lady Fantasy being a good example).
Here's a link to an interesting article about the Town Hall in which it claims to be the oldest concert hall in the world:
As an aside I would love to hear Rick Wakeman playing the magnificent organ at this venue! (see pic inside the Town Hall).
Set One - The Snow Goose
01. Intro (0:29)
02. The Great Marsh (2:07)
02. Song Within A Song
03. Rhayader / Rhayader Goes To Town (8:35)
04. Sanctuary / Fritha / The Snow Goose (7:54)
05. Friendship / Migration / Rhayader Alone (9:31)
06. Flight Of The Snow Goose / Preparation / Dunkirk (10:41)
07. Epitaph (1:35)
08. Fritha Alone (1:42)
09. La Princesse Perdue (4:49)
10. The Great Marsh (reprise) (2:22)
Note: I have placed the track markers at the clear breaks and points of audience applause and chosen not to split the segued tracks.
Set Two - Camel Favourites
01. Never Let Go (Acoustic & Electric) (7:35)
02. Song Within A Song (7:39)
03. Echoes (8:19)
04. The Hour Candle (7:31)
05. Drafted (4:42)
06. Watching The Bobbins (7:32)
07. Intro to 'Fox Hill' (1:31)
08. Fox Hill (9:53)
09. For Today (10:26)
10. Encore break & band intros (3:56)
11. Lady Fantasy (15:43)
Andy Latimer - Guitar, flute, vocals
Colin Bass - Bass, vocals
Denis Clemont - Drums
Jason Hart - Additional keyboards
Ton Scherpenzeel - Keyboards
Enjoy the concert - I certainly did!
Support the artists and buy their stuff - I do.
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