The Scarlet's Well is nowadays an excellent live-band. The second gig in Turku was even better than the last year's one - partly because this time the overall volume level did feel a tad lower, so that details of the sound-net were easier to separate from each other. The band was tight. powerful, and sometimes even rocking on the faster songs, like My Little Doll, where Deb's bass lines did come nicely to the front. At times it was again very soft and atmospheric, like on I am a Canvas, where the whole band sort of visibly gathered their whole attention to create an imposing net of sounds to back Alice's warm solo singing. Definitely one of the central pieces of the whole show to me.
In addition to that the band felt suitably "raw", which made it interesting live experience in a good way, differing from the albums, even though this may have been partly due to some monitoring problems - which means the way how the band itself can hear their own joint performance from their monitoring speakers - as Alice did reveal after the gig. But I couldn't notice any too disturbing effects on the overall sound. Especially I did feel Helen's violin riffs here and there on the songs did create surprising and refreshing combinations with Sian's keyboard sounds or Bid's and Peter's guitar lines. Couldn't see a glimpse of Jen but after the show, as on the smallish stage the others were standing in front of her.
As Tomiboo said in his excellent review, there would have been room for some more audience at first, but perhaps the present ones then were all serious fans. As I did come to the club - apparently well after Tomiboo's first check - I also did feel myself like the first one present, save some personnel. I was already leaving the club for some time, when the band came in with the show promoters (thanks again LYS for bringing them to Finland), and I said quick hello to Bid, and soon after met with Tomiboo, while there was still only a handful of people present. It was nice to speak with him about some favorites and other things - and thanks again of the free introduction into The Boo Radleys!
I believe the band played about an hour or so with the encores included. Among the show openers we heard This Is The Story Of My Life, The Dream Spider Of The Laughing Horse, and The Return of The Hesperus. There was still during that phase only a few dozen people standing in front of the smallish stage upholstered in red by it's backround. The venue floor of the two storey club was by it's form like a big letter "L" - as a mirror image - where the stage was built to the shorter arm, and the bar was placed on the angle.
At the middle parts of the set the band played songs from various older albums as well as a good doze of the brand new ones. The second album was represented at least by Luminous Creatures, Clop's Birthday, and Raven's Treasure. Also, we did hear a sweet version of Purple Rushes from the third album, as well as My Tender Years from the Black Tulip Wings. From the new Gatekeeper I was able to recognize at least Golden It Is Beautiful, Piepentube, New Friends, and the wonderful I Am A Canvas.
The main set was ended with a superbly tight version of the country-rocking My Little Doll, after which the band came back to play two and half encores. The half-one was Bid playing alone the first verse of Goodbye Joe, while the others still were getting ready to perform. Also the other encore was an old Monochrome Set song, Jacob's Ladder, after which they played yet You Can't Get The Staff.
Afterwards the whole band was again kindly exchanging opinions and questions & answers with the interested folks in audience, or just saying hello from the base of the last years concert. I can only go along with Tomiboo's wish about more Scarlet's Well gigs to Finland. Even if they are organized at Turku only. I am happily visiting the SW part of the country every now and then for this reason.
(Btw, the good hilarious spirits afterwards were risen to the top, while already traveling homewards the next day, when I saw from the bus window a cloud formation, which did resemble a laughing elephant. :lol: )