We went to see The Hollies at G Live in Guildford last night. While the words and melodies were those we loved, and the instrumental performances were good, the trademark harmonies sounded, frankly, a bit flat, and I wondered if they had finally lost it.
Then, towards the end of the first set, they announced an experiment. They would sing a song around one microphone (“you know, like in the days when we only had one mike”). The three main vocalists moved together and sang Here I Go Again. Suddenly the sound was transformed. The magic was back. It sparkled. It flew. It disappeared, sadly, when the song ended and they moved back to their respective positions on the large stage.
If I had to characterise what happened, and I was being slightly harsh, I would say for short time they were singing together, but the rest of the time they were singing at the same time.
Now we know that G Live has an odd, flat, acoustic. We have seen experienced stand-up comedians struggle because they can’t hear the laughter, and other experienced musicians ask for monitor/foldback adjustments mid performance. However we seem to have really found the Achilles Heel of this otherwise good venue – it doesn’t work if you need to hear what other people are singing and wrap your voice around theirs.
Next time, guys, please just ignore the big stage and use one mike. We’ll love it!