GigFAIL and GigWIN: Shadow Orchestra at Bimble Bandada and Soundcrash

Oh the irony – on Friday I was happily larking about on Twitter, retweeting the Guardian’s excellent Worst Gigs Ever piece, and linking to my post of Best, Worst and Weirdest gigs. Little did I know that in the space of 2 days, I would experience both ends of the “awful to awesome” gig spectrum.

It started as I got in the car with Nick from the Shadow Orchestra, and headed down to a field just outside Lewes for the Bimble Bandada festival. The traffic was a bit sticky leaving London through the Blackwall Tunnel, as it usually is.

Then it got really slow just before we reached the junction we needed off the M25, but we made it with plenty of time to chill out at the festival before our set at 7.30pm.


Dave turned up uncharacteristically late but still in good time, so we grabbed some tasty food while we waited for Chris and Mary. And waited, and waited, and waited. Our stage time crept closer, then passed, and the sun went down.


Unfortunately Chris and Mary never made it. They’d got stuck in the worst traffic jam on the M25 for years, and ended up motionless for four or five hours. Despite our desperate negotiations for a later timeslot, they were still over an hour away by 9pm and it simply wasn’t going to work.

Dave, Nick and I headed home utterly dejected. It’s one thing to play a bad gig but at least know you gave it your best shot – it’s another entirely to not be able to play at all due to circumstances completely out of your control. I’ve been gigging for more than 15 years and I don’t think that’s ever happened to me.

So we were understandably a bit nervous about Saturday’s gig for Soundcrash up on the Dalston Roof Park. But luckily (despite a couple of dicey moments, especially when it started tipping with rain 10 minutes before our set and screwed the electrics) our experience was completely brilliant.

We played a total blinder to a fantastic up-for-it crowd, and ended the night on a total high. I was so overexcited I nearly crashed the car on the way home. Ooops…

Here are some pics:

Shadow Orchestra soundcrash soundcheck

Soundchecking an' that

Soundcrash soundman

Sound engineer MJ does his best with the world's smallest PA

Soundcrash roof party 2 running order

The cunningly waterproofed running order


Dave and Nick Shadow Orchestra

Dave and Nick hang out in the sunshine

View from Dalston roof park

Worth it for the incredible view alone


There were strawberries growing in tubs on the roof - I ate one, it was delicious (sorry)

Collectif Sindy dress Kat Shadow Orchestra

Rocking my new dress - and terrible damp hair

Double rainbows all the way

Double rainbows all the way

Dalston roof park

The end of a great night

5 responses to “GigFAIL and GigWIN: Shadow Orchestra at Bimble Bandada and Soundcrash

  1. Pingback: Adam Tinworth: The Rest of My Life

    • At least you got there! Mary and Chris were stuck right by the junction for hours and had to abandon their mission.

  2. Pingback: From worst gig to best gig in one weekend

  3. LOVE that Collectif dress on you, it’s fabulous!

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