Well folks, that was shambolic wasn’t it. A clearly ‘tired and emotional’ Finley Quaye ambles around the stage playing a badly out of tune guitar with a band that clearly doesn’t know where either he or it is going. If you haven’t actually seen it, take a look. It’s a particularly unedifying experience.
But we have been exhorted on social media to praise the actions of the promoter. And to a point I can go with that. Let’s face it, he really couldn’t let that go on any longer. Preserving his reputation, he took the only route open to him at that point, and refunded the tickets.
But I’m afraid I’m going to dissent from the popular opinion on his actions. It was a disaster purely of his own making, and as a promoter he got what he was asking for.
I did a quick search around the web – no more than a few minutes I promise you. Of course, I had to go a little further now because the web is full of recycled headlines about the Convent gig. And there was one thing that I just couldn’t find.
I couldn’t find one positive story relating to Finley Quaye. Not one.
Go on the web and search for any artist currently gigging, you are bound to find fan reviews and articles from local press. But apart from ticket sales sites, nothing appeared.
But of course I found this review. Now in the promoter’s defence I should add that this is from an early show on the current tour, so the above gig would have already been booked. But I also found this article which suggests that there was more than one incident to add to the assault conviction of 2012.
Quaye was interviewed for a gig at the East Wintergarden at Canary wharf in 2014. However, the Wharf then didn’t review the gig. Then I looked at some of the ticket booking sites, and found this from York, a very late cancellation. Of course this was from this tour, so it wouldn’t have been available to the promoter at the time of booking.
So this is the rather less than pleasant biography that starts to present itself with only 5 minutes of research. The artist has a chequered past, isn’t known for his reliability, hasn’t released anything in years and has no evidence of even a decent profile online.
And then I start to think of the things a promoter or venue usually asked me when I looked to place a gig with them. What’s your profile? What reviews do you have? Show me some press? Do you have a local following? I was generally looking at support gigs you must bear in mind, not headline shows. We were a first album act.
But with all that in mind I still have to ask myself why promoters thought that booking Quaye was a good idea.
PS. Had you ever heard of the venue or know that it has a live stream for gigs? Well you do now.