On Wednesday night, I went along to the Grace Emily to watch The Velvet Underground presented by Little Captain. With no background in the work of The Velvet Underground, I was perhaps not someone the show was directed towards. There was, however, an audience of people of a variety of ages packed into the band room, so it was not just a show to reflect on days gone by.
The commitment to their craft that Little Captain exhibits cannot be questioned. They provide the audience with quite an extensive selection of songs and still left them chanting for more. It appeared that the audience was in no small part, one of Velvet Underground fans as the confession of a band member that she had not heard much Velvet Underground before they began rehearsing was met with horror. It’s probable that this show is more for those already initiated than it is for those who may be less familiar with the works of The Velvet Underground so it may not be so likely to convert any new fans. Despite that, as far as giving the audience what they wanted, Little Captain succeeded entirely – except for not giving in to the audience demands for more.
At two hours, you get more than a fair share of songs so it’s saying something that the audience wanted to keep going at 10:40 on a Wednesday night. The first set lasted about 45 minutes before a 15-minute break when the band members mingled with the audience at the bar. Mixing with the audience in the unique patchwork of the Grace Emily’s front bar (where else will you see pictures of such a bizarre mix of people as Burt Newton, Mao, and Winston Churchill?) added just a little more personal a note to the event.
During the second set, I retired to the back of the band room, partly to recover from the incredible sound of the first set. Featuring a more diverse blend of songs than the first set, the second allowed Little Captain to show themselves capable of a more varied performance than before the break.
With a price of $10, a two-hour show is a bargain, and if you like Velvet Underground, you’d be foolish to miss out. If you are someone like me (totally uninitiated in The Velvet Underground) but want to try out some new music, this is likely the show for you.
Words by Liam McNally.
The Velvet Underground presented by Little Captain is playing at the Grace Emily on March 2. Tickets available here.