Arriving to collect my pass at The Junction, I was told the usual routine of “first three only” followed by “and nothing from anywhere else in the venue after that”. Thinking nothing more of it, as I entered the pit, this mantra was repeated by the security guard “Don’t know if they told you mate, but strictly first three and nothing else from anywhere after that”. Now it seemed a little strange, had some sort of reputation preceded me? Was I the target of some conspiracy theory? Then as Cate Le Bon took to the stage in Cambridge things became a little clearer.
As the stage darkened the audience was greeted by a mysterious female voice that began speaking in Welsh. To help ease the audience’s bemusement this was then followed, presumably, by the English translation, which is where the strict rules on shooting became clearer. The audience were welcomed to The Mug Museum, but asked politely not to touch or take photographs, with postcards being available in the lobby should people wish to purchase. Le Bon scowled at an over enthusiastic member of the audience who could not contain her camera phone and popped off a couple of shots from the front row. Promptly told, the phone returns to the fans pocket and respectfully, few further photos are taken.
Musically Le Bon’s sound live roughens the edges of her retro pop sound with the show concentrating on material from Mug Museum, she (and her backing band) are tight, focussed and elevate the music to a different, slightly harder place than on record. The compact crowd all leave having witnessed another side to Cate Le Bon’s musicianship and one that hints to exciting prospects for the future.