In the war between man and machine, last night's losers were Clock Opera as horrific sound problems crippled what should have been their biggest and best show to date, as the brilliant new band celebrated the release of their debut album in London.
A late start failed to dampen the mood in the packed venue, but once the London four-piece take to the stage - and sound and technical problems persisted throughout the performance - the show fell flat.
The band - when able to perform at all - are excellent, but lengthy gaps between tracks as lead singer Guy Connelly is forced to fill after just one song kills any atmosphere among the audience. "Do you mind if we perform the whole show acoustically?" says Connelly, but it seems like less of a joke and more of a genuine suggestion.
When the band hit their stride in the latter half of the performance, there are flashes of the same excellence heard on their debut album 'Ways To Forget', with tracks such as 'Move To The Mountain' and 'Once And For All' reviving the unfortunately flagging show.
The show reaches a peak with 2011 single 'Belongings', which demonstrates perfectly not only the strength of Connelly's vocals - but also the delicate line the band tread between the sensitivity of Coldplay and the balls-out dancefloor mania of Foals. A stunning performance of a mini modern masterpiece, but what should have been an epic climax instead feels like something of a warm-up after the disjointed and awkward gig, as the audience loosen up for the first time as the show begins to come to a close.
Bad gigs can happen to the best of bands, but when that band is on the verge of greatness, it is a glum experience to see them floundering through no fault of their own. Unable to hit their stride and build the same momentum heard on their debut album, the show was a disappointment. However, the moments of genuine brilliance prove than Clock Opera's rise is unlikely to be halted by a few faulty wires and some poorly plugged speakers.