Initially, after arriving in Kendal for the first time ever, the Brewery Arts Centre seemed a welcome oasis. Really nice layout inside and out of an old converted building. A great cafe serving home made soup and good coffee at a reasonable price. Very homey. We had a good feeling that the evening's performance by Tommy Emmanuel, was going to be amazing.
After walking around Kendal during the afternoon and eating out, we arrived at the Malt Room in plenty of time for the concert. Finally we went in and I felt ' Oh ? '. There were fold out chairs arranged around a low ceilinged room with pillars every 10 feet or so. The stage was visible by moving your head left and right, around the pillars.
The warm up act was embarrassing. He seemed to be entertaining himself. He was a very good guitarist, not my taste, but I could see and hear the guy's skill. Maybe he should have just played guitar ?
After the intermission, Tommy came on. What can you say ? Totally professional and he rescued the whole evening. Apart from having to look around a series of pillars to find him, if he moved, totally mesmerizing. At one point he sat down with a guitar, given to him by Chet Atkin's. ( I think I'm right ?) That's when I couldn't see his guitar anymore and just his head.
It seems that the Arts Centre should have had the concert in the theatre. On the website there is one photo of the Malt Room, empty. Probably a great venue for a band and for people to dance, but terrible, for a performance, unless there are only 2 rows of seats, at the front. If one pays £20 to SEE a concert you should be able to see the person or the band most of the time or am I being too critical and grumpy old mannish ?
I'd see Tommy again, no question, as long as I could see the actual venue he was performing in before I bought my ticket. A seating plan is fine but they didn't put the pillars in it and have the centre of stage marked, so you can have a line of sight from your seat.
The Arts Centre is a really nice place and I'm sure there are many great things going on there, but for this first experience, it was disappointing.
A great evening saved by the performer and not the venue.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.