Thursday night witnessed some interesting fun and japes, courtesy of a couple of tickets from Mr Cloudboy on the promise of a return review. Clutching two tattered tickets in my mits (they may as well have proved to be chemically infused blotting paper), I The Winkcommander and compadre Squire Trelawny took a visit to The Cube in Bristol to witness what was variously described as a 'cornucopia' of happenings and a burlesque of oddments, to be preformed by The Sunburnt Hand of The Man. This was the second of two dates - the previous night was a more straighforward musical affair, tonight was to be more 'experimental'.
The Cube is everything a venue should be - quaint and dingy and welcoming, a proper placing for just about anything, making it all the more suitable for what was to transpire. The Sunburnt guys and gal hail from the US of A and are what I guess I can only best describe as a loose ensemble of free-form musical psychonauts. Go have a nose at Mr Cope's Headheritage site for more background. The programme was split in various sections, with one Sunburner fulfilling the role of 'guide/compare/trip daddy', indroducing each act and generally acting as ring-master for what was to follow.
First up was an ensemble of three Sunburners, described as 'The Bridge of Trust'. Whether the following scraping and feedback was deliberate sham or accidental shambles was difficult to ascertain. Musical in anyway it wasn't. Amusing it was - but by design? Impossible to tell - and perhaps irrelevent. Keyboards were stumbled into and various members of the cast shuffled around on stage, variously cocking up the triggering of samples, hooking feet in leads and generally looking more stoned than a crusade of heretics.
Next up, was something described as 'The Ozone' - another off-shoot of the Sunburned project and something slightly more (but only just together) involving a lumberjack shirt be-splendoued gent who picked at a guitar which had a CD jammed through its strings.
Next (and possibly the highlight of the evening) was a performance of the Clear People - a 20 minute sampled "I'm high" and percussion reinactment of herbal oblivion; Clarity indeed, and truely hilareous to behold. Genius!
The searing light of the Clear People was followed by another off-shoot, Hush Arbours... Who played tunes, and may it be said, very well. Watch out for that name. Gentle falsetto pitched guitar washes interspersed with catchy riffs and crechendos. Enough to keep a lot of people interested and definately worth checking out some further recordings.
The we had the performance of 'Man Cry' a water washed opportunity for each member of Sunburnt to be deconstructed onstage and well... cry. The audience were in stitches, the ruthless bastards! (My face was wet with tears of pain rather than mirth you Honour, I swear)
Finally (for me anyway) came a burst of the full-on Sunburnt experience, a wandering free form jazz/folk/acid jam experience replete with Horse head masks and mayhem. Phew! Thes rest of the eveing promised a rare screening of a 60's art film, but by stamina was flagging, so it was time to mount the Wink Commanders trusty Camel and wing my way back home, Sunburnt cd in hand.
A blisteringly weird evening and massive fun.