Saturday, June 27, 2009

All hail the Throbbing Gristle

Sunday 21st June 2009 - The Heaven Club, London





I was wondering when they were gonna start, all that campy music was far too happy for my liking, a sea of shiny heads bobbing up and down. This cut out as some mad piano death crept into the mix, closely followed by some harsh electro plate fancies, then the p.a switched back to the pink n fluffy stuff… The room was suddenly full of bodies, a beefy bloke inscribed with every conceivable esoteric icon pushed in front of DJ Baz… The security guard looked bored out of his mind, and yawned to prove it… then the profile of Chris Carter sheepishly stepped out, with the rest following on his lab coat tails… the crowd was a blaze with cameras… Gen looked a mess; his left tit trying to pop out of his hippy top… those modified lips have left him with a fixed sneer; I imagined how he would have looked without the surgery.





A massive sound ensued, excess skin rippling as the recognition of ‘Very Friendly’ broke through the cheering – this was a catalogue of blood thirsty scarring and pumping percussion, Gen’s voice was slicing, a sick dispassion mixed with sustained violence. Iannnn Braaaady Myra Hindleyyyy was dalekkkkkkkkked in luxurious curls as the tale was re-told, lingering on the unpleasant with relish, I turned around to Giles and he mouthed ‘Fucking Brilliant’ I laughed a reply… my nostrils were vibrating so much, they bloody hurt…

Hot on the heels came ‘Convincing people’ which proved to be as topical as ever…Gen hadn’t lost his bite, claiming the city of London is filled with liars and adding Mr Brown could suck his cock… Two songs in, this was like a TG greatest hits!!! And I was loving every minute.



An improvised number followed, instigated by Cosey, whose guitar sounds were akin to a demolition site…Gen followed the dust clouds with some violin abuse, using two bows at one point, but Chris n Peter at the back were making so much racket that it was completely drowned out.





My personal TG favourite ‘Hamburger Lady’ also got an airing, it was really loose, the redux somehow creepier than the original, as queasy half vomiting swirls were broken by slopped grease splashes from the electronics, some people in front were discoing on down to the vibe. Gen’s vox was a cold machined burr, hospital bleeps echoed across kazoo disintegrations, an audio BBQ of burnt skin and exposed organs… Wow!

‘These songs are about ordinary people… like you… think about that’, said Gen as he goaded the audience into clapping harder…

For all those doubters, the musick still comes across as essential, askew with ugly circuits, disjointed colours and sleazy semi-tones, not a sniff of complacency in sight, when the beats arrived they were overwhelming, a pornucopia of crashing perspectives… a few Coil aura’s inevitably lingered in the mix, but this is the Gristle sound through modern wares, not some pale historical impression.

What a Day – was incredible … a thumping anthem to boredom, a virus breaking through the crowd in nodding appreciation, The tattooed bloke was in bliss, all arms raised and bobbing flesh as Gen pranced about the stage shouting his head off, mounting the speakers shouting some more…

There were weak clinks in the armoury though, ‘Almost a Kiss’ failed to ignite and that ‘Afghanistan’ song left me feeling it was too obvious to feed any underlying intent, although the vocal pile-ups were entertaining…

The jewel of the night was definitely Discipline though, made for a magnificent finale… that paramilitary scuffle was blinding, the crowd went nuts for it..


DJ Baz mid spasm

Potential fights ssstarted to break out, black jackets converging on the hotspots, but the aggro just dissipated into the jumping bodies. I was too busy shaking my stuff to see Gen rubbing his breasts with his microphone or stabbing it from between his legs all mock penis…but surfaced just in time to catch Peter attacking the speaker with some new palm-held toy,



Gen shouting, spitting, cursing, screaming out the syllables until it was all incoherent spittle… burning it all up, white hot, a complete contrast to their latest release of sofa friendly ambience. The TG enigma continues…

2 comments:

I am not Kek-w said...

Sleazy was playing a Tom Bugs device....

Cloudboy said...

hail bugbrand!