Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Supernormal 2011






Normally I hate camping, partly down to this country's banana weather... but throw three days of music into the equation and the obvious discomfort seems to mysteriously disappear - so when another opportunity to be Supernomalised presented itself, it was back to that much loved field in the middle of nowhere...

On arrival, a whiff of rhythm hits us, all bassy and deliciously slothful, like Godspeed tangoing with some shoegazery glaze... I was so hooked that after evil tent assembly I drifted straight towards its origin. Turned out to be Hakarl's 36hr Communion, which was without doubt one of the best things going down at this year's festival. This was a sleep deprived improv collective with extra members floating in and out at any given moment, jamming endlessly, gathering small repetitive threads together and bleeding out some gorgeous mutations. You could literally lose hours watching how things developed without any clock watching lulls in the action, so much invention was going down, minute occurrences became fused, diffused, hijacked... each member following cues into the unknown...Plenty of re-visits were had and when it ended on Sunday it was sorely missed...











The satisfyingly gutsy noise coming from the bottom of the field turned out to be 'Cold in Berlin' who were much better live than I'd imagined them to be. Predictably gothic, but not in a bad way, heads above that mopey syrup and Twilight bull that passes for darkness these days... they even seemed to be channelling some genuine angst... all zombie armed choruses and screaming expletives, fucking loud too... loved that murderous zeal and bony economy that seeped outa their particular version of crypt loving black... their hard as nails guitar and wailing existentialism went well with my slippy slidey head...



This was followed by a generous helping of Rat Face in the dance tent, who has single handedly dispelled my dislike of all things hip and hop... that mixture of beats and razor sharp lyrics certainly hit the spot, plenty of circuit twitchwifery slinking around there too. Later, I caught some 'Edward Lear' spoken words coming from the improv tent, struck up conversations with some lovely strangers, somebody from the 'A' band slipped me a cdr said I'd like it...The silvery moon turned the night sky's clouds into a tidal canvas, I failed to capture it through the camera... my was head strobing too much… decided to retire to tent sanctuary - don't know why, as sleep just wasn't a graspable prospect... a moonlit mind wanders in a white rabbit suit.









Saturday started slowly, noodle maggots for breakfast, chats with friends, wandered through the masturbating cloth sculptures hanging from the trees... cloven hooves and halo of flies. Met the creator, he said 'you want to see my live performances.' I sniggered at the imagining...then the heavens poured. Clad in my batman cape, I watch said artist riding bare arsed round the top field, the cloth creature on the back of his bicycle jerking away...



we retired to the blue haze of the tent and I drew as the rain hammered down. Reminders of Cave's carny and recently observed headbangs into trees to choruses of 'why why why?'. Heaven was raging that day and fear of fading memory was totally disabling..... 'nature morts' from the tent hi-fi flowed into the ears... early 80's post everything helps... afterwards took a listen to that cdr that I stuffed into my pocket the night before, spoken word with wonky instruments, really liked it, the manner of voice reminded me of Karl Blake's rantings... gonna have to give this the proper write up it so eagerly deserves...

As the rain mysteriously subsided the music was a blur, z+ were an amazing cathedral of bone, but Thought Forms were the first to give my ears a savaging, rolled up into a fearsome racket, Guy's drums full of bricks being lobbed into some metal silos, the three of them were burning up... even when Deej's guitar lead became severed they refused to be abated... as he rubbed his spine up and down Charlie's guitar... love burningggggg from hollowed out frames...





In comparison, Maria and the Mirrors had a bit of a shaky start, but luckily found their footing quite quickly afterwards... a drunken bloke grabbed my ear, shouted he hated the electronic scribble behind the drumming... I stared back in wry disbelief... I shouted back 'what yr talking about, that's the glue' he looked back at me more than a little bewildered... The last track from them was killer, a complete mess of tribal spluttering, like some Manga deathslide on wiry hairshirts gift wrapped up in 2nd gen atmospherics 'travel sex' I think it was called...





I got lost in the skies, they were truly amazing... the clouds turned into a shark eating its own thoughts, nobody else saw and the moment quickly vaporized... I captured a leaning head, a pure psyched flowering iris... and later some great sunsets.











Primordial Undermind were good, that totally soild riffage was ticking my boxes and Eric's guitar was amazingly loud, I sat and drew to the vibe...



Then GNNNNNNNOD who started off a bit bi-polar, too ranty, the Gillespie lookie likey getting hot under the collar... later hooked into some divinely twisted Gregorian fuelled funkiness that got me waving arms and swaying around like only Gnod can supply... the cherry picked reverb screamed, shooting my head in slimy ricochets...







Wasn't feeling much for David Deviant, watched through my hair... the lyrics were fun but I was feelin' shite... which resulting in sleeping through Teeth of the Sea and the 'A Band'... Got woken up by Mr.O grabbing his stuff before journeying home as he was working the record store the next day... said something about a nudity before disappeared into the night... I fell back into blissful sleep...











Caught Maria and the Gay first up Sunday, bore no relation to Maria and the Mirrors, although i was secretly wishing they would, anyways they were a great wakeup call full of sleazy presets scrappy guitars and stupidly catchy lyrics... firmly in the 'Chicks on Speed' camp, really wished I'd brought more money as that 'pushchair suicide' song would have been a great in car anthem...





Mooched around the merch, more kandy for the eyes than buying... caught Arthur Brick who captured the boiling hot day with his scuttling banjo frolics...







Next I nosed the startings of the Apatt Orchestra, but felt uneasy… As they were finding their differing voices, decided to distract myself with some 'Gum Takes Tooth'... who turn out to be blistering schizoid fun for the ears... I missed getting back to the Apatt as a result...



later Ross told me they dedicated their set in memory of Joe, but wasn't until the Fuzzylights played their closing number that I started to well up... I was losing it to the violin, how clichéd was that... reconciled myself visioning the stagelights through my beer, looked like the first frostings of November, swollen with demonic action... Mardt's cider all sweet smelling in the fading sun...







Skullflower were much anticipated, me being a massive fan...
must have been the shortest set on the bill and the most disappointing... this latest incarnation was a trio of full on guitar feedback... verging on the monological with far too few fizzing overlays for my liking. Everything seemed to flounder in the kinetic scrum, felt it would have suited a more confined space...





Cindytalk on the other hand were great, a hard edged razor reflection with bitter dispersions of eelectricity whipping the conventional rock dynamics... couldn't really string any sense from the vocals, too effect diseased, but they imparted a tasty strung out/comedown angry almost vitriolic vibe... a souring of affections, mulled over disappointments. The lead singer downed the contents of a hip flask on the music's fractures... occasionally snogging the audience... Pissed on Skullflower's toe dipping into the void, and defo got me curious about hearing more...









The fest was slowly burning out into the night ...wandered through the illuminations, the shuffling shadows, shouty hardcore behind us… mental collapses and the universal love of star filled skies… drifted to sleep whilst the sound of Suspira seeped from the dance tent... I swear that dawn chorus on Monday morning was calling me a Nazi bastard…

Here's to next year...

4 comments:

Supernormal said...

thanks for sharing this wonderful and personal experience of Supernormal with us! Love Supernomal

Cloudboy said...

the festival just gets better!!!

Josh said...

Really enjoyed your rendition of the week end, that was Supernormal. I am the 'said artist' who performed with arse hanging out!!!! I had a great time and met some interesting people. It was interesting working along side performance artits that shared the same ethos. Pushing boundaries and creating sparks... Best Joshua Raffell

Cloudboy said...

cheers, man... those knitted creatures of yours were amazing