Cafe Kino - Tuesday 26th July
The disappointment of hearing that Silver Stairs of Ketchikan couldn't play was soon quashed on finding her replacement was none other than Serena of Squeeze me Macaroni... Seen her numerous times, usually fx-ed up to the eyeballs, but here she stripped away the looping paraphernalia, and pedals to give us a series of well executed covers, just her voice and electric guitar with a touch of reverb to fill the space... turned out to be a very melodic beast indeed, a real showcase for her crystalline voice.
The next act Roving Blades made a refreshing change from the more experimental expectations too... an acapella English folk ensemble of 10 people who's differing harmonies rolled around the room with the currency of loss and loving... ending on some 'chicken on a raft' funny business.
The main star of the show was definitely Matt though, and after some warm-up stretches, he commenced smashing the ivories of some rotting piano... continuing to nail them in a Terry Riley expansion of chords, all caps-locked in pointy toothed repetition... Mirages of tune crawled out from under this unbearable light, fleeting wasps of saintly rainbows lisping in the hammered current...The ferocity of his playing was awe inspiring, the pain on his face all evident... must have been a good 15 minutes before this hypnotic intensity finally uncorked itself... flowing into a slow dribble of lonely keys, those high end pings stapling the requiem-esque reflections home... broken handed he strode out of the room to rapturous applause ...
Friday, July 29, 2011
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Friday 15th July, Folk House, Bristol
Those Dogface Sockets were simply superb, debauched n ridiculous, everything grotesquely exaggerated, burning out on scary in places. Jonny coming across like a neurotic Billy Bragg pursued by a clamber of disabled children, Mini's dented diagonals working into his guitar and vocal spurs, adding extra vocal yelps along the way.
Their set brimmed with weird tales and crooked flights of fancy, funny quips on each song’s heritage between songs… real entertaining stuff closing with the 'Elephant Song' backed by the Kebele Choir…an improv collection of voices that had performed beautifully earlier on along with Sennen Timcke... The waving arms of the choir’s lead Polly Staple conducting a background of wailing animal noises and 'Scooby Doo' sound effects from all assembled, fitting well with the duo’s bizarre cabaret…
However the best surprise was their cover of Nick Cave’s Stagger Lee… the foul mouthed n bloody ballad becoming even more deliciously over-caricatured and skewered in the hands of Mini n Jonny… their insane screaming sealing the deal… We left the place buzzin’... think they'll be playing the Harbour Festival at the end of the month - something that's begging to be checked out.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Diving into the same fertile furrow that marked Matt's previous release for LF records, this short tape starts out with a pumping spandex bass, filled with hungry pacmen wolfing down trebly jewels, cat meows and bonkers pitchwifery. The sounds get me all nostalgic for the chase scenes of 80s cult classics such as Subway or Diva …a futurism filling my head like the digitised blueprints from the TV version of Hitchhikers guide.
Matt’s like a pixeled Vangelis, or Rick Wakeman without the chintz, sound tracking a virtual world… In the early days of computing (Commodore 64) I remember spending weeks/months of code chugging to produce a bleeptastical score that was nowhere as good as what’s happening here… His compositional skills bludgeoning blandness in multiple layers that slip this way and that, the cute tunefulness choked with satisfying hooks and scenic reflections. …
By the third track, the pace slows to a dry tinkerbell musika, a harpsicordal twang showing a true deftness of touch … a sober grandfather clock chime to falling jewellery… or is that a frozen catfish's whiskers being plucked? …
The pace picks up once again for the tapes finale... a bleeping treadmill of goodness , where neon lines foreshorten into some pixelated orange dawn. This is as addictive as the arcade games it parodies… All hail the 8 bit king.
Friday, July 01, 2011
I will miss you Joey... the sounds that flowed out of your head are still as vibrant now as the first time I heard them all those years back, the exotic strangeness of your art mirroring the noisy scree that often poured out of the speakers... It is a privilege to have known you... worked with you and have you as a close friend... You were, and still are, an inspiration and more over, this past month a welcome part of our family... I will treasure you forever... Sacragoon dude