KID SHIRT

Saturday, August 19, 2006

SUNBURNED HAND OF THE MAN/A HAWK AND A HACKSAW

Memories of Seymore's Family Club:





Great to finally hook up w/ Cloudboy, who's a total geezer, lemme tell you. It's always a pleasure to hang w/ someone who's so affable and sooo unashamably completely into music: why are all these bloggers such nice people, huh? Respek' to CB fer making the trek down from the Big S 'specially for this show...top bloke, top blog!

In one of those bizarrrrre coincidences that seem to be flooding my life right now, I bumped into one o'the guys from Hunting Lodge, a mere 24 hours after mentioning them on Kid Shirt (see: post below) and he patiently explained that they are not the Hunting Lodge that John Olsen was bigging up...those guys were a US-based (as opposed to Southampton/Bristol-based) early 80s industrial outfit (wh/ makes sense, given John's love of SPK, etc)...so, apologies for any confusion or ignorance on my part...asssshamed to say I never encountered them back in the day and I thought I had a fairly good handle on the scene back then (obv. not!) . I didn't catch the guy's name (sorry!) but he told me a lovely story about Scott Sinclair (aka Company Fuck...again: see a couple days back) freaking-out an audience in a long black wig w/ some terrifying-scary stage antics; who said laptop musicians always have boring stage-shows...

Big up Ben from the Cube, who was also in attendence...thanks for the offer of a floor, man. Much apreciated. Sad news about the imminent closure of Seymores...one of the greatest venues in the known galaxy, soon to be bulldozed, like everything else, to make way for yuppy-flats...hope the new inhabitants end up w/ some sort of Poltergeist style operative-kurse on their overpaid backs; dead bartenders coming out of the walls, spontaneous Freenoise festivals in their walk-in wardrobes, etc, the fuckers. Ben says Matt Valentine will be playing The Cube, Bristol, later in the year, possibly november, so cancel all leave & book a baby-sitter; that's gonna be an unmissable show...

Gotta mention the marvellous DJing on thurs nite...done using a pair of wind-up 78 players wh/ totally matched the mood of the evening: lots of mystic hiss, channelling lost musical spirits from the early 20th century, everything from ancient Blues, Ragtime and Jass thru to Back-Parlour Micro-Operatics and what sounded like some Chinese music...had a chat w/ one of the guys about his 'decks' and the records...really nice guy; a total enthusiast...again, didn't catch his name at the time, but Mic has helpfully identified him as Matt Jones from Movietone...Matt said he plays a 78s set 2 or 3 times a year and I gotta say it set the atmosphere and tone of the nite beautifully...

Sunburned were great, I thought...a stripped-down 4-piece feat. Rob, John, Ron and (I think) Mike K (back in the fold after a couple years), but the sound was somehow denser, more concentrated...maybe it was because Ron was on Stella, not Guiness...The Rev. Maloney 'fessed up that they hadn't played for about 3 months, but ya wouldn't've believed it: they started off with some meditative rattle-and-droneshimmer reminiscent of their recent "Thunderbolt Pagoda" rebuild, a deep sinkhole of sound that sucked me down until Rob abandoned the harmonium and strapped on his bass w/ an expression that that said he really meant biznis...much Acid Blues Spacejam abandonment followed: an acrid, spazily Duul-ish freak-sesh w/ a loping bass-line and a sax that never once sounded even remotely like a sax (that's a compliment, btw)...the band had a Hawkwind/Circle vibe going for a while before gatecrashlanding back in on themselves. A forshortened set by their usual standards, but you could tell they didn't want to inconvenience co-headers A Hawk and a Hacksaw...the audience cheer-bullied them into an encore that didn't quite take off, 'cause the band had one eye on the clock and were lacking the elbow-room and sprawlspace that their best jams thrive on, but in the end it compressed itself into a frantic punked-out Pyschfonk romp w/ an out-of-control car-alarm noise that had me spluttering into me gin with helpless laughter...the tune kinda freaked itself out, pulled its own steering wheel out of the axle and veered off-road into a self-feeding amphetamine-pantomine frenzy: a Norman Wisdom film soundtracked by The Butthole Surfers.


(Dig the NO WAY OUT Beer-towel!)

Man, I never tire of seeing these guys play. It's never the same...and, regardless of the line-up, when the band drift into the right headspace their music sounds telepathic and intuitative w/out being gutless or glacially muso. There's all sorts of sonic detail going on; sounds you can't quite identify or work out where/what/how...frequency leakage...sonik debris...harmonic drift...clank n squawk...they know how to manipulate those samplers and digital delays to short-cicuit expectation, and on their best nights, something truly magical happens. I wish I had a tape of thursday nite's show. This was a warm-up and I envy anyone who checks 'em at the Green Man Festival or later in the tour (dates here). Thanks to John for the kind words.



(some proper (ie not by me) photos by CB, here)

Like Mic, I opted for a copy of the "Magnetic Drugs" CD from the merch-stall, something that came out 3 or 4 years back wh/ I missed first time round. I also scored a couple of DVDs, one of which was a reissue, I think, of their video on Qbico plus new stuff, which (coincidence again) Nemo had just emailed me about the very same morning. I 'spect Cloudboy'll be posting something 'bout "Magnetic Drugs" real soon...

John's CD with Ethan Miller of Comets on Fire (hey'n check their new LP "Avatar", y'all) also caught my eye, but I'm gonna hang on and wait for a vinyl of that (wh/ I think is due later in the year).

A Hawk and a Hacksaw were dead good: a folky east european-flavour'd accordian and fiddle project featuring Jeremy Barnes of Neutral Milk Hotel, and Heather Trost...they mixed up sad, sour-sounding strings with one-man-band style percussive clatter & Klezmer combo mayhem: skewed polkas and drunken tangos; wedding songs, drinking songs and songs of war and love and loss...I was drunk enuff at the time to be totally taken in by their 3 Mustapha 3-isms and really, really wanted them to be Czech or Hungarian and, even though they played for just slightly too long, it was triffik stuff for those of us that can't afford to jet off to Transcarpathia to check the real thing...



After a coupla weird adventures that I'll tell ya about some other day, I wound up down Park St. at around 1-ish looking for a pub for a final quick nightcap, when I fell in with some intense yuppy-looking guy, obviously coked-up, who tried to buy weed off me and started seriously weirding me out...he points me at a door down a side-street as a possible late-nite drinking-hole and I go in, only to find, fuck me, they're playing some Dubstep! I ask someone who's DJing and they tell me it's Headhunter and I've stumbled on a H.E.N.C.H. Cru nite...now this is extremely weird as I've been wanting to check them out for ages and have, in fact, been talking on-line to Headhunter off and on recently...I get a drink in, but by the time I get back, they've changed DJs...Jakes is on the mic, but Luke Envoy's dropping some niiice toons...I wanted to have a chat w/ Headhunter but by this point (I've been drinking for 5 hours now) I'm too mashed to try'n find him in the crowd and everyone's starting to look like Appleblim, even the girls...Luke drops a fabulously minimal dub that completely blows my mind: a buzzing noise n beats w/ a single deeply-warped synthsound; it reminds me of the first time I heard "Horror Show"...

Unfortunately, I was too knackered to stay til the end...if I'd known this was on, I woulda paced myself a bit better and come over earlier, so I wobbled off in search of food, but what a fucking great way to end a great nite out. The next day, I find something in my mail dump from Headhunter telling me there was indeed a dubstep session that thurs. at The Tube featuring: Scuba, Luke Envoy, DJ Wedge, Bubonic, Komonasmuk...Hosted By Jakes...bah! if only I'd seen that 24 hrs earlier...but how weird that I stumbled on the sesh randomly like that. I think that yuppie cokehead was sent by Higher Forces to guide me there...

An email from Headhunter today told me that he hadn't been DJing, but he co-runs the night: it was most likely Wedge who'd been playing when I wobbled in. As for the mysterious toon I really liked, Headhunter said that Wedge was playing quite a few of Head's own dubs, so it may have been one of those...I'm gonna be keeping my ears open. Headhunter's playing (along w/ DJ Pinch and The Plastician) at Ruffnek Discotek at Timbuk2 next week: an Old Blokes/Idiots Guide Nite Out is being organised for various Sad Dads...I'd love to go, tho not looking 100% hopeful right now, but we'll see...

"I PREDICT A THIGH-OT!"

Gah! Missed it! Chris has just materialised in the Garage to tell me that Girls Aloud were on TV doing a version of "I Predict a Riot!"...at the V festival, apparently...they were great (says Chris), tho' it appeared as if the cameraman was a 14yr old boy, as he kept fast-zooming in on their thighs. And cleavage.

Well, you would, wouldn't you.

Beck was a bit crap, though, I thought. I'm sure that was the same set he did when I saw him, what, 9 years ago...

And the sound was bloody rubbish too. To be honest, it was sooo bad that I gave up after a while. The Go! Team started getting on my tits, like they always do...I keep thinking that I should like them (dunno why) but to be honest I'd rather listen to Kurtis Blow or something w/out the shite Indie-isms. I fancied watching Kasabian, who I'm strangely fond of for some reason known only to my shrink (wouldn't buy their records tho), but the sound was so damn dreadful. This is the third lot of festival/live concert footage I've seen recently where the sound has been atrocious to the point of being near unwatchable...piss poor and unprofessional, if you ask me.

My fault for watching corporate bollocks like The V Fest. but, to be honest, I'll watch most music programs, given the choice, even if it's bands I can't stand: rockumentaries on dicks like Eric Clapton or Sting, just so I can throw a rubber-brick at the telly. It's muso-masochism, but I just can't help myself... wish I'd seen Tha GA, tho. If anyone's got a clip they could send me or a DVD-r or something I'd be much appreciated; will swap for a cool boot or something of yr choice...

But that sump-oil fight in "The Transporter"...what the fucks that all about, eh?