Saturday, 29 June 2013

SINEAD O'CONNOR/ CHRIS WOOD/ CAMPER VAN BEETHOVEN: GIG-GOING ADVENTURES GET (SORT OF) FOLKY

SINEAD O'CONNOR
Brighton Dome, Wed 8th May


”Take off your shoes – you're on hallowed ground”

Before setting out for this gig, I read a blog post by Andrew Hickey on Van Dyke Parks. It seemed appropriate, for O'Connor is off on the very opposite tack to Parks' polished erudition. Her confessional lyrics come out as if in a stream-of-consciousness rush. (Take her recent single, 'The Wolf Is Getting Married' an update on her life peppered by conversational qualifiers such as “what I mean is...”)

Whether they are written that way or she spends hours affecting that artlessness, that's beside the point. It's song imitating speech, giving things a feel of freshness, of directness and immediacy. It works very well in a medium such as music which you listen to in real time. It could work well live, I thought to myself...

In a modern music industry so retro-inclined it seems driven in reverse gear, it's good to see a set not only inclined towards recent tracks but where they're often the ones which tend to stand out. Moreover, for a singer renowned for transforming personal and political troubles into material, it's significant how often she draws on her recent “happier now” status - including the afore-mentioned 'Wolf.' It's perhaps harder to fix on the fuller half of the glass without sounding trite or platitudinous, but she seems to pull it off. Though perhaps thankfully they're not the only type of new song, with 'Take Off Your Shoes' and 'VIP' in particular dwelling on darker things. You can only take so much positivity, after all.

In her dog-collar, crucifix and rock-star shades, she makes for a striking if somewhat bizarre figure – more than living up to the tour's monicker 'Crazy Baldhead.' Virtually her first act is to dedicate the gig to Joan of Arc. Her celebrated voice is breathier and huskier, less angelic than it was, but still intact. Though she's fronting a six-piece band, the sound is more stripped-back, more gospel-tinged than the often elaborate arrangements of yore. It's closer to the John Lennon recipe for songwriting: “You say what you mean and put a backbeat to it.”

When the old tracks come up, this means they works better at times than at others. 'Jackie' drew cheers when it started up, but sounded a little flat-footed compared to the wild and elemental original. Notably, she didn't attempt 'Troy', and the less dramatic 'I Do Not Want What I Have Not Got' was the most visited of her earlier albums. (Though I found myself missing the choral hum that once saturated 'Nothing Compares 2U'.)

Perhaps most memorable were the acapella tracks, with O'Connor singing her heart out alone on stage, seemingly oblivious to us and holding us in the palm of her hand. There were striking versions of 'Three Babies' and particularly 'I Am Stretched on Your Grave'. A similar treatment for a personal favourite, 'Black Boys On Mopeds', might have not only worked well but felt appropriate so soon after Thatcher's timely demise. You can't have everything...

Explaining the final track will be built of long and heady stuff, she momentarily breaks off. “Forgive me”, she asks us, “I'm Irish.”

That's why we came, Sinead...

Speaking of 'Stretched On Your Grave'...


CHRIS WOOD
The Basement, Brighton, Sun 23rd May


”Well I've no use for riches
And I've no use for power
And I've no use for a broken heart
I'll let this world go by.”

I first saw folk songwriter Chris Wood some five years ago, playing support to the Imagined Village night. With him addressing the sizeable Brighton Dome armed only with an acoustic guitar, and with the main act's multi-media screens, endless guest stars and array of updating devices he seemed very much plain speaking yang to it's whizz-bang yin.

Here the odds have been a little more evened. While the venue this time is smaller, he's expanded to include a double bassist and keyboardist. But, as if to keep alive that distinction in our minds, he starts his set with a number from that night - 'John Barleycorn Must Die.' The key line from the Imagined Village version became “they hired men”; with each iteration, you pictured further hordes pouring over the horizon bearing ever-more worrisome agricultural implements. With Woods' version he recites the lyrics understatedely, in low register, the other players only slowly coming in to join him. The first struck out at you, the second draws you into it's orbit.

It's indicative, for Wood's particular magic is to convince you that you haven't come out to a gig at all. It feels more like he's turned up at your home to try out a few numbers on you, while politely enquiring if there might be such a thing as beer in the fridge. He enthuses that even the night's promoter has an allotment, fondly imagining clay under her fingernails. (“Chalk!” correct the audience as one.)

Remember that risible speech Ian Duncan Smith once made to the Tory conference - “do not underestimate the determination of a quiet man”? Chris Wood is that quiet man which Duncan Smith was pretending to be. He'd disappear in a crowd of two. Particularly if the other guy was Phil Jupitus.

There's political songs aplenty, but with none of the hectoring stridency some associate with that term. He plays the title track from his new release, 'None The Wiser,' which pretty much does what it says on the lid. He's added his own backing to Blake's 'Jerusalem', after feeling Parry's thundering version played down the poem's questioning quality. And there's humour too, including an observational piece about mid-life crises.

Perhaps some of the more domestic songs were too homespun, and could verge on the twee (such as 'My Darling's Downsized.') But then as he says, “they're all love songs really.”

And the keyboards... they certainly fitted certain tracks, and when required to do no more confined themselves to a supportive wash. But my heart beat more keenly whenever the instrumentation went down to a guitar and double bass. Even quite sparse accompaniment can seem like bells and whistles where Chris Wood's concerned, and less is normally more.

But overall... do not underestimate the determination of a quiet man.

Not from Brighton, but the same tour - his re-scored 'Jerusalem' from a soundcheck in Cambridge. The person in the YouTube comments asking what the words are, are they trying to be ironic or is there really no hope for the human race?


CAMPER VAN BEETHOVEN
The Haunt, Brighton, Thur 30th May


”And we are rotting like a fruit
Underneath a rusting roof
We dream our dreams and sing our songs
Of the fecundity
Of life and love”

Pity us poor amateur reviewers. For what made this such a memorable gig is simultaneously what makes it difficult to write about. Though pretty much everything on offer stuck to song structure, the style of those songs varied so widely it wasn't like watching one band at all. A reliable source of gossip states “their eclectic and ever-evolving style mixes elements of pop, ska, punk rock, folk, alternative country, and various types of world music.” I don't think they did anything in the form of early baroque or grindcore, but I suppose I may have missed something. As a rough-and-ready comparison, the nearest I can manage is the Broken Family Band.

And every now and again they'd throw in something in the style I knew them for - the perky powerpop of their early years, such as the single 'Take The Skinheads Bowling.' With it's deadpan absurdist lyrics, purposefully written to sidestep making any kind of sense whatsoever, it seemed so unlike our image of straightfaced America it made them seem almost Anglophile. (Notably they also cover 'Pictures of Matchstick Men.')

Yet perhaps the most prevalent style on the night was the one which seemed to embrace their California home. They'd take on that languid late-in-the-afternoon pace, to the point where you felt were you to drop something it would take longer to leave your hand than before they came on. At times, it all became too laid-back for me. (A song about North California Girls which sounded way too much like you'd expect such a song to.) But other tracks were so steeped in melcancholia you were no longer sure whether they tasted bitter or sweet; dropping the Sunny Delight and biting into the citrus fruits of the musical world.

Such songs sung about the out-of-reach just because it's inaccessible by any other means, dreaming of some escape while acknowledging in the very same breath your only ever relationship to it will lie in your imagining it. They're not written under any pretense they'll change the world along with their chords, but as acts of self-commiseration. As they sing in 'All Her Favourite Fruit': “all the most exotic places, they are cultivated.”

And yet they're not quite as multi-faceted as they look. Even when they indulge in the Americana, something of the deadpan humour stays with them. This is something echoed in the very look of them. Only the goateed fiddle player Jonathan Segel passes for someone in any kind of band, the rest seem to have showed up in their best smart/casual gear for some West Coast management conference. Frontman David Lowery even bravely sports the jacket/tie/jeans combo, the internationally agreed uniform of the clueless middle-aged American. This being the post-ironic era, I was genuinely unsure whether this was a deliberate act or not. YouTube footage confirms he valiantly kept the look up nightly. Whichever way, its fitting.


I later discover their career to include a track-by-track cover of Fleetwood Mac's double album 'Tusk' and a rock opera about a civil war between a Texan religious-right militia and Californian surfer dudes, with added aliens. I mean, you can't go wrong really, can you? Plus they come up with cool artwork, see the tour poster above.

From London the night before, two tracks which should demonstrate the band's eclecticism, the afore-mentioned 'Her Favourite Fruit' followed by 'Long Plastic Hallway'. I may even like this version of the first track better than the recorded version, as it has that necessary hazy, out-of-focus quality...


..while, just to prove they were in Brighton...


Coming soon: The above does not signify, alas, that Mr Slow Coach here has finally caught up with stuff from May...

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

WHAT? ME? AGREE WITH RUSSELL BRAND?

Actually, I'm against the way the BBC now haul a crowd-pleasing face onto 'Question Time.' It seems both an indulgence of the vacuities of celebrity culture and a tokenistic sop to the fact that nobody cares what politicians say any more.

But, after his comments about the futility of labelling drug addicts as criminals, this time I find myself agreeing with Russell Brand about the bankers! Not just because he indulges in “banker-bashing” (which would in itself be too easy and achieve nothing). More because of his comments about our setting ourselves up for a cyclical problem. (Having got away with poor people bailing out their bonuses this time, what's to stop them doing it again?) And the sheer unlikelihood of the Tory party biting the hand that feeds them by regulating finance in any meaningful way.

However, I do still think the term “wicked” should be reserved for addressing the Witch of the West.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

JULIA WOLFE'S 'STEEL HAMMER'

LSO St Luke's, London, Sat 11th May


”John Henry told the Captain
A man ain't nothin' but a man”

Much like 'Cruel Sister', the piece that me introduced me to the music of post-minimalist composer Julia Wolfe, this spins out an extended modernist composition from an old folk number. This time, in it's UK premiere, we're given the popular ballad 'John Henry' - the steel-drivin' man performed by Bang on a Can. Except there's an added dimension...

Much like comics or science fiction fans, folk purists like the idea that there was once a definitive version of something. It's probably inaccessible now, buried under the onslaught of a thousand updates, offshoots and commercialisations. But, in theory at least, the treasure lies intact - buried beneath the sand.

Now this is of course an even more absurd way of looking at folk music than it is for science fiction or comics. A comic character such as Superman, who is in many ways a cousin to John Henry, has definite authors we can trace him back to. They in no way occupy the importance that fans attribute to them, but they're there.

Folk tracks don't work that way at all. Each new iteration just adds to what's gone before. (You may well have heard me say all this already. You're probably expecting me to use the metaphor of growing like coral any time now.)

We don't know who wrote the original John Henry ballad, though it probably dates only as far as the 1870s. (Little more than a lad by folk's extended chronology.) And, though there's speculation over who the original John Henry might have been, even if we're to assume his existence it's at about the same level of importance as if Superman had been based on some real guy. What's significant is that he's a symbol of the working man. For the ballad to be effective, it has to work as a kind of template that can be applied to many actual faces.

Except this isn't so much a new take, nor even a restaging of one of the old takes. It's more like a taking up of all the old takes at once, a reframing which incorporates them all. It starts with an extended choral repetition of the original's phrase “some say...” before listing a slew of States.

In one sense it borrows a trick from Steve Reich's minimalist classic 'Different Trains.' Every word we use has a double existence, a label for something but also a set of sounds – a mini music score in the making. You hear “Ken-tuu-cky” and “O-hiiio” stretched by the singers, passing back and forth between the two states in our minds. Except Reich's work was based in highly personal memories. What's captured here is the broad swell of Henry's history. There are variants where he is black and others where he is white. Here he's black and white. It works like one of those motion capture photosnaps, which portray a person's limbs in a blurry assemblage of different positions. It's the sum total of those positions which make up Henry.


“Some say...” is of course picked up as a phrase precisely because it's such a staple of folk songs or tales. Yet for all its distillation of these, the piece ends up doing something folk songs never quite manage themselves. Tending to be narrative based, they tend to start “some say...” then follow one particular trail. You need the multiplied versions to see the multiple picture.

With it's changes in tempo and musical style, everything from simple stomping feet to the crash of a full ensemble, Wolfe's meta-textual version gives us a frame for the songs which the songs themselves would not. She's playing on something in this style of music which is transcendent, which is beyond specifics.

Which is of course all to the good. Single, unified versions are inherently to do with restriction, and very often with power. If in my town Henry is white and yours he's black, and if my town is larger with a bigger printing press, then he'll turn out white soon enough.

The only drawback may be that there's so much universalisation that there's not much room for the actual John Henry. Had you known nothing of the folk original, you'd probably have guessed 'Cruel Sister' involved murder by medium of water. I'm not quite sure you hear the steel hammer in quite the same way here. Would you have seen this piece and gleaned 'man versus machine... man wins... man dies'?, which seems the irreducible core of 'John Henry.' The frame perhaps gets cast too expansively, it ends up more like a template for a folk song than an example of one. (Much minimalist and post-minimalist music, including Wolfe's own compositions, involve a live player working with pre-recordings. That must intersect with the Henry tale somehow.)

But still, it's a modernist composer not cherry-picking from the folk tradition but enthused by what's unique to it, and keen to respond in kind - with material unique to composing. In the Q&A after the recent 'Repeating Patterns' New York Minimalism night, people were keen to know what it was like to be in that scene as it happened. And understandably so, for it was a momentous era. But, for those of us too late to the party, we have what it morped and developed into. And if her London excursions are anything to go by Wolfe seems to be right at the top of her game about now.

The bill also included... Terry Riley's 'Tread On the Trail'. Unlike Riley's normal transcendental compositions, this was like a dime bar jazz band listened to through a distorting mirror. Which is of course a good thing. Plus another UK premiere, Nico Muhly's 'Three Songs.' The event was part of a mini-festival curated by Muhly, 'A Scream and an Outrage. The piece didn't mean a thing to me if I'm honest...

A kind of best-of showreel of the piece...


..and just in case you've not heard the original, here's one version by Woodie Guthrie...

Monday, 10 June 2013

“I'LL EXPLAIN LATER”: BELATED THOUGHTS ON THE MOST RECENT SERIES OF 'DOCTOR WHO'

Yes, okay, this is terribly late. And bits 'n' bobs from it first surfaced in mailing comments left hither and yon. Apologies who gets a 'watching Dave' sense while reading any of it. A slightly more sensible look at 'Name of the Doctor' resides here.

Even now, there's points where it resembles a show I might want to watch.
For I would be happy to tune into some free-form thing, a kind of ideas generator on overdrive, throwing out a succession of surreal incidents which you're never sure whether to find funny or creepy. An updated 'Avengers', a jazzier, poppier 'Twin Peaks' rejigged for teatime, a less sketch-showy 'League of Gentlemen.'
I would then have watched a girl phoning the IT helpline and getting through to the Middle Ages, or a Victorian street urchin giving directions like Satnav, and not worried about what any of these strange segues actually meant. They were just there to taste. And there's times, when you're trying your damnedest to make it add up, you feel the show looking at you disdainfully – like that's so squaresville, daddy-o.
But then five minutes later we're being nudged in the ribs and asked “did you see that bit, eh? Are you getting it?” There's clues to watch out for, mysteries to be resolved and prophecies to be fulfilled. (Prophecies, always plenty of prophecies.) I mean, it's called Series 7B for heaven's sake! What sense would Series 7B have made in the old days? When a new series meant it was on the telly, and not-a-new-series meant it wasn't. Some time ago Moffat coined the phrase “I'll explain later.” At the time we all thought he meant it as a gag. Now I'm not so sure.
In wanting it both ways I can't help but feel that it ends up neither place. It's wrongfooting itself. And a lot of it's branches stem from those snapped roots.
Think of those infamous cop-out endings, when everything gets sorted out with the discovery of a magic leaf that can helpfully save planets or a handy reset button lobbed aboard the Tardis. Maybe they don't only do it to annoy or because they know it teases. Maybe things now have to have some sort of stitch-up anti-resolution like that. How else can you escape from a painted corner, except decide you were never really in one in the first place? Nothing can be satisfactorily clicked shut because nothing fitted together to start with.
One persistent advantage of the new show is the way it's consistently avoided entangling itself in it's historical continuity and cutting itself off from new fans. Take for example the return of the old adversary the Great Intelligence. It's not only those who have seen the old Second Doctor episodes who will know what he's up to. True, nobody knows what he's up to, as he chops and changes arbitrarily from one scene to the other. But at least that's levelling.
However, in a classic case of out-of-the-frying-pan, Moffat's through lines have instead been threatening to entangle it in it's new continuity. Thankfully, there's a welcome reigning-in of these. Each episode is mostly self-contained; only's Clara's mystery is kept running, threaded through things, only occasionally coming out on the surface before burrowing down again. Unlike River, Clara herself is innocent of any of this, so can fulfil the old assistant role of saying “what's that Doctor?” a lot, rather than “spoilers”. A casual viewer stumbling across the show, however befuddled by the gobbledegook thrown at him from within that episode, would at least not suffer too much from what surrounded it.
But pruning back that bindweed also serves to expose how repetitive each episode is becoming. The best episodes in Series 6 were the incidental ones – 'The Doctor's Wife', 'The Girl Who Waited' - who slipped through the through-lines' grip. To take the second example, it didn't explore Amy's back story or develop her relationship with the Doctor. But it was never intended to. Instead it reframed it, it saw something already existing from a fresh angle, and then...most importantly of all... it left. Now it seems any notion, once coined, has to be absorbed into the DNA of the show. Wasn't there an episode recently where we found out more about the Tardis? Did that go down well? Then, hey, let's have ourselves to another one!
And worse, those repetitions are becoming unmoored from their original context and made as shufflable as cards. We're being told things we've been told before, only this time (like Eric Morecambe's piano playing) not necessarily in the right order. I seriously considered taking the sentences from my previous reviews and rearranging them so they no longer make sense. For that's pretty much what's happening on the screen.

Take for example that Tardis episode, helpfully titled 'What It Says On the Tin.' (Actually, it may have been called 'Journey to the Centre of the Tardis.') However sympathetic I am to noted Who sage Andrew Rilstone when he argued such a journey is a fool's errand undertaken by a know-nothing, I'd have to concede a salvage crew invading the Tardis is in itself quite a good idea.
It's still taking incongruous elements, but this time getting them to work for you. Like creative miscasting, the salvage crew think they're in they're in some 'Dark Star' dirty SF universe, blue-collar blokes getting their overalls mucky in some space truckstop. But they're actually in a fairy story, and when they try to steal the magic object (made of stuff not meant for man to hold, and all that) the magic house responds by losing them in a labyrinth. Tooled up with hardware, they can blow down any door. They just can't find one. It also effectively underlines what kind of show we're watching, and even works in an in-joke over those repetitious corridors of old. (I'm not sure how I feel about it being black guys who don't belong inside the fairy tale world, but aside from that...)
But then the sub-plots arrive as if they've been double-booked. The human/android schtick is not only filched from 'Blade Runner', but apparently by someone who has had no more contact with 'Blade Runner' than having it recounted to him by a pub drunk. Who probably hadn't seen 'Blade Runner' himself...
Even if we were to accept it cohabiting with a fairy story, 'Blade Runner' is emphatically not about replicants becoming human but humans becoming replicants. (Remember how the original release had a happy ending? Remember how that turned out to be grafted on by the studio? Remember how that surprised absolutely nobody?) While we also get ossified creatures on attack mode who are pulled from 'Sunshine'. Similar to above... A shopping list of ideas, told to hold hands, jump on stage and hope for the best.

And this remains true even with a better episode such as 'Cold War.' There are no prizes (not even no-prizes) for noting it's a remix of 'Dalek'. It shares the same concept of armour as mask, the creature finally emerging from within as an objective correlative of it's 'true' nature being revealed. True, the photocopy gets blurry in places. Clara's encounter with the chained foe happens because Rose's did, even though one has a reason to and the other clearly doesn't. But 'Dalek' was a good episode so even a blurry photocopy of it kind of works.
Well... kind of. It then greedily eyes up 'Alien' and tries to combine all the above into the classic base-under-seige story as a bone thrown to fans of the old show. (It foregrounds it's 'old idea updated' by picking an early Eighties setting, a point the old show was not only still on but still popular.)
But, needless to say, none of the pieces really fit together.
That solitary Dalek doesn't skulk in the shadows of some confined space, occasionally striking out. Instead it acts as though it has never seen any Howard Hawks films at all. Inside some vast high-tech complex, It's constantly detectible to well-equipped guards, who get ample time to stake out defensive positions. Yet, though there's a whole lot of everything to stop it with, nothing works and it wheels inevitably forwards. The episode is built around the irony that, with all that power imbalanced its way, the force-fielded Dalek is inside starting to feel self-doubt.
Meanwhile the Ice Warrior kills two men just to work out how they tick, then turns out to be basically a nice guy after all. It's like 'Alien' ended with Ripley and the monster shaking hands and making up. It has, in a literal sense, no integrity because it's not sewn from whole cloth.


Good, even novel ideas can still crop up. The central conceit of 'Hide', that what appears to our senses as a ghost is actually a woman stuck on time-delay, is in itself quite a brilliant one. And like the Tardis corridors it has a metafictional subtext, suggesting the monster-menaced girl is the default setting of the Whoniverse, like the kernel inside the nut. Yet it's not really capitalised on. If we're intended to think of it as the centre of the Whoniverse it's not really the centre of its own episode, but just another passing carriage in the parade.
'Hide' would of course fare much better without that final twist, which was actually more of a compound fracture. I should admit part of my frustration was my being wrongfooted by it. With the heavily underlined Seventies setting, and the clear-cut division of labour between the equipment-fixated science bloke and the psychic, empathic woman, I assumed we were in for some kind of feminist story. And, naturally enough, I liked my idea better. Even so, yet another love story seems very much a second option.
Yet what really galls isn't that they're love stories, so much as the kind of love stories they are. They always seem so instructional, the equivalent of those old public safety films. Much as they laid out the importance of looking before crossing roads or not going swimming where there's no water, these tell you to look the girl in the eye and tell her how much she means to you. It's like the scriptwriters see us the way zoo keepers do pandas, in need of a great deal of coaxing if we're ever going to get breeding. Perhaps they're worried if they don't do this there won't be future generations to watch the show.
Worse, this exemplifies a wider tendency. Watch the old show and you're soon surprised by, for a family show of it's era, how dark it can be. Now there's a kind of feelgood goo which suffuses everything, a goo which acts as a kind of glue intended to stick all these ill-fitting elements together. Did any of that actually make any sense? Never mind, didn't it make you feel gooood? The classic example would be the leaf, but that's so annoying I wouldn't trust myself to start on it.
When I was a lad and all of this was fields, instead of DVD box sets and i-player catch-ups we had Target novelisations. Which had the line on the back cover about “the changing face of Doctor Who.” Let's concede straight away that the old show was forever getting stuck in corridors, for all that the uber-fans don't like admitting it, but there still felt something about change in its DNA.
Which raises the question, with this speeded-up product upgrade, how come we are spending so much time looking at the bloody stuck face of Doctor Who? How can a show whose supposed selling point is it's openness and flexibility, it's ability to renew itself, end up stuck on repeat like this?
My two favourite seasons of New Who have been the very first one and the first Moffat season. And my favourite individual Doctor is the glorious Ninth. Not solely because he had the foresight to depart after just one series. But at the time time it doesn't exactly seem a coincidence.
Much like comics, TV is often the poor relation of other media. It would ape films, hopefully televise plays or expectantly adapt novels, hoping some of the kudos would rub off from that more select company. And now you can catch up with it at any other time, it's become almost in competition with itself. When you can watch it anytime, why bother watching it now, on Saturday night? The solution they've come up with is Event TV, much like an 'X Factor' final is Event TV. You just need to be there.
We've gone from...
“Did you see Doctor Who on Saturday night?”
“Of course I did! It's the Seventies. There's bugger all else to do.”
...to...
“Did you see Doctor who on Saturday night?”
“Well I was going to go down the pub and stream it later. Then they said they'd finally reveal who River Song was, so I stayed in to catch it. Turns out she's what everybody had been saying she was all along. The internet was cross. I wonder who the Silence can be?”
The old Doctor was just some traveller, who journeyed across a rather under-budgeted universe, righting wrongs cheaply. It has just enough mystery, enough sketchy references to bigger contexts at something bigger to entice children with over-active imaginations. But the new show was billed as some sophisticated new thing for our new times, which would be done newly.
It was as if it had grown up in parallel time to us, like an old school friend we met again as an adult. You might reminisce about the old times. (“Remember how 'Trial Of a Time Lord' went on for bloody ages and then just gave up on itself. My, how we laughed!”) But only to underline how new were the new times.
Now it's like we happily agreed to meet for a beer, which ended up with his crashing on our sofa for the past six months. And we can't help noticing he keeps saying the same things over again, in a slightly different order. They don't really sound as clever as they used to.
As I said when the show first came back, they've changed the credit sequence. They've added stuff to the cold electronic beauty of the theme tune, which was perfect and complete the way it was. But the old theme tune was still in there. Now they've changed the credit sequence again. Now they've changed the credit sequence more. There seems less of the old show than ever. Come to think of it, there seems less of the new show than ever...
Coming soon! Plays! Gigs! Visual art! All guaranteed belated...

Sunday, 9 June 2013

WE LET THE FAT BOYS...



“We let the fat boys take over the tuck shop. We shouldn't be too surprised when we turn up only to discover that the shelves are bare.”

Saturday, 1 June 2013

'SURPASSING ALL OTHER KINGS' (ANOTHER SPOTIFY PLAYLIST)



Click here for another Spotify playlist

Fairport Convention: Stranger To Himself
Emmylou Harris: Strong Hand
Robert Plant: House Of Cards
Abdel Hadi Halo & the El Gusto Orchestra of Algiers: Win Saadi
Life Without Buildings: The Leanover
The Flaming Lips: Do You Realize??
Kevin Ayers: The Lady Rachel (2003 Remaster)

My Bloody Valentine: Lose My Breath
Drum Eyes: Gyanza
Coil: A Cold Cell In Bangkok *

The Drones: I Am The Supercargo
Swans: The Seer Returns
Death Grips: Beware
World Domination Enterprises: Asbestos Lead Asbestos
Hole: Mrs. Jones
L7: Pretend We're Dead

(* I really wanted to use this track by Coil but it didn't seem to be on Spotify.)

”I close my eyes and seize it
I clench my fists and beat it
I light my torch and burn it
I am the beast I worship