Mountain*7 - for the person with nothing better to do
Entries tagged as gigs
Come to this. For more info and tickets see runningonair.com or get in touch: mattpoacher at googlemail dot com
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Tortoise (photo by chimpomatic)
This is up at TLOBF, with some ace pics by Valerio Berdini.
I hadn’t been to the Garage in years, that misbegotten charnel pit, dizzy at the top of Upper Street in Islington. I’d seen Neurosis here once – during the times of the IRA bombings – and on route to the venue had been manhandled by a stern copper with a gun; I’d also been deafened by the mighty Six by Seven here, who somehow suited the scuzz and dirt of the venue. My last visit must have been in 1995 or something – to see a buzz band Truly, out of Seattle. They came on, were beset by technical difficulties and left after 20 minutes. Tonight, in late evening heat, Tortoise arrive and immediately breakdown – Jeff Parker’s guitar refusing to cooperate. They fiddle and prod for the best part of 10 minutes. ‘I’m jinxed’, I think…
I’d not heard Pivot before tonight – an Australian 3 piece on Warp, who made a gorgeous racket, that was equal parts post-rock poise, Boards of Canada’s stuttering beats and a melodic sense that reeked of Eno. For a 3 piece they sounded wide – the sound as it built creating a strangely horizontal wash that moved outwards from the stage and gradually filled the room. The band’s drummer, Laurence Pike, was a huge presence and any other night would have walked off with the plaudits – except when you’re supporting Tortoise you’ve got not 1 but 3 other drummers to contend with…
It started well: ‘Prepare Your Coffin’ a wall of precision future-funk. Then Parker’s guitar started playing up. We stood in our clammy aeroplane-skin under great downdraughts of conditioned air as Tortoise noodled and poked at their faulty equipment; and from here it was like watching them through a glass wall in their studio. Or they looked alarmingly like a bunch of dads in their (ahem) garage. It’s easy to forget just how long the band have been around, and that they’re now starting to age – albeit gracefully: Doug McCombs, walrus mustachioed, pate gleaming in the blue light; John McEntire and Dan Bitney greying and balding; John Herndon, despite his hulk, having a ghost of a middle age spread…; only Jeff Parker looked barely a day over 25. His equipment however, tonight at least is positively geriatric.
Jeff Parker, and offending guitar (photo by mreh)
Thankfully the band get it sorted, but through ‘Gigantes’ and ‘High Class Slim Came Floatin’ In’ (especially the extended thud of the coda) there is still a gap in the sound and it isn’t until another break for running repairs (with Parker looking less and less happy with things by the minute) and the calmer ‘The Suspension Bridge at Iguazu Falls’ that the band really settle. ‘Swung From the Gutters’ from TNT is given greater belly live, McCombs’ bass like a predatory beast. On ‘Monica’ too, with McEntire and Bitney crashing at the two drum kits at centre front of the stage, they are like a lumbering megatherium, a many limbed rhythmical beast.
The visuals made total sense in context too – a series of sweeping shots of building fronts, glass glinting in the sun, arms and elbows of bridge architecture, bone white against the sky. Tortoise give the impression of being an improv band but their sound is meticulously arranged and pieced together, hence the neuroses about the equipment, and hence the architectural presence of their live sound. They bruise for sure, but with elegance. As such, ‘Dot/Eyes’ (from It’s All Around You) is a clanging, flailing thing – and probably the closest they come to genuine dissonance – but it’s all immaculately constructed and delivered. Not to mention mesmerising. That they follow it up with ‘Crest’ one of their more plangent and sonorous songs says so much about what the band are still capable of.
John McEntire and Doug McCombs (photo by mreh)
I clamber to the front for the encore – a thrash through ‘Yinxianghechengqi’, the southern noir of ‘I Set My Face to the Hillside’ the chop and swirl of ‘Salt the Skies’ - and up close, through the gleam of the twin drum kits, the intricacies stand out sharp and clear – instead of a lumbering rhythmic beast, they become almost machinic, clinical and shard-sharp. Herndon hunched over one of the two vibraphones, Bitney stately over a bank of keyboards. And by this stage, Parker has obviously recovered his sound as there is a great broad fuzz that had so been missing earlier on.
By the time ‘Seneca’ has come and gone, a towering thing, and the band – smiling now – have exited stage right, we’re mostly punch drunk. All talk of age is useless – up there is a bunch of kids having the time of their lives and making some of the most vital music anywhere in the world right now.
This over at the ATP site - well now, that's not a bad line up now is it? If Sunn O))) and Godspeed (I know) get added to this, there will be riots for tickets...
We will be celebrating 10 years of ATP from December 2009 to December 2010. As the fastest selling ATP ever, Nightmare Before Christmas curated by My Bloody Valentine is almost sold out, to get things going for our milestone, ATP is incredibly excited to reveal that we will commence our 10th birthday festivities with a second weekend in December and we want you to come and party with us!!!
The Ten Years Of ATP festival will take place at Butlins Resort in Minehead from Friday 11th December to Sunday 13th December, 2009.
As this is our birthday party - it is going to be very special weekend. For the line up we are inviting our nearest and dearest to play – which means past ATP curators, ATP recordings artists and some ATP favourites thrown into the mix too...
So far confirmed to play are:
Explosions in the Sky
The For Carnation
Intriguing this. At its heart Songkick is a gig database and experience sharing site - it already has a vast database of past and future gigs (over a million) which you can add to your profile (to say you were there) and, naturally, bump up against others that attended. You can also upload flyers, ticket stubs, photos, videos - the works - so that for any given gig there will eventually be a structure of memory and memorabilia. Which is a nice idea, I'll admit, but I sat there last night after having plugged in 50 or so gigs and thought: 'well, now what?'.
The other side of things, to me, is far more interesting and useful, and if it comes off will be a hell of a useful resource. Songkick also collates information from (currently) 29 ticket agencies about upcoming gigs - you can input the bands you want to track (or upload from last.fm, if you're so inclined) and receive an email when they announce tour dates. What a bloody great idea - to have all that in one place. But the site goes one step further - you can also track metro areas and venues so that any gigs in your area will also be flagged and emailed.
I've long been pissed off with missing bands simply because I didn't know they were in town, so if this comes together - which it looks like it will - then it'll be a fantastic resource. There are a few glitches, naturally - the database isn't complete, of course (no Trouble at The Underworld? No Napalm Death/Entombed at The Marquee?? No Prolapsing Vaginal Spunk Hair at the Wanking Parrot???); and I imagine this will work well for the likes of me in the wilds of Hampshire, perhaps less so for people in larger metropolitan areas. Also, as far as I can tell no feeds for your own personal 'upcoming events' page are available as yet but it's looking good.
Now then, where's my Lawnmower Deth ticket stub...
FR (image by daddsy)
The below review is now up at LOBF. I feel like I didn't quite do We Were Promised Jetpacks but no real matter, their time will come.
There was a shard-sharp moment during this gig when everything that Frightened Rabbit stand for was frozen into a blinkless instant of time. The band had left the stage after a crazed hour of redrawing the sainted contours of The Midnight Organ Fight and in that low mumbling hum before the encore Scott Hutchinson had evidently snuck back out with an acoustic guitar. I heard him before I saw him - the first strains of ‘Poke’ ‘poke at my iris, why can’t I cry about this’ - and sought out the source of the sound. Once it became apparent that he was at the lip of the stage, alone and washed in blue light, a total silence fell across the room - it bred, the way noise does sometimes, quickly enveloping everyone. I’ve seen reverence at gigs before but this was something else, a giving over, an open gesture of respect for the song and for Hutchinson’s lyrics. Whatever the reason for this - and it might just be something as simple as an honest band writing superbly well about the universal theme of feeling like shit, mostly - Frightened Rabbit have dug their way into people’s hearts. It’s an immense thing to behold.
There had been an odd humid haze about London all day, a softened focus. St. Pancras Station, always looming, looked awry, tilted at an awkward angle - it dragged the eye upwards; the rest of Kings Cross by contrast, always a haunt of street-babblers and wall-eyed nasties was seething, crouched. In the heat it was like a hair-clogged plughole. It was almost a relief to get into the gothic splendour of The Scala…
We Were Promised Jetpacks looked wired up there, tense. And so young. I assume this was the biggest place they’d played up until now. I suspect it won’t be for long. They sounded huge, starting with ‘Keeping Warm’ - the eight-minute epic from their soon-to-be-released debut album. They followed it with their new single, ‘Quiet Little Voices’ which is a great shovel of a song with Adam Thompson roaring out the chorus with real passion. It was a common theme, and you get the sense that this band really means it. There’s a point during ‘Thunder and Lightning’ where Thompson backs off from the mic and bellows ‘your body was black and blue’ and he’s shaking with the delivery of it and looks like he might buckle under the weight of the thing. The effect on the crowd is palpable and by the end of their set they get a dirty great roar of approval.
By the time Frightened Rabbit came on the Scala had filled to bursting and the heat had nearly doubled. You could feel it rising from the concrete floors. The band started with ‘I Feel Better’ from The Midnight Organ Fight and to be honest the sound wasn’t quite there. But the initial moments were all about the response, and at the end of ‘Fast Blood’ which again sounded a little thin, you could see from the band’s reaction that this was a special moment, the end of a special era. Hutchinson announced that this was the biggest crowd that had ever come out to see them and that, as it was almost exactly a year since the release of …Organ Fight, they were celebrating.
They proceeded to play pretty much the entire record, most of which was at an odd sort of half-tempo, with Scott and his bearish brother seeming to live every minute of every track. Which I guess is a kind of perfect representation of what Frightened Rabbit are - a ramshackle, dishevelled, waywardly talented band making raw, honest music into which people seem to be able insert themselves wholly, carelessly. And Scott Hutchinson is the personification of this: a shambling figure, yet a man who seems to inspire a rare kind of warmth. And when ‘The Modern Leper’ had come and gone, and ‘Floating in the Forth’ - to date, the single most uplifting suicide song I can think of - had filled the air with its pulsing warmth there was such a sense of camaraderie in the air that the band could seriously have done anything and it wouldn’t have mattered. What they did do was to play two tracks from Sings The Greys (’The Greys’ and ‘Square 9′) and proceeded to sound the best they had done all night and became, for a time, a fucking huge rock band.
Then came the time of ‘Poke’ and everything reached a perfect sense of peace. We were thanked again for coming out, and for supporting the band through everything. We were even thanked for being nicer than a London crowd ever should be. We know that Hutchinson has been off writing the new record at a sea-side house in Fife, and we can probably infer that the collective exorcism of The Midnight Organ Fight is now complete. It’s time to move on and now I guess we wait for what comes next… They finish, inevitably, with ‘Keep Yourself Warm’ and again they sound immense - especially Grant Hutchinson, belting at his kit like a raging animal. It’s been a triumphant evening and it’s impossible not to feel happy for the band. The roar that comes as they leave the stage for the final time mingles with all that trapped heat and is carried out through the doors into the waiting fists of the Pentonville Road.