Hello there, the other week Thee Monkey’s Claw was let out under his own guidance to attend a couple of popular music concerts by Hickeysonic favourites and opener for tonight’s Panic & Carousels Black Pus, and then Mainliner and Dethscalator. Now that the ringing, singing demon choir in his ears has subsided he can finally hear what the voices are telling him to say about it all and pass that valuable insight on to us all.
There were thundering drums, masks, moustaches and a good deal of noise. but before we get to all that a quick apology to the intriguing and wonderfully named Interlard who opened at both gigs but who I missed both times. Maybe next time, although to be frank they have more chance of headlining Hammersmith Apollo than of me getting there early. So it goes.
That being said I made it along in time to catch Dan Friel and very glad about that I was too. It’s fair to say I was previously unaware of him, perhaps he should’ve taken a leaf out of headliner Brian Chippendale’s feverishly scrawled over notebook and given his one man band a wild and groovy name. Or maybe not. So anyway, here we are supping on a cool, refreshing beverage when a chap sits down on a chair in front of the stage, on his lap he’s got a tray toppling with effects pedals, christmas lights and a little midi keyboard like thisand out of it he pulls and pushes an amazing and pretty wide ranging bunch of sounds and tunes. Which I will now lazily suggest are some sort of midpoint between the experimental dub murk of Ekoplekz and the dysfunctional euphoric noise of Fuck Buttons. Yeah really. I said that. It’s lo-fi, lovely and ramshackle – here’s a tune off his Total Folklore record for you to make your own amusing comparisons with. Nice cover too.
Black Pus then, is a pretty much does what it says on the tin type of deal – It’s the drummer out of Lightning Bolt with a bunch of electronic pedals and oscillators to help make a racket instead of a bass player. He still wears the weird mask with a mouth mic in it and conjurs all types of odd noises out of that – sometimes even words I’m given to understand. I suppose it’s as much like and as much unlike Lightning Bolt as you might expect from that. If you didn’t know what to expect from that then I can see how a person would have a reasonable reservation or two about going to see a solo drummer. “A whole set of drum solos? JOY!” but Chippendale isn’t that kind of drummer, he’s some kind of half monster half machine remorseless drumming force of nature and it’s an extraordinary thing to witness.
How much he improvises as he plays isn’t clear, but he doesn’t appear to use anything pre-recorded – it’s all being triggered or played by him as he goes along. It would be both uncharitable and massively missing the point to mention the lack of sing-a-long choruses but the music far outstrips the fascination with his technical prowess lets put it that way. There’s clips a-plenty of him playing on youtube go knock yourself out, but I haven’t posted one as they all seem to belittle the experience of actually being in the same room with him playing. It’s a massive wall of constantly shifting and engaging sound, and my goodness so very, very loud. the profile of Black Pus has jumped up somewhat this year on the back of his great ‘All My Relations’ album on Thrill Jockey but there’s a considerable back catalogue of self released stuff you can check out a lot of it over at bandcamp, here’s the previous one Pus Mortem on pay what you like…