Calenture

Yeah, yeah I know “where’s the Supernormal write up?” So much things, so little time. Have a little Hey Colossusness baby. This is my favourite tune off ‘The Guillotine’ and they’ve made a little stolen footage video for it full of disturbed nuns and strange goins on. I’m firmly of the opinion that the passing resemblance of the self flagellating monk to their singer Sykes can’t have been a coincidence either. Calenture is a tropical fever suffered by sailors, often accompanied by hallucinations in which they would apparently picture the sea as lush green meadows and wish to dive overboard into them. ‘Calenture boy, why not just jump?’. Earlier today the HC boys unearthed this little promo clip from the original release of ‘Happy Birthday’ to celebrate it’s final arrival on the vinyls. In it nonchalant cows and Joe’s then young kids splash about in Somerset’s flooded fields as the grassy meadows become a sea. It seems unlikely that calenture affects cows.

 

 

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. . . and Finally (Supersonic video clips and such)

Supersonic Festival are throwing a little thank you party tonight down in Digbeth, putting this year’s hugely successful festival to bed with a few light refreshments and some dancing. After a year away not only did this year see a bigger, better, fuller programme than it has for the last few but the organisers Capsule have since succeeded in their application to the Arts council’s National Portfolio which essentially secures funding for the next four years. We’ll drink heavily to that. Up top here is a pretty good clip of the Oxbow Choir, partly obscured but sounding incredible – Niko Wenner himself has confirmed there are high quality recordings of this one off performance that may eventually see the light, so that’s something to look forward to. For contrast here also a clip of technology failing dismally to capture the full bore onslaught of Nic Bullen‘s ‘Universal Detention Centre’ performance. There wasn’t a lot to see to be fair although Bullen is mostly obscured by a pillar in the clip. You could even argue there wasn’t that much to hear either, cetainly that translates to phone clips through laptop speakers anyway, it was more a manifestion of sound as a suffocating physical presence. Although that makes it sound a lot less enjoyable than it was. John Matthews, the guy who made both of these videos, has a bunch more on his youtube channel, generally at the better quality end and including a lot of acts I missed on the weekend that I’m slowly catching up on, I suggest you do the same. As far as ‘Universal Detention Centre’ I’m not sure there’s any plan to do anything further with it, Bullen has said he’s retiring this type of performance for a while concentrating more on his gentler electro-acousmatic stuff (And I guess, caveman hate rock combo Rainbow Grave) so this may be your only chance to get an idea of it. Turn it up to 11 and press the speaker against your abdomen or something.

Possibly we can assuage that loss and the unfortunate cancellation due to injury of Art Of Burning Water with their own ‘All Obedient Beasts Worship’. Which takes the loosely similar approach of building a set of noise jams out of samples of their band recordings. It’s free to download and scare the neighbours with. As it’s AOBW there’s at least one great title, this time ‘Feed Me With Your Hiss’. They’ve not put out a lot of information about what happened at Supersonic but happily it seems Grief is now on the mend and although they’ve had to cancel the next few shows, that he’ll recover from his injuries and return to making a racket. Pint?

Oh, also, if you went and haven’t done their little survey about it then you should go do that, only take a few minutes, share your love and so on – click on the cute little sausage doggie here . . .

Bad Seed

Did you watch any of that Glastonbury there on your tellybox? As is our wont around here we were reminiscing about the last time we went, just four short years ago, and the last thing we saw there was Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds’ absolutely amazing set on the Sunday evening. Much has changed since then and as they head back out on tour you’re either in the “I’m not paying that much to see them play a sports barn” camp or the  “I really wish I hadn’t paid that much and they weren’t playing a sports barn” camp. Visions of watching a tiny little Nick in the far distance having paid £6 for shoddy beer sinking hearts across the board. Inevitably a fair amount of shaky clips have popped up from the current US dates. Mostly pretty poor sound and so on. Still, check this out – incredible quality, up close footage from the third row in Pittsburgh last month. There’s a few short clips throughout the show and three full length songs, both the image and sound quality is brilliant, Cave at several points singing pretty much straight into the camera. It might be pushing it to read too much into the clip but it’s hard not to think of that story he himself tells about watching Nina Simone’s performance transform her, he seems light, set free by the music. The band are predictably great, perhaps a little looser – there are a couple of slightly comic confusions – and Barry Adamson seems to have left his seat at the organ for Ed Balls to unexpectedly step in, in all honesty though it could just as easily be footage from four years ago . . .

Goth Euro vision

interpretive dancers, gratuitous violins, extravagant hair… it could almost be a eurovision performance, sadly no horseheaded figure up a step ladder but you can’t have everything can you? Spectacularly grainy old black and white footage here from Riverside in which two members of the royal ballet accompany a version of The Cure through ‘Siamese Twins’. I have to admit to being stubbornly ambivalent about the merit or otherwise of the dancing but the violins work well. (it can also be found in much higher quality colour without too much exertion but for some reason, this is just better) I’ve ended up here on account of The Quietus hymning the wonders of the ‘Pornography’ album and trailing the paperback of Lol’s book. The description of events it includes put this performance about a year after a tour ending fight between Gallup and Smith I guess, explaining Steve Severin’s appearance on bass. Weird to be looking back from today’s perspective where several years pass between releases to see that despite the all consuming, band destroying, conflagration of ‘Pornography’ Smith hardly sat on his hands moping. By this point ‘Let’s Go To Bed’ had been a hit and he spent the rest of ’83 making the singles that became ‘Japanese Whispers’ as well as a Banshees album and The Glove record with Severin which seems remarkably productive, I’m a bit tired just thinking about it. It’s not the piece the record deserves but it’s not bad – a few insights tempered by some John R(ent-a-g)obb and poor old Lol, whose name would become quite literally synonymous with laughter, getting his due for a change. I can’t honestly say it’s made me mad keen to read his book, but I don’t often need much encouragement to listen to the album again.

In other vaguely cure related news Mogwai tease their next record with a lovely track ‘Coolverine’ which finds them sounding more than ever like instrumental outtakes from ‘Disintegration’. No bad thing to be honest. They’ve come up with another terrible, terrible title as well. I picture them sat about after finishing the record with a bag of cans and a bottle of Bucky daring each other to come up with stupider names for the tunes. It’s a hit and miss business – sometimes they’re gold but ‘Coolverine’ is definitely on the ‘you wrote this lovely piece of music and then you called it what?’ pile . . .

If you need a little more high-culture-meets-goth theorising in your week then tomorrow there’s this. A Goldsmith’s event remembering Mark Fisher and featuring Gazelle Twin, a reading of his ‘for your unpleasure’ essay . . .

K-PUNK – FOR YOUR UNPLEASURE

 

May Colossus, Yay Colossus

on the evidence of this new video clip it looks like the boys had quite a bank holiday. Nonetheless amidst all the woodland capering there’s a stern warning to us all, and that is – snorting unicorn glitter leads to morris dancing and death. Just Say No kids. New album ‘The Guillotine’ arrives next month when every Englishman will be looking around and wishing we had a strong and stable Guillotine. If you want you can preorder it by clicking on this cover image.

 

How Do You Solve A Problem Like Korea?

We need Laibach now more than ever. I woke up this morning with the tune of ‘The Whistleblowers’ playing in my head. It’s almost three years since ‘Spectre’ came out and at the time it seemed a somewhat patchy late offering from a band on the wane. They always were a thrilling pantomime in the last century’s totalitarian vocabulary, one that was increasingly a fading and unspoken thing of the past. It now appears astonishingly prescient, the issues of political power, nationhood and communication that have always been their core concerns are once more become everyone’s heightened anxieties. Their work seems more loaded with resonance than ever. ‘Whistleblowers’ and ‘Eurovision’ should be playing on giant screens in public squares across the EU. The hand-wringing liberal worry about people not getting the joke is dismissed by fellow Slovenian/cultural mischief maker Zizek as a misunderstanding of their project. Of course Zizek, when you consider him and Laibach together it’s like each shines a light on the other’s opacity. Should we take what he says about them at face value or is he engaged in further provocation and myth making? This is not to mention the extraordinary event of Laibach becoming the first western band to play in North Korea. ‘Liberation Day’ the documentary recounting that historic and surreal trip arrived at the end of last year and is making its way around the world – tonight and tomorrow it’s at Glasgow Film Festival. I’m looking forward to seeing it eventually somewhere. They performed songs from The Sound Of Music amongst others, loved the people, struggled with the censorship and claim to have suggested doing ‘How Do You Solve A Problem Like Korea?’ an idea too good to pass on even if it’s not true. Their mission is blessed.

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