Saturday, September 06, 2008

Hurricane Led Bib

Amount of creative activity acheived in last 24 hours: 3
Level of conviction in own genius: 7.5
Watching / Listening: 'The Wire' series 1 - as rich and characterful as Dickens but set in drugsland Baltimore! / Mechanical Bride
Hair day: bit shaggy

It's been gigs-a-plenty this week, which is just as well as I've been lacking inspiration on the creative front. First up was a debut trip to the Electroacoustic Club in the scuffed opulence of the Slaughtered Lamb pub basement, strewn with many a chaise-longue and pouffe to recline on whilst listening to introspective guitar-picking (first support act) and ineffective yeowlings and badly tuned 12-strings (second support act). But we were there to check out Mechanical Bride, who I'd heard on myspace doing a great lo-fi, melancholic cover of Rhianna's 'Umbrella'. Her indie oom-pah band of beardy euphonium, horn, glockenspiel, keys and conga players/singers were beguilingly beautiful, with MB's bittersweet vocals ghosting over the top. Real lovely.

The next Sarah and I went to be inspired at a PRS-MCPS conference on how to make it happen as an artist, full of advice about using Twitter and wordpress and selling t-shirts from the source and things that were a bit over our heads really. Then we showed our faces at nonclassical at The Macbeth, this time to see a kora player and violinist pairing. It was charming, the violin bubbling away over the top of glittering kora improvisation and thrumming bass strings; jewels tumbling on a magic carpet. It was slightly hampered by the braying city boyz and others, who although having paid to get in, were happy to roar their way obstinately over the top at the bar. It's the only problem with interesting music in cool venues: the habit for people to talk when the're standing up and have a drink in their hand. But if they're told, as they are at places like the Luminaire, to shut up or get out, then it can work. They just need to be told.

Finally, I bent my head into the wind and narrow-eyed rain and powered into town yesterday afternoon for the inappropriately-named 'Spitalfields Summer Stew'. What better on a Friday tea-time than some mystifying, loopy jazz under the awning in Bishop's Square. I settled down, chai latte in hand and nose under my scarf, for the wondrous Led Bib, who had curated the day. They are so excitingly visceral with sheer, silly virtuosity and out-there funkiness that they draw gasps and giggles, at least from me. The band seemed to be playing to keep the rain off, a sort of protective free jazz shield. Mark, the drummer/leader constantly looked like he was in fits of laughter, whacking his toms with gangly-armed glee; the twin saxes wreathed around each other in a birddeathdance, stomping in big puddles of bass whilst the new-rave kid jellybeaned all over his keys, doing crazy acid mud-squelches. Most hilarious watching the tourists and city folk wander bemusedy past, and even better those in the audience sitting reading the papers, as though they were listening to undemanding dinner jazz in balmy summer, rather than insane noise-skronk in a rainstorm.

I have finally managed to do a new solo track: here's 'all things are quite silent', my new glitch-folk direction...

No comments: