A fat goose sandwich

November, as eclectic a night as you will see at the Spirit of Gravity.

stereocilia

Stereocilia sublimated some kind of guitar chink into a subtly modulating vibration that he slowly thickened and shimmered until it was a suitable place to land carefully echoed single notes, letting them fade and migrate away to a duskening horizon. Two notes seemed to chime forever while the sound underneath resonated more harshly and zithered up, before being engulfed in washes of valentine fuzz and we head off into a glorious space rock moment (I’d love to hear this section with a full on driving band) all wah wah heat and notes tracing off the fingertips into the unknown. Thin streams of trebly feedback pull us back through time and space to somewhere near the point we started modulating slowly past silver moons to some blissed out Kaleidoscope place of autumnal bucolic psychedelia.


dogeeseseegod

Dogeeseseegod grumbled out of the blocks with yelps and growls of voice and implement. They had a glowing plastic goose. There were submarine noises and balloon farts, echoing beeps and chunks of radio. Occasionally things ticked for a while, sometimes it was funny. Tape blocks underpinned terrifying siren squalls and everything faded back down to subtle clicks. Steve who is a glyph, did his glyph voice thing occasionally. Sometimes from Very Far Away. Steve balanced the goose on their head. Sometimes it was terrifying. I have no idea what they had on their table to make sounds apart from the vocal microphone and a walkman.


arc

After the sublime and the ridiculous, what? Arc start really drily, tonally they could have segued on from the end of Dogeeseseegod, but the sound is austere; Violin, Cello and Double Bass scratched thin on rough bows pulling out almost vocal sonorities. After the daftness preceding it, Arc have a sombre beauty. Sylvia Hallett is the first to break up the mood with a birdlike flurry of notes that skitters up and down the neck of her violin while the cello gets unworldly and Gus Garside rasps triangular patterns on his bass. Again it stretches out almost pastorally long notes sliding uneasily that puts me more in mind of the heath around Innsmouth than the South Downs. Gus flirts with an oddly metronomic drum machine, but this adds rigidity to the dark fluids that they are conjuring so is soon discarded as things fall into silence, boat creaks and rope torsion. As the bass and cello go about their dirty work the violin gets introduced to the effects and starts to float around the edges, there is a glorious section when it seems to drip like stars as the sound floats across the room. Then its Gus’ turn to get abstract with the bass, setting up some sawing industrial din hawing away underneath a terrifying section that takes on horrific colours towards the end, if they need a soundtrack to a film of Brueghel’s paintings they need look only this far. They finish with a hoe-down that sets Henry Flynt firmly in the mainstream.


We snuck a sneaky one in at The Coach House, too, on Friday 29th November.

Noteherder & McCloud continued their warm-ups for the Dome with some funny chirruping, feedback sounding drones and pretty relaxed skronking from Chris Parfitt’s sax.

Asem played a set similar to their recent SoG show, of low key electronics and guitar (I’ve never seen anyone get feedback off so low powered an amp so consistently) finishing up with a new song of Morricone-sque piano chords and light guitar strumming.

David Thomas and Gagarin reprised a thing they’d only done remotely on the US Pere Ubu tour – David Thomas in the US and Gagarin in the UK. Some organ, some percussive noises, David Thomas started with a sheet of words which he soon ditched in favour of improvising with Gagarin occasionally kicking him up a gear with a well placed beat, or taking it down, they did a handful of songs and it was fantastic in such an intimate venue.

Then rounding off the evening, Gagarin stayed on for Roshi (feat Pars Radio) who were sublime. Starting with “Opium” off the new CD, which moves from singer songwriter simplicity pretty swiftly to some dark places, the still banging even in a small venue “Three Almonds and a Walnut”, before David Thomas came back to provide unworldly moans to “Don’t Breathe it to a Soul”. It was really a bit special.

Guitar night

Four for the price of three in October.

ypsmael (5)Ypsmael. We squeezed in an extra set for this show, Ypsmael who we’d been after booking for a while was in the UK on a brief tour at short notice so it seemed rude not to. He started his set casually strumming his guitar a few times light shimers that fed into his chain of effects and eventually came back expanded by reverb in great bassy washes and far falling footsteps. Stick thumps, paper tears and penny whistle all go in at various stages ending up in some abstract state that has the expansiveness of space and the claustrophobia of undersea.


asem (7)Asem were quickly up replacing them; Sara Selim on laptop electronica and GotoR on rangly guitar. Sara started the set with skittering reverb beetles with Gotor playing clean circulating notes into loops and wah-wahd thin lead lines. Vincent price and sonmeone I don’t recognise made an appearance with some american poetry and portentious bass drums and it all gets a bit psychedelic as Gotor goes heavily into Robby Krieger territory before eventually winding out on bells and ticking and dulcimer.


scottish james brown

Scottish James Brown got a little looser, it was a little more chaotic on stage; stand up drums, another guitar, toy keyboards and a wonky mic stand in what looked like the least convenient spot. They started with a lovely bass drone and chiming notes picked out on the Casio. The drums either clicked by with clockwork precision or stammered unconvincingly, Tim fed a cornet into a loop (and always at an angle I couldn’t photograph) and analogue delay played with time, in several senses – once taking back to the 19th century with some lovely dreamtime chimebox before slamming me into the early 2000s with some indietronic fluff of detuned keyboard and murky guitar strumming. And then off into surprising bass tones. A joy of lurching stagger.


priests of nothingness Carrying on the alternation between sly and slick The Priests of Nothingness sneak up on us with Derek and Dr David Reby slipping field noises and sliding effects around while Rob arpeggiates up and out with Moog and drum machine, it all sounds so easy, but was creepily effective with the bass of the Fallow Deer washing underneath, before it slips down into spooky interludes where synth, deer and slowed birds vie for the strangest noise and Derek plays acoustic guitar notes and building back up for a bit of a groove at the end.