No other talking than the talking directed

October 2019

The Rossi Bar

Ill/Fitting Suits

Ill/Fitting Suits, their suits more fitting than ill, these days – I think they’ve grown into them. They had some plants among the audience reading from prepared scripts. Nick Rilke had a microphone on a long lead that was being processed by Tony Rimbaud along with some other sound sources and he wandered about picking up bits of what they were saying, I think it was some commentary on the history of The Spirit of Gravity. Anyway, the piece has a drifting quality due to the excessive delay on the snatches of speech. The written pieces were short enough so that you’d return to the same phrase as a chorus. “Handles for Forks” being a comedy favourite after a while. The loops felt haunted, nostalgic through reverb. Odd synth washes and a halting piano figure. In the end surprisingly moving. All fields. 


Amongst the Pigeons

Amongst the Pigeons had the front rows of the audience nodding along to his set wearing pigeon masks. He interspersed his set with pigeon facts (although some seemed a bit shifty to me). So we had pigeon coos, basslines and drum machines. The first piece had sampledelic style cut ups of a radio show intro and a broadcast of Happy Music, with a woolly bassline working under it. The second one, was a bit darker in tone, another sonic bass line with a crackling percussion track. Less direct pigeon-referencing. The third picks up the rhythmic intensity a notch or two more with a big breakdown with a recording of someone saying “DRUG”, leading into the “addiction to thinking” which was a bit more syncopated on the bass drum. Among the complaints about wearing a nylon pigeon suit he slyly introduces the last track, a pigeon related breakcore track. There is, even after nearly 20 years of The Spirit of Gravity, always something new, and that is definitely a first. ce drill, or falling organ.


Roshi featuring Pars Radio

And rounding off the evening we have Roshi featuring Pars Radio, who are down for the first time in an age, she’s writing new material for her next album and on good form. She starts with an old favourite “Lor Batche” in the stripped down rhythmic version with her and Graham playing the slow down at the end. This was followed by “Night Swimming” which features her piano playing up front, Graham providing percussion space around that. Next is “Opium” that starts nicely with organ stabs and an uptempo rhythm that twists into an unfocussed vision of muted voices, drones and detuned whirls and woooshes that’s really quite unsettling. The horrors. The next song is one I didn’t know, a new one based on her experience with working with people from the wartime generation, it’s centred on an old song “Apple Blossom Time” piano and radio static. They finish off with “3 Almonds and a Walnut” which in its live version is a full on percussion work out.

We get into an odd conversation after the show with a member of the audience about nut/peanut/cashew allergies. Which is almost like a mirror of her introduction to the song.


It’s all quite straightforward really

Thee Founders back with a bang

Ill-Fitting Suit/s

The return of the Ill Fitting Suit/s was something of a joy; combining thee founders performance art roots, Nick Rilke’s ongoing obsession with the human voice and Tony Rimbaud’s moderne processing. And some string telephones (6 into one, unless I’m much mistaken). They had prepared a list of twenty or so items and over the course of a set and half, probably only performed half of them. It was alienating, funny, adventurous, daft, entertaining and a good listen. And once more a very hard to describe without resorting to blow by blow description. Words, the human voice, effects, suits.



Animal Magic Tricks

In between the two sections of their set Animal Magic Tricks demonstrated a new instrument she’d been working on: resonating spheres placed inside containers to produce rich ringing tones with a laptop controller. So she ran through an introduction and slowly introduced the sounds before forming the abstractions into a quite startling version of “Love hurts” with Frances’ thick voice bubbling up as though through honey sitting on top of this completely abstract backing. Quite remarkable, she then had a workshop session for members of the audience before the grey suits returned.



Hobo Sonn

Hobo Sonn had established himself at the back of the room between the elektrocreche and the sound desk in almost complete darkness except for his usual low light that allowed us to follow his hand movements as they went back and forth over his twentieth century sampler taking on the sonic overspill from the bar with hums and clicks; low levels of distorted near silence followed by squalls of quasi-musical noise. It seemed quite a struggle to find a centre for the sound of the room for him to work off, before he identified this orchestral racing car ramp that pitched from bass up to some blistering treble fragmenting into coruscations of blistered hiss. It rounded off with midnight ghost clock chimes and Lovecraftian insect ticking.