Green Door Store
Feed Back Cell
Feed Back Cell were just back from a trip to Iceland, where they’d been doing more development on their modified cellos. Alice Eldridge’s cello seemed to have more acoustic adaptations, apart from the speaker built into the back run off a small car radio amp (with battery) that both were equipped with, hers had sitar style drone bass strings from the bridge up under the neck and some other adaptations, Chris Kiefer had more obviously electronic adaptations with an array of about 25 potentiometers built up over one quadrant.
So; the speakers built into the back can get a feedback loop drone going on, resonating strings and things filtering away. And then you have the standard and extended cello techniques on top of that, and both players have a full repertoire of both, so there’s plenty of that lovely cello rich scrape and drone to go round. There’s a lot of intense watching between the two, odd complimentary moments – and considering the constant changes far fewer of those “who made that sound” looks of surprise than I’d be making.
Clive Henry has a simpler setup, notionally, some devices, sampler, contact mic / hydrophone, a big metallic spring and some sleight of hand stuff he keeps hidden behind his back. We’d originally booked him for a Harsh Noise Wall, as I’ve heard he’s about the best at the full on blast of static. But, what we got was a set of subtlety and variety, richly textured, considered, with a surprising dynamic range. To be sure there was some pretty terrifying high frequency wail, and some clothes flapping bottom end, but this was tempered with quiet, sombre passages and the odd moment of comedy boing. And Theresa May which we’ll gloss over. The set seems split into three sections based on originating sound sources, each with their own particular set of sonics and peaks, and their own version of the burst full throttle noise.
And rounding off the evening was Gagarin, we had three new songs, a couple from ‘Aoticp’ and some of the more textured pieces from the ‘5 Hills in Surrey’ pieces. Yeah, so how do we describe Gagarin freshly? He’s added a phone to the setup since he last played at SoG that has some live time-stretching of samples, but he still largely uses the foot pedal triggered drums and hand controlled pads, with a keyboard added. There’s still that satisfaction of watching him dance between the pedals, even if his mobility has been slightly reduced by breaking his pelvis last year. The new stuff is good as well, it sits satisfyingly deep in the bass bins of the Green Door Store while bringing in the more fractured slower tempos of the looser things he’s been doing recently.