The Rossi Bar
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.
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.