Green Door Store
It’s hard to believe it but this was not only Lorraine Bowen’s first show for The Spirit of Gravity, but the first time she’d played at the Green Door Store. So we were really pleased to finally convince her to come along. She had about three days notice and did us a wonderful turn with several new songs. Kit-wise she had one of her plethora of Casios on stage and ran with a mixture of backing tracks and onboard rhythms from the thing itself perched on her trademark ironing board and homemade sign. She came onstage to her intro tape and set about generally mocking our regular acts before starting into her first song. After that she bought out her Omnichord and set about demonstrating it to us – I’ve seen her a few times and it doesn’t normally make an appearance – before singing a song about Pizza using it. The next song was one of the new ones about the collapse of Poundland with a nicely distorted bass drum, she could barely keep a straight face. The next song was “The ice cream lady” followed by a song that seemed to be about some kind of sexual encounter in Kew Gardens (at least it wasn’t her song about STDs and tropical resorts). And she finished with a messed up version of “The Crumble Song” taking us through the Casio’s capabilities, messing with the EQ, tempo, dubbing it up generally and getting the strobe going playing it with her boobs (definitely a first for SoG) and messing about with the key. Lotsa fun and good, too.
So after being properly trainspotted while setting up his laptop for the second set was from midi error. You’ve never seen such a gathering outside of OSC as there was peering over his shoulder. Starting with a vocal sample and an off-centre keyboard riff that was give form by the addition of percussion before filtering out to be augmented with something raspily detuned that builds into something horrible before a really minimal bit of techno emerges, again to be subverted by something waywardly exciting. Before again dropping down to something minimal with an interesting marimba ish riff cycling away. This one gets blasted by a flying saucer takeoff. The next one is like a bunch of aliens playing 80s arcade games being zapped by their parents for misbehaviour. He finishes on another minimal techno thing that simultaneously feels like a 60 footer is parking up in your mind.
So when Ultraterrestrials start it’s Jared’s socks that are the first thing I notice rather than the pink shoes, although the shoes are nice. Then it’s the two microphones. His voice is the next thing that, rich in tone, American, he talks and its convincing even after you realise what he’s saying doesn’t make that much sense, you want it to continue. Tom and Richard slowly raise something droning behind him on e-bowed guitar and electronic things. At some stage you realise that one of the mics goes back into the effects and his voice is coming back at you in indiscernible ways; the songs ends in the yowl of a child of frozen space. The second starts with gating rhythms from the guitar, bass booms, Jared’s muttering, something like Tuxedomoon happens at some point and the rhythm is happening loudly and there is a strobe, but its not rhythmical and somehow matches the mood of Jared’s stage skulk perfectly. The next one is an uneasy quiet thing, unsettling arpeggios and queasily thin chemtrails. Jared sings. The next one leaps in with a raindrop rhythm and vast bass synths and factory noises, they end on another quiet one with Jared falsettoing over a backward piano and the hellish strings of his effected voice disturb us.