Tag: Tam Lin

Warmer than April….

February 2024
The Rossi Bar

Tam Lin starts the evening off with a watery field recording a slight pinging and a terribly quiet drone. Hum. A terribly quiet hum. Dulcimer notes and a slow knocking bass drum. Abstracted percussion: knitting needles on tobacco tins, the noises slowly change shape into strange forms, morphing buzzes, unfocussed digital washes. The bass drum is back as a more insistent booming monster, the dulcimer a softer plucked arpeggio, a bassline, the drum track is fuller. The drums drop away and we get the plucked arpeggio driving us on in hypnotic repetition, it then mutates slightly and some drums come back with yowling cat melody and ill timed piano. A baion bass drum propels out of this through some more strange melodic lines. Then another percussive interlude, fast pulse low toms and flapping bass drum that slows it all down. Scissor hi-hats erratic snare. An undulating line of machine dialup feedback gives us a pause before a monster descending drum cascade introduces Tam singing for a few bars, a brief pause. Delay feedback starts the second part. A muffled vocal loop, the thud dancehall bassdrum, delayed sharp  metal pinging chords. A bassline like a warehouse wall collapsing, The final track starts with bass line swirling between notes. The bass drum a counterpoint indicating rhythm but not necessarily providing the full thing. dustbin a bowed lid synth melody along with some deliriously detuned synths alternate parts to provide some head nodding sparkle. Everything is full of gaps; pauses, brief halts. And then a stop. Mesmerising.

Geraldine Snell was second, down from Hebden Bridge for the evening. Starting with sounded like a 60 year old drum machine’s bossa nova setting and a keyboard part that sounds uncannily like a celeste from a Casio MT40 with Geraldine channelling Edda Dell’Orso’s wordless vocals, the monstrous wobbly  bass and lyrics kick in at the same time, the wordless vocals looping below providing a cinematically epic backing track. The backing switches suddenly to a shimmer synth for a wind out of layered vocals. Her shoes come off for the second song – “I need to get more grounded”. The second track is slower with a bassline so deep its almost gloriously shapeless. Vocals and harmonium drones. After a while her voice pitches up significantly and the effects give it a sparkle, then the looping starts its magic and the layers of vocals thicken everything up while a weird fairground organ line plays subtly in the background. The third song starts off with an insistent heartbeat and a very 80s sounding bass synth line. Some Lynch-ian reverb-y guitar parts, more wordless vocals to start, then words almost drowned in reverb, the breakdown filters everything down and then when it comes back the vocal multi-tracking starts its delirious work again. Before the next song we get some Yorkshire banter with the audience. The final medley of songs starts with more Casio-ish sounding beats, and a fabulous warbling bassline that spans about 3 octaves, “Breath in” counting, her voices weaving dream states. Sparkling chimes scatter to move on from “Epiphany”, the bassline less obtrusive, a little acapella segment and it all goes into a dub segment everything shifts slightly, settles back briefly into something like a slightly disturbing Beatles nightmare and it shifts off again for my favourite piece of her set, psychedelic, on the verge of breaking into something deranged but just holding back, there are odd sounds, backwards bells and finally you can feel rather than hear the backing vocals emerging from the background, a modulating synth swallows everything and then its just back to the circling voices.

And for the final act of the evening we have a familiar face to SoG regulars playing his first live show in over 10 years, Drass. This was an AV experience, if you’re unfamiliar with his work the visuals are disturbing AI animations, childishly malevolent, a bit gothy. They stare and blink at us. I’m not going to describe the visuals, I’ll be awake for weeks if I get too involved with them. Watch on YouTube. Drass himself stands to the side of the stage singing into a pencil light that looks like a microphone, the mic cunningly hidden on the side of his face effectively an uplighter. Theres a lot of pitch shifting of vocals, mostly down. Again, to greatly creepy effect. Slow squelching one note bassline and rolling drums start us off. “I fell flat on my face”.  A stately three note bass line rolls off the second song, offset by detuned chimes and old style string stabs. String synths and sparse military snare rolls. The third pitches the vocals up the cartoony effect is not comforting “Play your part and serve my purpose” a piano staggers erratically and cavernous bass envelopes us.  the drops provide no respite from the tension. Kettle drums bring in the next song and the voice drops again. Rattling snares and jabbing violin parts vibrate above the formless bass and a drone slowly descends then brings back the threatening vocals. The next song carries on from the last, double pulse drums, or is it bass. Menacing piano, jabbing string parts, a sudden burst of Drum n Bass shifts things up a gear without lightening the mood. The next one starts off with what sounds like mouth drums and western guitar and a litany of names (influences?). The visuals have their faces parading behind him. Again the tempo is up to Drum ‘n’ Bass scatter. Halfway through the bassline drops to half the bar, with a much lighter backing, floating strings and flourishes, (‘Shrigley’?). The last one is genuinely more uptempo rather than relying on double speed drums, a terrifying/hilarious version of “The Ace Of Spades” the AI Lemmy I think would be even more scary in person than the real one. The guitar solo is pretty tasty, too. Theres something of The Residents about the theatricality of the presentation and the pitch shifted voices, but I imagine that’s mostly my vexation at them cancelling their tour of the UK.