Saturday, April 23, 2011

Looking forward to the exhibition at the Barbican on Pioneers of the Downtown NYC Scene in the 70s, involving Laurie Anderson and others. It makes me think that the 70s was where the real creativity in music and arts lay, rather than the 60s. Along with the Krautrock documentary below and the Sun Ra film further down in my posts, what it also suggests is that some of the best music can come out of serious recession, with disco, punk and Krautrock all emerging during economic strife. Watch the rest of the documentary on Krautrock on YouTube - one of the most amusing bits is Faust recalling their time with Richard Branson, and how Virgin tried in vain to market the band as a 'German Beatles'.
One of my favourite gig recollections was Faust at Corsica Studios, a venue in the back streets of Elephant & Castle, a few years ago. During the set, Jean-Hervé Péron paraded around the room with real chainsaws, before wearing what looked like a gas mask. During the end of the set, he then proceeded to let off a number of smoke bombs, which filled the venue completely with blue and red smoke. Unable to see anything, I wandered around dazed, noticing at one point what looked like a ring of fire burning on the floor. Péron then grabbed me, still holding a chainsaw, and told me "you must leave the venue as soon as possible!"
Everyone was huddled outside, with the smoke billowing out of the venue. The sound of a police siren was heard in the distance. Meanwhile, the entire time this was happening, the guitarist had left on a loop a guitar riff that he had played earlier at excruciating volume.
Finally, and unbelievable, the unmistakable sound of the band getting back onstage and jamming to an empty audience was heard, the smoke still swirling around.
Now that, I remember thinking to myself, is what I call a gig to remember.

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