gig report :: Impressions from A Ritual of Harsh Noise
Held at the & Loan Gallery in Nanaimo, BC, Saturday October 27th, this show featured 12 noise acts from Nanaimo, Victoria and Vancouver. Although the night's festivities emphasized the harsher side of noise, there was plenty of variation in the tools and approach used. I can say that most everybody rocked the contact mic every which way, and sometimes loose.
Anyhow, on to my impressions of the night:
Sofa Queen and Frog Hat had fun and made notes for next time. Reviewing your own project is a potentially dubious act, unless it is intended as a discussion regarding intent and outcomes, and this is neither the time or the place.
Penta Gone played yet another great set of highly atmospheric noise--these folks never fail to bring it, and could hold court on any stage. Great mix of instruments including keyboards, a scythe, dulcimer, and the infamous shopping cart of doom.
Night Mother played a driving set of new stuff, blending rhythm 'n' synth elements into a dark and bubbling ether.
Rusalka played a crustily epic set from the gurney with gut wrenching gristle and synth imbued step-forms overlayed with low and high pitch skronk. Wicked nun costume to boot.
Coastal, while blazing a trip through distortions fantastic managed to dance with his table of gear, first the two-step and then the foxtrot, making sure to 'dip' his partner in aural crime before he and his set-up abandoned the table and made a beeline for the floor.
Serving up a strident slab of thick, rumbly and continuously building wall, The Rita was a crushing reminder of the sound a glacier might make as it recedes and grinds its way into nothingness, leaving only rock flour in its wake. A side of horror film samples rounded out this set, and with good measure.
Brutophilia wove together a fine set of grimy coarsely-spun undertones viscerally matched with seething flanger vox. It was like finding wool blanket in a pool of blood. Plus five hit points for the black mettler costume.
After neatly ordering the seating, Sick Buildings administered an in camera dose of sullied white noise, in keeping with the creeping malaise and florescent pallor of your least favorite government office--minus the desk and someone from HR. Is it just me or is it cold in here?
Ever faithful to his harsh noise moniker, Taskmaster got down to bidness, providing the audience with a set of solid multi-layered walls akin to the bluntly hissing ruminations of several large steam radiators.
Griefer, dressed as a grim reaper conceptually camped out at your nearest spammer HQ, pulled out a carefully encoded combination of confrontational vocals, pacing, and metal clanging amidst a grimly distorted and controlled sound scape.
BB Gun thundered his way through an unplugged set comprised of sheet metal, an oil drum and a table saw.
Last but certainly not least, Quebec lePink ramped the noise ensemble barrage to eleven, closing the night with various members taking a drill to spoon vest, toys intermittently plugged into pedals. Oh, and I cannot forget the liberal use of Extra Old Stock. Props for the ahh, props, which included a skull smoke machine, animatronic skull, and a toy guitar.
Favourite audience quote of the night came from one of three very drunk dudes who appeared at the gallery from nowhere as his pal ran up on stage to do a drill solo, narrowly missing his own crotch: That's wankery, anybody can do that. My reply: Hardly anyone does though, I mean how often do you get to see this?
I heard an earful of noise, and had a blast doing so. Thanks to everyone who came out and played. Thanks to Coastal for all the driving, BB Gun for having us at the & Loan Gallery, Penta Gone for additional PA supplies, and Sick Buildings for the loan of a contact mic. Pictures and/or sounds would be a great addition if anybody has these to contribute.
Pics by Ian + Deb