(the following is a product of speedwriting)Mon 22 Oct – boredoms
Right. We arrived at the place at 8:30 and got accustomed to the surroundings (never been to the Club Academy, but from what I've found tonight, it's a pretty smashing venue). To the left of the stage at the end sat a fellow strumming an average of 1.8 chords for every song of his, doing what he could with his tepid vocal skills. Absolutely indifferent to him, I made for the merchandise stand and reserved the OOEYEOO EP and bought a shirt. Finding a brilliant place next to the bouncers at the far right next to the stage, I watched this guy. The fact that the music was so dull made me forget who this Michael Gira
actually was. Well, as I got home it occured to me: shit! That's the chap from Swans
? What on earth?! What is this?! What?!
Well, anyway, this guy did the whole lonesome cowboy *collapse into pool of beer* cliché thing while we joked about it. Before one of the bouncers fell fast asleep, in his own words, he "got the hell out of here". I've no idea what conspiracy was going on here, but I'm guessing it was something like a tactic to create a vast vast contrast for when Boredoms
came on. Cringeworthy, but the crowd clapped politely, and I hear people were actually looking forward to him more than Boredoms (...huh).
After a few trip-hop and psychedelic tracks played in the background between setting up, it all started. Try telling my past self that at this gig, the transcendental sound + noise I would be experiencing would be beyond my pathetic adolescent imagination, but nay, I wouldn't've believed it. After a while of setting up, Yamataka and his incredible dreadlocks bounced onstage. I guess I was pretty in awe already. The three other band members sat down to their respective drumkits, circled around Yamataka's conducting/playing/screaming area, and Boredoms got to work. The man, who I've now come to accept as something of a Messiah, armed himself with two balls of light attatched to leads. He slowly lead one to the ground, which emitted some increasingly loud white noise, and brought it up again for silence. Again he did this, then brought the tennis-ball sized scronomatonamaton in his right hand down and up, making a different sound, something of a "dong". Doing his (usual?) chant (this man has incredible vocals, no idea if it's scat or not but all the same, they never wore out on my ears throughout the night), he improvised around with these, the noise coming from shrill and sharp to heavy clouds of white noise. Certain movements with them indicated the three drummers to roll their cymbals, hit their drums and so forth, until this piece was over, and he took to the other weapons at his disposal.
The next hundred or so minutes were some of the most enjoyable I've frankly ever experienced. All delivered from four beautiful stage prescences, I sit here with "Vision Creation Newsun" playing through my earphones knowing that there are true paths to God, with the Holographic Universe granting us all possibilities.
Drum parts came together in unison, and went off to do their own part of a huge beat, the three making sure no tom was neglected for too long in frantically fast yet flowing speed. Every part was new, dazzling and an incredible example of human achievement, an incredible, beautiful garden of sound to be part of. From speeding series of thud-thud-thud-thud to extensive song demolitions that in their masterful way didn't at all outstay their welcome, to the driving yet not-so-defined beats that every song part had, nothing seemed off-beat and every sound was most wished for and loved by yours truly. The togetherness was quite astounding, but then again, this was Boredoms, and a percussion-driven set.
Yamataka eYe did what he could with this, and did it dazzlingly so as we always had a surfeit of things to focus on, and an amazing realm of sound to immerse in. Cathartic.
The melodies he added to the dazzling structures that the percussion provided were absolute icing to the cake. Moving from some noise-related whatever to keyboard to a stand which held several guitar neck-type instruments that he stuck with different sticks, there was little room left for further innovation, and he gave them his all. Enthusiasm is difficult when you're giving it the standard of his performance. Leaping stealthily between all the onstage paraphernalia to jerking back and forth, he seemed that he couldn't possibly be older than thirty. My personal favourite was the near-perfect sound he created in a certain riff he got together from striking six of these guitar necks in succession, hitting the seventh at the bottom at the end, creating the most beautiful tonic chord; it was a sound I could call home if there ever was one. Towards the end of this extensive jam, eYe struck a neck with such mad force that a string snapped, but no worries as a stage chap was taking care of all this, making sure everything else stayed intact. But wasn't he a stage prescence! EYe, that is. Towards the end of it, he and Yoshimi P-We shared vocal parts, this section marked off by a generated disco beat, and finished having covered all you'd want in the spectrum of very loud music. Another extensive demolition went by, and before I could think of appreciating such as what I was going through, they had all left the stage. The group came back from another spellbinding encore, reminding us of what had passed by, and left, as prophets tend to do eventually. God how I want to ask Yamataka over for a pint, touch his clothes, etc etc. What an excellent human. Nevermind ay, nevermind.
Anyway, I could continue to go on about this glorious night, but I doubt that anyone's still reading this and above all, all I can really ask of everyone is to watch this for themselves. See them when they come near. Buy Boredoms records. Kneel at the Boredoms temple of worship, and enjoy it all.