Didn’t we have a jolly good time at Fat Out Fest. Friday seemed infused with the spirit of Gnod. Maybe it’s because the day before I had tripped out to Todmorden to hear the first date on Gnod’s tour; maybe it’s because Gnod are based in Islington Mill; more likely it’s because almost every band that evening had at least one song with the same beat as a Gnod song. Feminist dance maniacs ILL don’t sound very much like Gnod but even they had a Gnodbeat for one song. Keyboard action screamer Hari Shanahan was getting irked with the sound guys and making snide remarks about them as the start of their set got rather delayed due to technical issues. She’d no need to worry as “I am the Meat” got us dancing, “Space Dick” kept us in orbit and “Hysteria” kept manic feet moving. All four ILL women wore elegant cloaks and looked like they might fly off to the planet Venus on Rocket No 9 to party with Sun Ra Arkestra at any moment. Stand out song for me was “Stuck on a Loop” and Tamsin Middleton’s second gig on ILL guitar that I’d witnessed found her stepping away more assuredly from Sadie Noble’s tight punk-funk style. Even before drummer Fiona Talkington and bassister Whitney Bluzma told me they were vibing off my dancing I’d decided they were highly likely to be the band of the day, and they certainly were. However the most extreme music on Friday was spawned by The Bug and Dylan Carlson. Their immense vibrations rattled beer bottles out of the bar fridges and had all the fittings at the back of the room shaking along in impromptu rhythm. It sounded a whole lot better near the front on Dylan Carlson’s side where his slow guitar grind was much more prominent. The air was so thick with sound they seemed distant shadowy figures, enveloped in a haze of audio instigated synaesthesia. The weaker eared amongst us fled the Burrow in fear of permanent physical damage. Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs were the band who brought the party with their Black Sabbath riffing and rutting setting off some stage diving in Caustic Coastal. Their whole set had me thinking of Gnodness, something I’d never thought about them before. No bass trio Mums sounded like Part Chimp Jr, which is fine by me as I love Part Chimp. I did however resist the temptation to have “Part Chimp” tattooed on my forehead. Lake of Snakes played a well paced set with each song wilder than the one before.This was the first Fat Out Fest appearance of saxophonist David McLean, whose honk factor lifted their Touch and Go style raunch to a higher level. With his brother Lewis on vocals prowling about out front off stage this was an attack of the McLeaniacs. Housewives had me confused for a while as there were only four of them last time I saw them. They’d expanded stylistically too, a little less reliant on full frontal assault. Their Gnod factor seemed quite high. The performance that brought in a lot of people just for Friday was that of legendary industrial metal bashers Test Department. Billed as Test Dept Redux, the three of them seemed quite reliant on programmed parts, with mostly percussion played live. Like ILL and Mums, a woman played the drums. They left the Burrow pleased with a little alternative history lesson. Early in the day I Know I’m An Alien and Yr Lovely Dead Moon both delivered different kinds of quirky. The former was a lone long haired dude whose wigged out guitar solos and silly singing could have had him right at home on Shimmy Disc back in the nineties were it not for the quasi-disco beat of his drum machine. In one song he let off a solo that was a dead ringer for Midge Ure in Ultravox. Yr Lovely Dead Moon were a unique group with a young woman telling strange stories amongst a seemingly improvised stream of splutter and stutter.
Thursday, 6 April 2017
In the first part of 2017 these are the albums I've been listening to:
1. Bardo Pond - Under the Pines (Fire)
2. Arbouretum - Song of the Rose (Thrill Jockey)
3. Part Chimp - IV (Rock Action)
4. White Hills - Stop*Mute*Defeat (Thrill Jockey)
5. Trans Am - California Hotel (Thrill Jockey)
6. Irma Vep - can't find CD forgot what its called OOPS!
7. Wire - Silver / Lead (Pink Flag)
8. Dead Sea Apes - Sixth Side of the Pentagon (Cardinal Fuzz)
9. Cowtown - Paranormal Romance (The Audacious Art Experiment / Sonic House)
10. Yerba Mansa - Untitled (Deep Distant)
11. Brokeback – Illinois River Valley Blues (Thrill Jockey)
12. Pontiak - Dialectic of Ignorance (Thrill Jockey)
13. Silver Dick CDR
14. Former Bullies - Stranger (Towed By the Ghost / CF)
15. The Jesus and Mary Chain – Damage and Joy
Plus older albums by Helmet, Dead Neanderthals, Russian Circles, Jesca Hoop, Jon Collin, ARC Soundtracks, Thought Forms, Hugo Race, Rolo Tomassi, Colin Newman, Bo Ningen, King Champion Sounds, Aluk Todolo, Black Sabbath, The Wipers, Thee Oh Sees and the Kinks.