Saturday, 5 June 2010

Feine Trinkers...& The Native Hipster

Back in London again. Two gigs in 6 days, two gigs in London in 6 days...what is this - the 1970's! I have now used up my 2010 quotient for London giggery.
This time it was to watch the excellent Fiene Trinkers Bei Pinkels Daheim. (It translates as good drinkers in a piss house...I think....the computer translator didn't like it)! I am really glad I went to see the show as the previous Friday nights Nurse With Wound / Current 93 gig left me feeling a little bit cheated. The show at the HMV Kentish Town Forum was OK, but nothing more than that. Simply OK I have commented to friends that it was like watching somebody do painting by numbers, and at the moment I am sticking to that. But now 6 days later I am in a sweltering hot London again to see Feine Trinkers Bei Pinkels Daheim do their first gig in the UK in a room above a snooker hall in Stoke Newington....or Stamford Hill...depending on which direction you came from. The evening was hosted by London Internet streamers ILL FM. ( and free!
I became aware of Feine Trinkers Bei Pinkels Daheim about 12 years ago when I shared a house in Lincoln with Outsider Records boss Mick McDaid. He had some CDrs and cassettes and a Drone Records 7", and the sound was fresh and interesting....Also hard to come by. I have only 1 Feine Trinkers release in Hartop Towers and that was got on the evening. So I travel to London to see a band of whom I own nought but love dearly. There was also other reasons for having to be there. I wanted to meet Till of Gerechtigkeits Liga who was guesting with Feine Trinkers, I also wanted to check out the venue, and meet the folk / person behind ILL FM and I wanted to see if the venue was decent enough for putting on an IBF gig in 2011. But Feine Trinkers were top o' the list....
The venue, The Others, is a true find. A tad remote, with travellers having to know the London bus system or walk from some overground stations as it is not on a tube line. But it is not as remote as The Ivy House in Nunhead. Like I said it is above a snooker hall and next to a Hasidic hat shop (that was doing a roaring trade at 10 in the evening) and is just one big room. Small makeshift bar in the corner - bottled beer - a DJ booth, and a large performance area at one end. Floor was scattered with leather armchairs and sofas found in skips or squats. Excellent feel, and slightly European. It reminded me of The Zoro in Leipzig. After the "corporate" feel of the HMV Forum with its' heavy stewards and slightly over priced Tuborg it was a breath of fresh air and great to be in a "real" venue again.
I caught a little of the first two performances. Momento Mori (I think) kicked off the evening a guy with an Eighties synth did stuff whilst a guy rubbed a bowed saw over an oil drum. Interesting, but I was in meet and greet came a duo whose name would have been German, but I was told were from England. (What a crazy idea, eh)? Huge cinema size pojections of East German Post War Propaganda played behind them whilst they stared at a single laptop. Interesting sound (They were like a Tesco Org. house band) but I soon lost interest. Laptoppery, that is the problem.
Feine Trinkers Bei Pinkels Daheim is one chap, I think called Jurgen. Could be wrong, and tonight he was being assisted by Till Bruggemann of Gerechtigkeits Liga whom are one of my all time favourites. Luckily, no laptop in sight. They created this landscape of sonic majesty from looping and manipulating sound created through contact mic's. It all began with a contact mic' (or 2) stuck to a 3 inch roll of sellotape, the tape was stretched and torn - and there we had the spine to begin with....Contact mic's were then sruck to "wind-up" toys, items of clothing, balloons, inside a jug in to which water was poured. It was a magickal sound and a great spectacle. Genius at work time. Till manipulated the sounds that were being created and added some voice. Like seeing Aaron Dilloway for the first time - this re-affirmed my faith in LIVE performances. I now want to see Feine Trinkers Bei Pinkels Daheim live again.
The "merch'" stall was OK too. Jurgen (could be wrong) had brought some old cassettes to sell (probably for beer money? This was a free gig) so I managed to get tapes by Para Noise Terminal, Architects Office and "i" by Contrastate (on Direction Music) before they were snaffled and the stunningly beautiful "Toads And Bugs" package by Feine Trinkers......
The evening probably went on, but I had to leave - the problems of such an "out of town" venue.

The following day I had to head back to Devon + Hartop Towers. I walked to Paddington Station in the same sweltering heat, stopping by Hyde Park to have a sunbathe sandwich. On the train I found myself seated next to a lady who (after chatting about London) turned out to be Nanette Greenblatt of ...& The Native Hipsters. Why did I have lager for lunch??? I then bored the poor lady with my recollections of her band, and I was getting the song titles wrong, and forgetting names etc (I would be no good on "Mastermind" - I crack under pressure y'know - anyone remember my appearance on "15 To 1" quiz show on TV back in 1993? No? Good). But I spent three hours chatting to the woman from ....& The Native Hipsters. Apparently still active and recording with Andy Allen (of The Professionals fame - the band not the TV series from the 1970's) and Tony Visconti (of Thin Lizzy fame). William, the other member is a stand-up comedian called Woody Bop Muddy and Tom Fawcett is running a club in London. Fascinating stuff....although I may have come across as a tired, slightly "stella'ed", old fan boy.....but never mind. It's not every day you meet one of your "heroes" is it?
Give Feine Trinkers Bei Pinkels Daheim your attention, and stay sober ... you never know who'll you meet on a train to Devon!

1: Andrew Trail (of Knifeladder) enjoying F.T.B.P.D.
2: Momento Mori.
3 & 4: Feine Trinkers Bei Pinkels Daheim live at The Others.
5: My copy of the ....& The Native Hipsters EP (1980).
5: Feine Trinkers Bei Pinkels Daheim live (poor digital camera footage).

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