Wednesday, 27 October 2010

The Lowest Form Of Music Event. 2010. #2

After last years "3 Day Event" of the decade in London a.k.a. "The Equinox Festival" comes this years "3 Day Event" of the decade in London : "The Lowest Form Of Music". I have been at both, I am a three day eventist.
Talk of this event has been going on for a year or so now (to my ears any way) so when the preliminary line up was announced I was quite excited...but then as the event started to gain a bit of momentum and names were being dropped as others were being added I decided to opt for the one night only. The event became arts council funded and was getting money from places like "The Wire" magazine so some names were added that were nowt to do with LAFMS in history, sound or attitude but had to be there to please the sponsors. Ah well, sic vita est.
I was there to see John Duncan, Paul McCarthy and Mark Durgan play live, having being an avid follower/fan of all three since the 1980's.

The day started early hundred of miles away in a borough of Torquay. I had left enough time to travel to the capital, find my hotel, refresh and cleanse the body and find a Pizza Hut before meeting up with friends and start the experience. Unfortunately the train was heavily delayed (a visit to the train bar) then the tube trains to Waterloo were all fucked up, meaning a late arrival at the hotel giving me mere minutes before meeting Simon Kane in a pub by Waterloo Station. Food became second priority...after Waterloo I made it to Lambeth (home of the event) to meet up with friends in a pub that only sold German Lager. Draught German Lager. Strong Draught German Lager. Bizarre, and sat in the German pub was a little corner of Yorkshire; Mark Wharton, Paul D. Knowles and Paul Walsh...very funny. (Sorry Phil, I know you were there, but yow from Dudley)! I mention all this just to explain that by the time I made it to the venue I was slightly worse for wear. (Exchange the word "wear" for "alcohol").

We entered en masse to watch Mark Durgan play live with Spoils & Relics. I must admit to not being a big fan of the Spoils & Relics split LP on Harbinger Sound, thought it had a very flat sound, but I was knocked sideways by the live sound. Imagine the smallest sound ( a click, a murmur) being slowed down and stretched and put through all manners of treatment whether it needed it or not. Insectual, Industrial. There were scrapings and acoustic noises but it was this stretched clicking sound that got to me. Excellent. Think Column One. Think Mark Durgan! They performed on the floor in front of the stage and I couldn't see a thing, but that didn't matter, to stand at the back and just soak in the sound was enough.
I have been a follower of the work of Paul McCarthy for about 30 years, like John Duncan. It was either through TG and their "Industrial News" or the American "N.D." magazine that first alerted me to their work. I had never seen any of them "live" before. The closest I had been to Paul McCarthy's work was the "Dionysiac" exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, 2005. Now I was a just a few feet away listening to this guy make the most amazing sound come from his body with two microphones and a band called Extended Organ.
It is hard to put into words the sheer joy I experienced during this set. The same can be echoed for the John Duncan performance. Whilst Extended Organ were shifting their gear off stage, I managed to squeeze side stage without being noticed, to enjoy the Duncan experience "on my own" and take a few choice photographs. 15 or so minutes later and the bugger decides to do a set from behind the PA mixing desk halfway down the room. Bugger. I sat on a table near the stage and again soaked in the experience/sound. John Duncan live - I have waited 30 years. Miasmic, all consuming and with a vocal track that you had to be there to made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.
The big surprise of the evening was not the inflated price for a bottle of lager but Incapacitants. I am not a big "fan" of Japanese Noise. Japanoise. I have and play albums by Vasilisk and Contagious Orgasm and some Government Alpha on 7" vinyl that is crucial, but I am not an exponent or expert on the genre. For 20 (maybe 30) minutes Incapacitants filled Beaconsfield with beautiful noise, a kind of noise I had never heard before. It pulled me in. I stood at the back of the room and slowly drifted towards the stage - I wanted to see and physically experience more of what was happening in front of me. I was grinning! I have the CD on Harbinger Sound "Lon Guy", I will now play...I don't know if it will recapture those minutes but I'll pump up the volume and give it a go. One thing about Incapacitants - the audience seemed up for it too.

And then it was all over for me. A quick chat with Steve Noble and the urge to lie down in a dark room came over me and I staggered back to my hotel. I missed Airway but what had happened in the three and a half hours before I shall never ever forget. It goes with me to the grave.
There were times when I wandered about the venue and it was like a who's who of noise / experimental music but I was too drunk to chat! Sorry Juri, Mikko, Gaya, Duncan, Paul, Bill, Adrian, Daniel, Tamon, and folk who came up to me and got a slurring response..I was a man alone that night and in my own personal heaven. Maybe at next years "3 Day Event Of The Decade", eh?

1: LAFMS Security Band.
2: Front cover of the LAFMS programme.
3: J. Karpov + Idwal Fisher take a fag break.
4: Mark Durgan post performance.
5: Extended Organ.

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