Wednesday, February 08, 2006

another Pulse gig

Pulse, Henry and his brother Richard's improvisational danceband which has emerged as a sort of Children of the Drone spin-off, had an excellent gig last Saturday - the best one I've been involved in thus far. It was at the local Cricket Club, hired for Henry's wife Lucy's 50th birthday party (jointly with her cousin Claire, also 50).

I was supposed to record it, but my MiniDisc recorder started misbehaving the day before, and was completely useless by Saturday evening. I had a backup I'd got via eBay for £20, but when I got it out of the box, I was dismayed to find it doesn't actually have a microphone input!

So there's no recording of this one, which is a shame, as it was musically quite adventurous. We had the whole place dancing non-stop for 90 minutes, and to some pretty warped-out/avant-garde sounds a lot of the time. Richard's bass playing keeps getting more and more solid. I was brought in mainly as an additional percussionist, but I did play some saz, mostly on the reggae-ish numbers, and towards the end of the set. Henry was particularly keen on me using my "percussively-triggered radio device", which had been hurriedly rebuilt inside a purple plastic lunchbox that afternoon. It's got two 'doorbell' style switches now, so I can generate much more interesting rhythms.

The line-up this time:

Henry - drums
Richard - electric bass guitar
Philip - saxophone, electronics, novelty instruments, vocals, percussion
Matthew S - cello, clarinet, keyboard, vocals, percussion
Keith - electric guitar and percussion
me - percussion, percussively-triggered radio device, saz

We had a few PA problems, as usual, but it wasn't too bad. The most unfortunate aspect of this was our inability to get Matthew's cello sufficiently audible. We'll have to work on this side of things a bit more...

People wanted an encore after our non-stop 90 minute set, so we managed to throw together a slow, loose, trippy blues jam which was immensely enjoyable.

The set was built around the following basslines:
Ball of Fire -> Oye Como Va -> Walking on the Moon -> Mannenberg -> Cantaloupe -> Tam Tam -> Knock on Wood -> Evil Ways -> Guguletu -> Papa Was a Rolling Stone -> Surfin' -> John's groove no. 1 -> The Beat Goes On

I expect I'll be able to track down some digital photos of the event. Henry's quite keen to record a demo and take this idea further.

Some reasonably good Pulse audio (from a rehearsal last autumn) is available here.


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