Saturday, March 10, 2007

"We tried the acid trombone, but it didn't work"

On Thursday night I dropped in to the Picture House bar to check out Keith's trio The Boys From Melbourne Street (a singer-songwriter friend with Keith on bass, plus a drummer). Unfortunately they started a bit late. I got to hear a set from another singer-songwriter called Jonathan Chatwin - quite good - and a couple of songs from The Boys. Then it was on to the North Bridge Inn, where Ben (who'd Droned with us the previous evening) was playing as "George Lazenbleep", surrounded by analogue synths and weird toys and devices. I got announced on the mic as I walked in! "It's Matthew from Children of the Drone!" [minor applause]. I definitely want to make more music with this person!

James S (another Droner) was there too, because the main act was Max Crackery featuring Gabe (a.k.a. "Powers of Ten"). Max Crackery is James' friend Big Bird (presumably he has a sensible name to go with the multiple daft pseudonyms) who plays laptop and trombone. Gabe does freestyle MC'ing through an array of electronic devices (pitchshifting his voice, etc.) while simultaneously scratching the resulting output using a digital pseudo-turntable scratching interface [whatever they're called]. Quite unbelievably mad. He's a decent MC too, but the scratching just took the madness to another level. Just before I left, the cryptic pronouncement "We tried the acid trombone but it didn't work" was spoken from the mic, which I woke up with in my head the next morning. A very nice walk home, too. I think I had more fun than I would have had I gone to see John Etheridge's Zappatistas at The Phoenix (no doubt masterful, but despite the man's obvious genius, I just can't really get into the Zappa thing).

Ben Goldstone a.k.a. George Lazenbleep
Ben Goldstone a.k.a. Lazy B a.k.a George Lazenbleep

Last night (Friday), I was back down the NBI to catch a full set from George Lazenbleep, and wasn't disappointed. His efforts to start off with ten minutes of overwhelming, disturbing noise were not appreciated by everyone present (he was urged to cut that short), so he launched into his spontaneously-layered future funk pieces, which (together with his unique onstage presence) went down very well with the clientele. There was a particularly wonderful moment where he was struggling to simultaneously work his (rather ramshackle) analogue gear and put on a toy Darth Vader voice-changing mask (hotwired with some kind of feedback-loop circuit, he explained later). There was some kind of hand-held non-electronic noisemaking device also involved - I was sitting too far back to really see what was going on, but it was fabulously, chaotically entertaining.

He was supporting Minor Planet, a local lounge-dub collective - pretty good (live horns, etc., but playing along with backing tracks from a laptop, so the music couldn't properly "breathe"). I was also spotted by Ollie Hall a.k.a. "Bad Sector", a field-recording enthusiast and glitch-electronica artist who's been in touch before via the COTD website (Simon once used his recording of the wind in the Haldon Hills - streamed live from archive.org - in the middle of a Drone session). I think that's the first time I've been identified in public as the result of my web-presence. Good to meet in person, anyway.

2 Comments:

Anonymous sir robot said...

last time i tried the acid trombone it was working fine....do i have to intervene in this one?

2:15 AM  
Blogger Jonathan said...

Hey,
Thanks for the mention; it's good to know someone has there eye on the Exeter music scene.
Best Wishes,
Jonathan

11:10 AM  

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