Monday, August 03, 2009

Diamond Family Archive and Kathryn Edwards

Sunday 2nd August, Hourglass cellar, Exeter
A Birds, Orphans and Fools event with Laurence Collyer a.k.a Diamond Family Archive and Kathryn Edwards.

This was the first BO&F happening I've been to. Several Droners improvised to a Maya Deren film (quite successfully, by all accounts) at the last one, but I wasn't around for that. This wasn't quite so experimental - the BO&F's spun weird vinyl and we got (fairly short) sets from Laurence and Kathryn. We also got a free CD of obscure vinyl selections (the only artist I'd heard of was Principal Edwards Magic Theatre, it's that obscure). Unfortunately only about half a dozen people turned up (apart from the musicians and the few friends they came with). Locally-based circuit-bending guru Ben Goldstone was acting as their technician (plugging things into the right sockets, for a change, as he pointed out!) so we had a bit of a chat about his latest projects. He's working out of an "incubator space" on The Phoenix premises, making lots of new stuff. Recent performances as George Lazenbleep have seen him playing a circuit-bent Gameboy via a Singer sewing machine interface!

Birds Orphans and Fools poster 02/08/09

I'd checked out Diamond Family Archive's Myspace profile, really liked the stuff I heard (elegiac songs, and pleasantly weird layered drones and noodling). Laurence usually has live back-up, but the person who was meant to be playing with him that evening couldn't get time off work, so we got him playing mostly sparse modal bluesy stuff on an acoustic guitar through a rack of effects (something that could have been based on Son House's "Death Letter Blues", something by Ray Charles about angels and death(?), "Black is the Colour" and some originals). He played a bit of harmonium, sung directly into the harmonium, while a couple of detuned radios and a mini Casio keyboard with a lead weight pressing down on one of the keys burbled and droned, respectively. Running out of ideas at the end, he asked (semi-jokingly) for requests. A couple of his friends (semi-jokingly) requested some Abba. I think he might have played some, too, if I hadn't quickly remembered and called out the name of the first (and loveliest) song of his which I heard, "Love in Vain". He played that instead, although a very different arrangement.

Kathryn Edwards was understandably disappointed to have driven four hours down from Manchester to play to almost no one. So everyone gave her their fullest attention. Beautiful voice, quite interesting songwriting. Something was subtly lacking for me, but she mentioned that she usually plays with a cellist - I could imagine that working very well.


Anonymous Dr Hulda Clark said...

Music is an enjoyable entertainment. It changes mood sadness into happiness.

8:03 PM  

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