Aesthetic Perfection – Electrowerkz

So, Alt-Fest got cancelled. Rather gutted about that. I was looking forward to a weekend seeing some favourite bands and also discovering new music and bands along the way. I guess a number of bands had already organised travel to the UK as a (much) smaller festival turned up at Electrowerkz in Angel.

The SOS Festival played over this weekend and many of the bands who were booked to appear at Alt-Fest played here instead. One of my favourite bands played on Sunday 17 August and I travelled there to see them. I also took my niece as I was going to take her to Alt Fest for her birthday.

Here’s the timings sheet from the front door of the entrance. It’s blurry because I took it in a hurry.

Eelctrowerkz Play List

This bothered me slightly! The last train home was at 23:43 from St Pancras, just over a mile from the venue. It wouldn’t be worth it to leave early, or to get the tube, the quickest method to get to the mainline would be to run. We decided that was what we would do.

Jared Louch and Mark Plastic were good fun. Mark Plastic was a guitarist and he played along to a backing track while Jared Louch sang. The songs were reasonable but it was the segways what were great. Jared Louch was an older man of rock and didn’t care. He was funny.

Jared Louch and Mark Plastic

Next up were Global Citizen. As a band they were good but the music didn’t do a great deal for me. There were two keyboardists, a drummer and the singer. The structure of the songs didn’t really have any bass lines. The bass sounds were created using a chord progression on the keyboards with a choral sound. It just didn’t work for me.

Global Citizen

XP8 were playing their last ever gig. This is a shame as they were really good. According to Wikipedia they are from Rome, which surprised me somewhat as they sounded perfectly English, but then, what do I know? There songs had pumping bass lines and a good fast and hard dance beat over the top. They had a video show in the background to which I didn’t really pay attention. Their songs were interesting, well structured and both of them seemed to be having a really good time. A minor thing is that the not-singer seemed to look a lot like Greg Wallace from Masterchef and this was a little off-putting, although more my problem than his. I’m not sure what they are going to do now, but I was pretty impressed with their set. They did over-run by about 20 minutes!

XP8

XP8

Finally Aesthetic Perfection were on. This was causing me slight problems as they were due to do a seventy minute set and they were late. I didn’t want to miss any AP but then again, I didn’t want to spend the night in St Pancras station waiting for the first train home [I’d done that plenty as a teenager].

Aesthetic Perfection were excellent. All of their songs were good and they had great energy. I do have a problem with their live sound. This is the second time I have seen them and some of the best bits of their songs are the high pitched “twiddly” bits. When playing live these seem incredibly quiet in the mix. A lot of the timings in the songs come from these sections and I feel that something is a little lacking. This *could* be my problem, maybe my ears are too old, but my niece also couldn’t really hear those bits. She had a great time, and even got to hold the singer’s hand.

Aesthetic PerfectionThere was slight confusion on stage as they played a song and then announced that it was their last one. I’m pretty sure the club has a curfew and so the band had to finish. I was starting to get worried that we wouldn’t see all of the AP set. They had about ten minutes before we had to leave. AP left the stage, we called for an encore and then they played two more songs.

Aesthetic Perfection

After the last song, which conveniently was “Spit It Out”, I say conveniently because I think it’s their standard set finisher, my niece and I ran out the door, down the steps and then the mile and a bit to St Pancras station. We got there with just enough time to buy a bottle of water and get on the train before we departed.

Here’s how far we moved over the entire day:

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D.O.A. – Throbbing Gristle

The full title of this album is:

D.O.A. The Third and Final Report of Throbbing Gristle

This is seminal. When you take the members of Throbbing Gristle and look into their backgrounds and previous work you start to understand where they were coming from. In 1976 COUM Transmissions were doing this sort of crazy stuff. And modern day artists like to think that they are pushing the boundaries. I guess they are, but I can’t help thinking that it’s all been done before.

So, Throbbing Gristle, they made “music” to challenge pre-conceptions and to see how far they could take it. You might not like listening to it, but your life will be enriched for doing so (unlike a 1D album). You have to remember when this was made. 1978. The technology they were using was ground-breaking and their sound was something special. To understand the origins of modern industrial music you HAVE to include TG.

Favourite tracks include:

  • I.B.M.
  • Hit By A Rock
  • Dead On Arrival
  • Hamburger Lady (one of the most disturbing songs I have ever heard)
  • AB/7A
  • Blood On The Floor

Listen, appreciate, take some paracetamol (you’ll need it).

Big Sexyland – Revolting Cocks

The continuance of the transformation started by such electronica bands as Throbbing Gristle. The Revolting Cocks took samples and an industrial sound a little further and produced an album of lovely political songs that challenge perceptions of music.

Personal highlights:

  • 38
  • Union Carbide
  • No Devotion

This band led into Ministry, Nine Inch Nails and todays shouty metal. It’s very good.