Monthly Archives: May 2012

The Gore

When writing rehearsing and recording with a band there is considerable down time. During this time self indulgent escapist’s pursuits are the main stay to keeping sane. There can be so much adrenaline, elation and ecstasy then suddenly nothing, a void that permeates, a cold sweat, like a hangover in the afternoon.

It is during this time this music was made.

Disbanding into different realms before reconvening for an encore of mass, this is the intervene sound of the down time muse, the pretty one with no direction or goal, abundance of time and only daydreams to mind. These songs happened when all others had gone. They emerged after the dust settled. They evolved in half light. This music set its self free when there was no music asked to come. It arrived unannounced, speckled in bespoke glistening dusk air, enchanting till dawns fragrant soft light breaches, and away again on a whisper till calmer pursuits pertain and sanity settles all around.

These in-between days, sometimes mere hours, moments of clarity, focus, indulgence, what may be, it is these fragments that have brought the most joy. Out of all the work we participated in and under took, all the writing rehearsing and recording, this is the prize. This is the one.

The uninspired muse, day dreaming, lazy bone, twilight zone eyed waif. She was on my shoulder most evenings, in the room continuously, taking control occasionally, winding it down, turning it low, staring slow. Gentle touch, gossamer. Finger prints on surface instructions, suggestions to stop, just stop, not even to listen, stop and be still.

The others have left. The equipment still buzzing, valves cooling crack and gently pop, channels left open hum, effects and pedals recall the day’s work in infinite and distant cosmic spiral waves, the last sounds being sucked from the room off to an eternal resting place just the other side of reality.

The vacuum that seeks out and sucks in the last sounds, retains it along with all the other last sounds. All gathered together in a swirling mass of nothingness, calm still deafeningly quiet. All the last sounds, every single one, from the last shrill you made as a baby, to your first orgasmic belch, to the last record at the slow set on the first nights teenage disco party, the tyres on the road just before the crash, the birds in the morning, specifically the one with the geese not too long ago. Every sound fades out of ear shot and continues on its journey, off to the void, the vacuum of sound just the other side of reality filled with aural moments and memories. Bursting. This room in the evening. This room through the night. Similar perhaps, reminisce of bygone noise.


There is music included here that is superfluous. Pleasant as it may be it is direct and obvious. I am not excusing it; I am including it for such. The quiet moments seem more quiet as a result and one cannot rely on ambient noise for ambience.

The room and the goings on or more specifically the non events are where these pieces of music came. The room was the tool that allowed the music to be created in such a manner. Everything, the dense smell of warmth and life, the prisms’ of light ballet on the overly painted but once ornate architraves. From the old yawning floor boards to the dust particles languishing in sun shafts through the fenêtre, everything counted. The give on soft green leather of Danish 70’s furniture, crisp clank of cottage ware mug of tea on the marble top mantle, crunch of brown weave wicker ring rugs under occasionally sandaled feet, more often than not soles of feet on dry dusty boards, cardigans in the small hours hold extra warmth as they give off gentle fragrance of slow ambered logs from early evening fires. With the calm comes the sounds, you can hear the vegetation outside the window. Stirrings in the distance, possible stirrings in the distance, it is all too far away, there is really just the room.

Chateau. Chateau indeed, not, chateau of dreams perhaps, this is no more than a gate house, hunters lodge perhaps as we are so far off the road. Closer to the lake. Close to deep in the woods. Access is quite straight forward. Small train station not so far away, not dissimilar to Wemyss Bay. Village in walking distance, cycle anywhere else. Inexpensive full bodied local wine, freshly baked baguettes and hummus to sustain till meal time. Good company, pleasant chats, considered pronouncements, witty retorts, rude jokes and the compulsory meanderings and sustained tangents over dinner spilling into desert and smokes. Throw another log on.


The Gore because of the feast of self indulgence. And the lack of any responsibility to anything at all, considered, real or artefact. A blind disregard of everything. Existing. And it was so disregard it was The Gore. We were opulent in our life; we were monarchy and time was our dominion. Bristling with seasonal change, crossing between, soaking it all in, experiencing it all form back out, manifesting into something new, original. This was something that had never existed before, we had never experienced before, and here we were creating it, watching it evolve right in front of us, possibly regardless of us, but it was we who were glimpsing for the first time this sheer feast, and we were more than willing to gore ourselves on every morsel. “We may be the last in the world, but we feel like pioneers.”

When morning would come around again on fresh breeze and bird song bringing tea and toast with it and the night before so long ago and the night ahead to far off to even consider, we would have breakfast. As natural and real. Breakfast would start the day. Out of the yard, poke the reminisce of ambers in the heap and off to the room for some clarity and purpose, education and community, fun and frolics, wank and bollox.

BD 2012


Tags: , , , ,

The Peche – ‘… But Not Tonight’ A Live Review

…But Not Tonight

Strange electronic shifting’s fill the auditorium. We have paid exorbitant prices to witness this. The room is electric. He stands almost perfectly still. He stands almost perfectly still for the entire performance, only occasionally swaying as if his grip on the microphone stand might loosen and he may collapse to and possibly through the floor. Although if he does succumb to the calling of the wall to wall tonight, the dry ice would break his fall, mountains of the stuff tumble from the front of the stage drowning the audience already blind by the orange search lights sweeping gracefully through the slowly twisting and twirling fog.

Aloft four mighty solid towers they are unique forms of continuity in space, they are Greek gods astride their Olympus and this is the sound of their synthesized thunder and this is the sight of dark lighting – as only they can do.

It has been years since this band have been so commanding. This is compelling stuff. They mean business, serious deeds indeed. Gone are the rock ‘n’ roll paraphernalia and cheep fillers of drums and symbols and returned to its rightful place is a tape machine with a steady four to the floor stomping techno beat. This plays at different speeds throughout the evening, indeed it plays for some considerable time before the band take to the stage and join in with it.

We presume that is the band as it is hard to tell through the mist and curtains and screens but as the opening number reveals itself and builds through cleverly charged key changes and twisted filters the charade is dropped bit by bit, curtain by curtain until a beaming band is visible, smiles and blinding lights, they are obviously as happy to be here as us.

This is the seventh show out of thirteen over the course of a year. This is touring twenty first century style. Thirteen venues and a million cinemas throughout the world watching each show live and direct, some even have removed their seats and installed dry ice machines too, not to mention the surround sound and 3-D DM merchandise in the lobbies. Last month’s show Blancmange were the opening act, live on stage in the cinema!! Their first two albums, wow, A#1. All across the globe thousands upon thousands of bands are getting to support Depeche Mode on the one same night in cinemas from Mombasa to Miami, Beirut to Bangladesh. Even the crowd are performing to their best tonight well in the knowledge they too are now big screen stars.

Bright lights fade to violet as an eighty’s sequencer kicks on and rough vocals compressed and effected to genius results echo out through the venue. Another old favourite and again another album track dusted off from the vaults. The screaming synthesizer lead practically out of tune – almost as if it is about to escape out of control off into the stratosphere but only restrained by the masterful fingers of chief song writer Martin L. Gore. The bass is dense and sharp simultaneously, cutting through the music, punching the air. Such a simple refrain looped to mesmerizing results and further filtered by Mr. Andrew Fletcher, continuously drawing attention to yet never distracting from the ‘song’.  The other synth and sampler parts are played by one P. Gordeno, more than session musician; he has been with the live show for more than two decades, but tonight he is barely visible behind all the outboard gear. The four to the floor is not actually from the tape machine but an Arp 2600 which Dave occasionally interferes with before midi reset presets and boom boom boom resume. Sparse lighting and titanic amounts of dry ice make it hard to see anything much but that just leaves more room for dancing; something the ten thousand strong crowd are more than willing to do as this stadium becomes a club where reckless and primordial retro Futurism dancing is our plats principaux for tonight.

After a further three tracks from early eighties albums and just half an hour into proceedings the mood changes slightly with some numbers from Mr. Martin Gore. The first surprise is from debut album ‘Speak and Spell’ and is followed by an old gem off its follow up ‘A Broken Frame’, all played by full band and rounded off with the masterful ‘Pipeline’ from 1983’s ‘Construction Time Again’, a definite highlight of the night. Suddenly it is 1986 and as ‘Black Celebration’ melds into ‘Fly on the Windscreen’ the wall of light at the back of the stage shatters blood red and broken glass with fly corpse and broken beats, never a fresher sound heard by concert goers, never a more crisp blow dealt.

There is a full twenty minutes of mind expanding dirge and psychedelic jamming as ‘The Peche’ treat us to a live Cosmic Blue remix contest. Reminisce of bygone noise, excerpts, samples and twisted vocals from everything and anything can be heard, almost The Beatles ‘Love’ album but Recoil style. Chunks ‘n’ slabs of Uselink, Breathing in Fumes, Head Starter, Easy Tiger, Pain Killer, Slow Blow, Enjoy the Jesus, Question of Silence, Zenstation, Kaleid, I Feel… “Whatever, whatever”, “I don’t care how you feel”, etc, etc, and we do mean ‘etc’… “Now, This is Fun”.

The full abilities of Mr. Gore as a champion blues guitarist are realized and utilized to a staggering degree through tonight’s set. Such personality and warmth reaffirming decade old tunes with resonance and vigour and new life. Hob nail boot on the boards replaced by an Arp stomping techno beat and coloured in shades of blue by wistful electronics with bolder statements like freight trains through wilderness territory, you can hear the rattle and creek as we speed through abandoned mining towns and on occasion through the very shafts themselves as Fletcher’s filters bring background parts to the foreground – guiding, adding momentum and drive to this already runaway thunderous electro blues hurricane.

Suddenly silence. The night must be half way through and everyone could leave now fully content and still not one chart topping single played, long may it last, the familiar and stale has been replaced with a vibrant new freshness and exuberance for forgotten glories. We are reminded; this is what we originally fell in love with. This is the intimate.

Oberkorn fills the interval.

Second half begins with a stage full of drums, floor toms from here to oblivion, they roll over like breath, tide, a coming storm. Drum machines and percussion leads us into a triumphant ‘Mercy in You’ and ‘Higher Love’ and all the while Roadies and Crew bring on more drums, assembling  kits as their shadows converging on the backdrop until finally twenty plus crew are playing along with the four to the floor. Ridiculous. Ridiculously good fun, the crew must love this every night. Nothing.

A full on hedonistic and darkly glorious ‘Shine’ is followed by some sounds from ‘The Universe and a decadent ‘Peace’ full with love and harmony. What others might consider a lull is a personal high light as Martin sings some more of his own songs and lets loose with some exquisite blues guitar playing over some rolling toms, simple liquid electronics and sustained synth pads (one is pleasantly reminded of the deeper moments off ‘Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me’). Dave gets more time off as the energy is turned up again with rousing instrumentals from the first two albums now with Martin in full Glam mode wielding his axe where once there was only a finger on a key, a single finger on a single lonely key. GG Marty, I Didn’t Know I Loved You Till I Saw You Rock ‘n’ Roll. Applause, applause, applause.

When a Lazarus like Dave does re-emerges for the final half hour he stands centre stage like a colossal omitting a search light into space searching for that once exhausting stadium sized vaudeville gimmick of a front man with all the moves of all the rock gods amalgamated into one gyrating amphetamine muppet in an overly rehearsed pantomime, but no, he stands still – asserting more energy than Jagger, Morrison, GaGa or Hewson combined and he shrills an immaculate rendition of Clean, all is forgiven, we are newborn, for the first time.

Encores fill the rest of the night.

BD 2012



Tags: , , , , ,