karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (Fog)
Got out of work on time to catch the 5:15 train and made it to the Underworld at just before 6:30 where there was a queue but no open doors. [livejournal.com profile] civi was there and later [livejournal.com profile] fractalgeek so at least I had a few people to talk to while we were waiting in the freezing cold. Around 7 they told us there had been problems during soundcheck. Another 10 minutes or so later and the doors finally opened. I'd also found a random bloke who needed a ticket so my spare wasn't wasted.

First on the bill were Pettybone, a rather retro, all female hardcore/punk band who didn't do much for me but they had a good energy/vibe on stage.

Then, Bitter Ruin, the "musical sorbet of the evening". I've been talking about them repeatedly so just listen to their music if you haven't heard them. They played a great set of favourites, keeping the new songs secret, dammit (especially as I can't make the 15th).

Next up, back to loud and fast music in the shape of Bo Ningen from Japan. The best I can describe it is "psychedelic wall of noise" or "Merzbow with guitars". They also had a lot of hair. ;o) The more and longer they played, the more I warmed to them and I really enjoyed their set. Here's an interesting bit about them from the Guardian.

And finally, the main event, Gentlemen & Assassins, consisting of (at least this instance) Sxip Shirey (mad beatboxer and improv percussion monkey from NYC), Brian Viglione (best known as drummer and other half of the Dresden Dolls) and Elyas Khan (who I knew very little of/about and who sang, played guitar and a sequencer thing).
It's hard to describe, really, as there was a lot of improvisation and mix of styles but they played a couple of tracks from Sxip's latest album and other things and it was fantastic and a lot of fun. Sxip is a mad genius who uses his voice(?) to make noises and occasionally to sing, all kinds of bells and whistles (incl. the Sxipenspiel made by Neil Gaiman and AFP) and various actual and improvised percussion instruments. Brian is a beast on the drums (but unfortunately was sitting in the back in red light and usually covered by Sxip). Elyas sings in an Arabic/Middle Eastern style and plays guitar. The combination is just wonderful.

I'd taken the camera along because I knew The Underworld aren't usually arses about it but the light is still awful and was mostly red. I don't think I'll post any of Bitter Ruin's because they had only red light. Also, due to the distance (I was on the main level in the back) a lot of them were blurry. :o( A few samples:

  
 

Bigger )


They finished early and I made the 23:15 train to Cambridge.
karohemd: by sogoth.livejournal.com (Music)
The Carolina Chocolate Drops have released an EP containing four tracks on which they collaborated with Sxip Shirey and the Luminescent Orchestrii to create a wonderful crossover of the Drops' take on old time/mountain music, the Luminiscent Orchestrii's whacky percussion and brass based gubbins and Sxip's beatboxing.
I haven't heard anything that grooved so much since I saw Son of Dave live last year.

You can get the EP as an MP3 download on amazon or physical CD or if you really want, on itunes.
Four tracks for three quid sounds like a lot but trust me, it's worth it.

The original version of Hit 'Em Up Style is my favourite Drops song anyway but the rework on this EP just makes it a work of genius.
karohemd: by sogoth.livejournal.com (Music)
or anyone in the vicinity or who's there for the Fringe atm:

The awesome Sxip Shirey will be playing at the Forest Cafe this Thursday, 10pm, free entry.

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