On Wednesday I had the rare privilege of playing live at Cafe Oto with the amazingly talented Robyn. She is a gifted trumpet player and had a whole night of acts at Cafe Oto. I’ve been there many times and seen some amazing artists, so to play there myself was incredible.
It was a really great night too. Robyn was, of course, amazing. My small part was to bring some improvised electronics in the form of a couple of Bastl Instruments Kastle synths. To be precise a 1.0 and a new 1.5 Kastle. These little synths are amazing and incredibly versatile. There’s so much you can do with them.
Hopefully I’ll be able to get some of the footage and sound from the gig. When I do, I’ll be sharing that.
On Wednesday I was lucky enough to get a ticket to a completely unique event at the building site that was BBC Television Centre. Resonance FM were running an evening of live broadcast from the east tower, which is due to be demolished in a month or so.
I found it to intriguing to not grab a ticket and go along. But I didn’t exactly know what to expect. At best I’d say that I’m an occasional listener to Resonance. I enjoy it when I do listen, but I couldn’t give you a clear idea of what their schedules look like. So it was a real adventure from every perspective.
Getting there was quite easy although the entrance wasn’t entirely obvious even though Resonance had given excellent directions. Once in we had to walk through the site and up in a very slow lift to the 9th floor.
The broadcast began at 6:30 with “The World in London”, which was extremely enjoyable and I learnt a lot about the Notting Hill Carnival. It featured live music by veteran Calypsonian Alexander D Great and steel pan virtuoso Debra Romain. Following that was a live performances by Howlround: a new musique concrète commission of Robin The Fog, using sounds recorded exclusively in TV Centre. Then Encounter with John Escolme, exploring the modernist design of TV Centre with contributions from architect Arthur Hayes and tv producer Emma Cashmore. Then the Resonance Radio Orchestra with Dudley Sutton, presenting a site-specific radiophonic extravaganza featuring the cult TV actor, and that was completely amazing.
I hadn’t really appreciated just how much of an emotional resonance the site would have for me before I got there, but the experience was actually very profound, very moving for a lot of reasons that I haven’t entirely thought through as yet, but I will.
Anyway, I wanted to share the pictures and a few thoughts too. It was a special evening.
They were one of the best funk type bands I’ve seen in years. A great 10 piece who played faultlessly for a couple of hours. I was really impressed with them. Sadly there were only 30 people in the audience, which was just crazy in my view.
I’ve seen Spiro before but never Three Cane Whale, and of the two, Three Cane Whale were by far the more interesting. I’d never heard them before, but they had a much richer sonic texture than Spiro. I’ve seen Spiro before and they’re fun, but I do come away with a sense that a lot of their material sounds a little the same. It’s not entirely true, but if you’ve heard them a few times you’ll know what I mean.
Three Cane Whale were quite different. They were a joy to listen to and I’ve since been listening to their stuff on Spotify and really enjoying that too. I think I’m more likely to see Three Cane Whale again rather than Spiro, not that there’s anything wrong with them. Just not my thing anymore I guess.
Wow, this was a great gig. It was awesome to see OMD at the Royal Albert Hall. The last time I saw them was at the Roundhouse and they were amazing, and this gig was no disappointment.
Dazzle Ships has always been one of my favourite albums of theirs. I liked that it was an eclectic mix of experimental and pop music, so when they announced that they were going to play this and Architecture and Morality I knew I had to go.
It wasn’t the cheapest of gigs, but it was worth it. The sound was amazing, the energy was amazing and they played almost everything I wanted to hear.
Generally speaking I’m not a big fan of massive venues, but you’re not going to get to see a band like ELO at a small venue, so this was really the only option. Having said that it was a great gig with some great songs, and of course, the light show was pretty spectacular.