Monday, 12 October 2009

Broadcast/The Caretaker/Thomas Ankersmit - The Vortex 11/10/09

The second of the Wire magazine's Into the Vortex nights started with Thomas Ankersmit who I've never heard of before. His set went like this: manic screeching and steam sounds like trains braking hard on their rails, then calm and high, then drone with sax and drool. Having a mental breakdown. It was great. There was a seriously long line of drool from his sax mouthpiece almost down to the floor from all the circular breathing he was doing. Drone sax. Very nice.

The Caretaker hid himself away in the corner - rather effectively considering the size of his hairstyle, a large frizzy bulb - and hit play on his laptop. I don't know if he did anything else but then I don't know what else he could be expected to do with his music. Last time I saw him play was as V/VM where he had a discman which he just played along to with an inflatable guitar and a rubber chicken mask over his head. I guess that kind of performance would jar a little with the nature of The Caretaker material, but he still managed to fit in a cheeky pisstake, allowing his languorous set to stretch out to what seemed like an ending already overdue and leaving just enough pause before starting a whole other section. Much of the room sighed, some laughed, including myself, but really it's music that requires a lengthy listen, so in that respect this was one thing he could affect live. I like The Caretaker's stuff and I understand the concept behind it but it's better suited to solo listening, at night, at home, the exact opposite of this packed out daytime jazzbar. Still, it was as enjoyable as could be expected I suppose.

Broadcast were supposed to be on some hot shit new direction and playing along to a film so I thought hey I'll give them a chance seeing as I haven't listened to them for a decade so I did, I gave them a chance and I watched the whole set, the video was uninspired, dull and hackneyed and the music really suited it. At its best it was inoffensive, at its worst, twee.

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