Monday, 17 December 2012

On the Road to Apocalypse

With the imminent end of the world as we know it nigh, there seemed no better time to hit the road and get as much rock action as possible. From the day the Dirty Three illuminated Manchester cathedral with vibrations infinitely better than the religion that tried to blind John Lydon, until a mere five day countdown to the Mayan poleshift I visited five cities and one south coast holiday camp and witnessed 109 performances from 93 bands. Now it's December 17th and they're all gone dead, except when you read this it probably won't be December 17th anymore and they will have all been resurrected by mad St John on a bad ergot trip to rock the world again in 2013

For those who rocked the nation, I salute you!

Zun Zun Egui, The Dirty Three
Medecine Bow, Hopper Propelled Electric, Bones Shake
Rife, Gaunt, Wode, Sump
Battery Face, Bratan, Queer'd Science, One Man Dance Party
unremarkable Preston band with silly horror masks, The Fall

Nephu Huzzband, Kogumaza, Uzeda (Nottingham)

Former Utopia, Uzeda, Bottomless Pit (London)

Arnold of Zea/The Ex with Xavier Charles, Jackdaw with Crowbar, Terrie Ex/Andy Moor/Mats Gustaffson two guitar and sax trio, Ken Vandermark solo, The Ex (London Cafe Oto, best atmosphere at any gig ever)

Shellac, Helen Money, Myownflag, Stnnng! , Oxbow, Uzeda, Scrawl, Turing Machine, Mono, Prinzhorn Dance School (Camber Sands)

The Cravats, Three Second Kiss, Kash (3 songs), Buke and Gase, Bottomless Pit, Arcwelder, Red Fang, Wire, Melt Banana, Kim Deal, Shannon Wright, Neurosis, KK Null solo, Zeni Geva (Camber Sands)

Rachel Grimes, Nina Nastasia, Bear Claw, The Membranes, Pinebender, Alix, Future of the Left (2 songs), Gay Witch Abortion (2 songs), Mission of Burma, Dead Rider, The Ex and Brass Unbound, Love in Elevator, Shellac (Camber Sands)

Cursor Minor, Future of the Left, Mission of Burma (Bristol)

Broken Arm, Bilge Pump, Mission of Burma (Leeds)

Joe Volk, Boris (Manchester)                    

Mission of Burma, including soundcheck with a cover of Pink Floyd's "Astronomy Domine" which didn't feature in the set, and a support band whose name I have forgotten in London

Hammers, Doctrines, Dauntless Elite, Throwing Stuff, Pure Graft, Arteries, Calvin Ball
The Dickies, The Damned
Applecore Electronic, Bratan   (eleven bands at three gigs in one day in Manchester)

Paper Town, Epic Problem, Subhumans

Micheal Newman (cello) and Paul Wheatley (double bass) performing "Sonata a Deux" by Jean Barriere and "Throughout" by Bill Frisell at the RNCM
Percussion duo Delia Stevens and Le Yu performing "Plato's Cave" by Casey Cangelosi and "Blue Motion" by Stephen Whibley at the RNCM

and later that day:
The Borealis Saxophone Quartet and an eleven piece string ensemble performing "Borealis (Into the Blue)" by Lucy Pankhurst and "Plan B" by Graham Fitkin

And later still that same day:
Wode, The Art of Burning Water and another great metalcore band

Then I returned to Bristol to see
Joe Volk and Boris again
Lost Cherees, Subhumans and another anarchopunk duo whose name I forgot

Then things got experimental at Dulcimer with a quartet of Semay Wu, Richard Harris, Dave Birchall and Kelly Jones, followed by Richard Scott and then Konk Pack

Die Hexen and Hammers in a comic shop

Yossarians, Paddy Steer, N. Racker at Shebeen festival

More statistics

I saw Mission of Burma 4 times (plus a soundcheck) and Uzeda 3 times.

I saw all of these bands twice:

The Ex
Joe Volk
Bottomless Pit

I visited these towns:

London (twice)
Camber Sands
Bristol (twice)

If I rewind back to 16/6 and make it a month (31 days) I can also include perfromances from Aki Onda, Supersilent with John Paul Jones, Sir Richard Bishop and Swans taking the total to 113 by 97 different bands, plus one soundcheck.

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