All you really have to know is, Swans turned up, and played the hell out of their brilliant new LP, to the point of creating something in that room that was – especially these days, rare as Ichor.
I think our inspiration comes from completely random things, like a broken traffic light, or some drums from Burundi, or a crying yoga teacher lying naked on the floor. There’s no logic to it.
...the overnight drive with a friend from Hamburg to Frankfurt to connect with a 7am flight and in work in Oldham by mid-morning still ranks fairly high on my personal list of things I actually can't believe I got away with.
It is not the ideal time for a half drunk Incendiary member to stumble into the dressing room and interrupt your ironing but this was exactly the situation that Cody Chesnutt and I found ourselves in. He was armed with an iron and a half de-creased red cardigan. I was armed with a memo recorder and a brain that was beginning to lose its faculties
The olive oil, the holy water, the milk in the goat’s horn are all part of a ritual to protect me and the musicians on stage from going insane, some of sort of African voodoo I don’t believe in.
It feels as if it’s being informed on another level at times, and that gives this recording a sort of unique space, one you can get sucked into.
When the opening rush has been beaten off so to speak, and things settle down, we can get to grips with what is a very good LP.
There are plenty of dreamscapes, like Endless Shore and Is That What You Said, tracks that just need some freak to drop ink onto a stretch condom to make everything just so
Simple stuff it may be, but sometimes adding just a little bit extra significantly increases the value of the whole.
Dedicating a track to Pussy Riot and pushing the audience on, the gig, band and audience eventually dissolved in a sort of ur-Adventist piss up. Mission accomplished.
What we couldn’t handle was the end, where the previously polite and sedate chair donned a rubber face mask: one which was a queasy mix of the features of Silvio Berlusconi and 70’s snooker ace Ray Reardon.
Rather than some sort of placid, peer-induced demonstration record showcasing all the sounds they listen to, Cokefloat is, in fact, just like old alternative rock records used to be, especially those from the Blast First scene.
So old and new, continuity and change, standstill and motion. Minny Pops are still the same intriguing bag of contradictions. They play their last live gig at the Quietus / Lexington bash in London on 26th November. Don’t miss it.
A lot of the songs are wrapped in a mist with only the odd marsh light to prick your attention, even though it’s easily the most uncomplicated of his records that I’ve heard in terms of sound.
Living here as I do I find it an incredibly evocative take on both the landscape and the “binnengevoel” that life in NL engenders; it’s that bit removed, a little bit shrink-wrapped, and hermetically sealed.
It’s a quiet release overall, pretty meditative but with some beautiful tracks, which conjure up those bleak moorlands and soft valleys round Burnley and Clitheroe to a tee. It’s supremely trippy too, how could it not be?
The spindly sound makes everything come across a bit world weary, a bit Syd Barrett, that sort of maisonette, down-at-heel urban blues, which if handled well (as it is here) can be really affecting music.
the band’s sound is essentially lackadaisical, it’s their “thing”, their core… and as long as you can live with that, you will find that the tracks are charming enough in their own way.
If you know the work of Harry Merry - or John Shuttleworth - then you will come prepared to the world of Clockwork Orchestra.
So imagine, Gene Wilder singing about guinea pigs over a trippy backdrop. If you can live with that then yes, this is for you.