So yeah, I may have missed last week. Sorry about that. In my defense you only enter a new decade every so often and I decided to take the week off to focus on me. Selfish, like. I even made a big deal about releasing a new EP because, you know, my week my rules. It’s good. You should listen to it. Conveniently you can do so by clicking this here text because modern science is wonderful. Anyways, as part of my celebration of myself I loosened the purse-strings ever so little to buy a couple of albums; one of which, All That Glitters Is a Mares Nest by Cardiacs has been on constant repeat for the past 2 weeks. Unfortunately, due to my willingness to keep this blog varied, I think yet another post about how utterly incendiary and unique Cardiacs are would read rather bland. So to bend the rules a little, I thought I’d add 6 other completely arbitrary but awesome nonetheless live performances that you need to drop everything to watch RIGHT NOW! Don’t expect nuance, that’ll come next week.
1. Cardiacs – All That Glitters Is a Mares Nest (full concert)
I’m a fanboy. Cardiacs are the best band ever. But this live performance is utterly insane in how tight and energetic the group are. Considering this was the last time they’d play together in such forces (with Saxophone, Keys and Percussion all leaving after the gig), that’s no mean feat. It helps, of course, that each song is played at a 50% faster tempo. It breaks the brain quite wonderfully. Put an hour aside and imbibe it.
Acoustic music is over-rated. It’s all about the mid-nineties pre-millenial angst. You don’t now Bowie unless you’ve seen the man dance like a drunk uncle over the gyrating industrial beats and atonal noise guitar. Plus he swears. That’s worth points, right?
More industrial noiseniks. This list is going to be heavy, you better make peace with the fact. It’s fascinating seeing Trent channel his inner Mike Garson. It’s fascinating seeing NIN looking only 25% metal. It’s incredible the sound coming out of 4 individuals. Just stand me there and watch me melt.
4. Kate Bush – The Wedding List (Princes Trust Concert 1982)
Not much live footage exists of Kate. It adds to her mystique. It makes her the ultimate legend. But hang about, what’s that I spy? Phil Collins? Pete Townsend?? Midge Ure?! Nothing else ever need be said about anything, because this exists.
When I was 16 and stuck with dial-up internet that I could only use for an hour after 6 o’clock, this was my go to video. It’d take forever to load, but when it did it was like a bath of iron filings; grating and cold but strangely satisfying. The two times I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Tomahawk were up there with the best of them.
The beauty of Bluegrass is that nothing, NOTHING will compare to the insane talent and musicianship of those that can play it. It forces life out of you and commands you to defy it. It’s just a shame that so many do, because this song and especially this performance are far heavier than Bullet For My Valentine could ever be. Putting Speed Metal to shame.
7. Kaizers Orchestra – Øyafestivalen (11.08.2011)
How have I never spoken about Kaizers Orchestra? This seems a travesty beyond measure for they are yet another band who prove that Scandinavia gets all the good stuff. This whole concert is worth a listen, the musicianship, song-craft and staging are honed to perfection. They’re like a disease, they get under you and don’t let go. Yet they broke up which means we must survive on these scraps while they last; tokens of a past gone. What a past to miss.
So that’s my completely subjective list. There’s many I’ve forgotten and many greater performances yet to happen. If you want to know I’m like live then click this here text.