Tag Archives: Basil Kirchin

Seth Rozanoff, City Hall, 13th May 2015

I haven’t listened to it for some time, late seventies probably, but I have, hidden away somewhere, a vinyl album by Basil Kirchin entitled  ‘Worlds Within Worlds’.
One piece, that my visiting friends found particularly harrowing, involved two ‘half speed gorillas’ from one speaker while a crowd of children from a ‘Swiss School for the Autistic’ could be heard singing in the other (it was particularly effective on headphones) and that’s what sprang to mind a few times during tonights performance.
Expecting to see guitar and electronics (I was thinking, perhaps even hoping for , something along the lines of Fripp & Eno), we were quickly advised by tonights host, John Cavanagh, that French guitarist Olivier Jambois was unable to attend and, therefore, the arising void onstage would be filled by a percussionist  whose name I’m afraid I didn’t catch but whose hairstyle, however, should certainly deserve separate billing on any future flyers.
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Violin bows, cymbals, woodblock, tambourine  and a large tomtom were all deployed at some point in this tour de force of ‘assault and batterie’ (it’s the way I tell’em) He was a complete dervish, and perhaps, who knows, the bastard grandson of Jamie Muir? This was in complete contrast to Seth, who sat silent, and motionless, at his Apple. It was clearly all too much for a table of Japanese backpackers who had plumped themselves down at a front row table, long before ‘showtime’. Ten minutes into the unnamed first piece, they beat a hasty retreat straight to, and quickly straight through, the back door never to be seen again.20150513_201734

Twenty minutes later, this quite fascinating item shuddered  to its climax. The interval arrived and the stage was then immediately cleared of the subsequent percussion detritus, leaving only the Apple Mac for Part II.
My heart always sinks a little when I enter a venue and see that wee white apple glowing in the gloom. It’s never quite clear to me, the extent of what the operator is actually contributing to the performance, (I may well have covered this already elsewhere!).
Let us all go out and demand that all such shows in future have a back projection of the monitor screen, in order that the curious punter can bear witness to the talent  in action. For all I know, Seth, during the second half ,was just playing a  big pre-recorded WAV file while sneakily outbidding me on that snazzy pair of boots I’d ‘favourited’ on eBay earlier that afternoon.
Back to the show and the second half. This is a more structured piece, a pleasing use of the stereo soundstage, with what was quite clearly samples of Jambois’ strings being scraped, stretched, plucked and generally distressed. I am immediately reminded, in a good way, of Fred Frith and some wee rhythmic snippets of this unnamed tune are also reminiscent, to these ears, of those catchier bits from Revolution #9
Seth is clearly getting into the zone (either that or he’s being repeatedly outbid) as he now grimaces repeatedly, a look that’s not dissimilar to those many pub guitarists, we’ve all seen, trying to channel their Inner-Clapton.
Looking around the predominately male/bald audience I notice that apart from myself only one other audient doesn’t have their eyes closed.

For the Kirchin curious reader….

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x328QJ9oKyk

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Celtronika, Old Fruitmarket,29th Jan, Acts8-14

Celtronika, Old Fruitmarket,29th Jan, Acts8-14

Wednesday, 03 August 2011

My designated driver, Shields, & I take a Soda and a 5am Saint onboard, respectively, while in Blackfriars, before waltzing around the corner to join what is a very short queue indeed. Again, I wonder aloud whether Celtic Connections is spreading itself too thinly. In no time at all, we are allowed into the venue. This time the perma-changing hall is laid out with tables and chairs and the bar stays open throughout.

We plunk ourselves down at the front of the stage, dead centre and congratulate ourselves for getting such a good vantage point.

While the sound system tinkles out Delia Derbyshire-like sounds and roadies tinker around with whatever, I ask a security man what time the event might finish before bursting out laughing when he tells me that the last act is due on stage at 03:00…. some eight hours away!

Wearing a suit that gives this the viewer the impression that it may have been Weetabix no so long ago, Vic Galloway comes on and introduces the first of the acts…………………

This looked promising. What I hoped would be The Bluebell Polka meets Sooty’s Cyber Abbatoir crashed even before it took off. With only a ten minute slot to woo us with, the unnamed band’s ageing computers took the huff and had to go through an involved reboot that must have lasted for half their time. Featuring Lau’s Martin Green, his droll patter during the technical brown spots was just as good, if not better, as the finally emerging music.

This looked promising. What I hoped would be The Bluebell Polka meets Sooty’s Cyber Abbatoir crashed even before it took off. With only a ten minute slot to woo us with, the unnamed band’s ageing computers took the huff and had to go through an involved reboot that must have lasted for half their time. Featuring Lau’s Martin Green, his droll patter during the technical brown spots was just as good, if not better, as the finally emerging music.

My nemesis Sushil K Dade (rivalled only by the seemingly equally talentless Duglas) marshalled his Future Pilot Indian Pop Art Orkestra on to the stage.A ramshackle crew wearing red and black in what we can only presume is a homage to Ralf ‘n’ Flo. It’s a small price to have to pay, I suppose, to endure this vanity project in order to witness the other lurking gems (and, to be fair and give him some credit, he was responsible for the very enjoyable Sly & Robbie Burns Night in the same venue a while back). However I just don’t get him. On paper, I should, but it always seems slapdash and under-rehearsed. I am honestly shocked when MC Vic announces that Dade’s next album will involve contributions from Eno & Robert Wyatt. Hmmm!

My nemesis Sushil K Dade (rivalled only by the seemingly equally talentless Duglas) marshalled his Future Pilot Indian Pop Art Orkestra on to the stage.A ramshackle crew wearing red and black in what we can only presume is a homage to Ralf ‘n’ Flo.
It’s a small price to have to pay, I suppose, to endure this vanity project in order to witness the other lurking gems (and, to be fair and give him some credit, he was responsible for the very enjoyable Sly & Robbie Burns Night in the same venue a while back). However I just don’t get him. On paper, I should, but it always seems slapdash and under-rehearsed. I am honestly shocked when MC Vic announces that Dade’s next album will involve contributions from Eno & Robert Wyatt. Hmmm!

You can seldom go wrong with two drummers, as fans of King Crimson and The Glitter band will testify. So it was no surprise that The Hidden Orchestra, with a brace of beaters, and a guesting Fraser Fifield upped the ante during a short but memorable set.<br /><br />
So good that I bought the album next day.

You can seldom go wrong with two drummers, as fans of King Crimson and The Glitter band will testify. So it was no surprise that The Hidden Orchestra, with a brace of beaters, and a guesting Fraser Fifield upped the ante during a short but memorable set.

So good that I bought the album next day.

Just prior to Craig Armstrong, and when the Pastels DJ set was showing everyone how it should be done by playing loud slabs of Kraftwerk,  I found my mind wandering. To my great surprise, I was snapped out of this on discovering that Davros had put his name down for the interval karaoke and actually does quite a mean Maria Carey (with the appropriate Melisma).

Just prior to Craig Armstrong, and when the Pastels DJ set was showing everyone how it should be done by playing loud slabs of Kraftwerk,  I found my mind wandering. To my great surprise, I was snapped out of this on discovering that Davros had put his name down for the interval karaoke and actually does quite a mean Maria Carey (with the appropriate Melisma).

Craig Armstrong, One Morning<br /><br />
Wow! I thought Craig might walk on to a lone piano, but no, two double basses, four cellos, a laptopper and female singer all accompanied him, while a video of dawn slowly revealing a lone CCTV car park camera and an island (Arran?) played out on a screen behind them. It was gorgeous and on more than one occasion had me thinking fondly of Gorecki&rsquo;s Third Symphony.The performance was ruined completely by a shower of noisy bastards at the bar. Realised I must have been getting visibly angry when a stranger at my table told me just to ignore them.

Craig Armstrong, One Morning

Wow! I thought Craig might walk on to a lone piano, but no, two double basses, four cellos, a laptopper and female singer all accompanied him, while a video of dawn slowly revealing a lone CCTV car park camera and an island (Arran?) played out on a screen behind them. It was gorgeous and on more than one occasion had me thinking fondly of Gorecki’s Third Symphony.The performance was ruined completely by a shower of noisy bastards at the bar. Realised I must have been getting visibly angry when a stranger at my table told me just to ignore them.

When I hear the term &lsquo;electronica&rsquo;, I think of perhaps Basil Kirchin, Brian Eno, Neu, Harmonia etc. Having had a ring side seat since the start of the evening, I am suddenly surrounded by a crowd of noisy drunken teuchters here to bear witness to Skye&rsquo;s Niteworks. They&rsquo;re shite, the sort of drivel you hear from pre-pubescent neds upstairs on a late night bus heading to Drumchapel or from an iffy software stall at the Barras. The ensuing crowd invasion (the same bastards that chattered and guffawed all through One Morning) of what I had considered my little fiefdom is led by none other than the teflon headed Calum from the Wobble gig. God this bloke is a Grade -A Wanker.<br /><br />
Everyone, except me, seems to be having a good time. I suspect they&rsquo;re probably relieved at having a night off from tending their livestock but by the smell they can&rsquo;t be too far off either.

When I hear the term ‘electronica’, I think of perhaps Basil Kirchin, Brian Eno, Neu, Harmonia etc. Having had a ring side seat since the start of the evening, I am suddenly surrounded by a crowd of noisy drunken teuchters here to bear witness to Skye’s Niteworks. They’re shite, the sort of drivel you hear from pre-pubescent neds upstairs on a late night bus heading to Drumchapel or from an iffy software stall at the Barras. The ensuing crowd invasion (the same bastards that chattered and guffawed all through One Morning) of what I had considered my little fiefdom is led by none other than the teflon headed Calum from the Wobble gig. God this bloke is a Grade -A Wanker.

Everyone, except me, seems to be having a good time. I suspect they’re probably relieved at having a night off from tending their livestock but by the smell they can’t be too far off either.

Chemikal Underground&rsquo;s latest darlings, Found, perpetually championed by Vic Galloway, were in a word tedious.

Chemikal Underground’s latest darlings, Found, perpetually championed by Vic Galloway, were in a word tedious.
The night was drawing on and we were beginning to wilt ever so slightly!Catriona McKay and Alistair MacDonald’s Strange Rainbow were the final act that we witnessed. At around two a.m., Catriona started making soundscapes on the harp with what was either a Pifco Cocktail Stirrer, her vibrator or an e-bow (it was dark!). All this was being sampled, processed and regurgitated via MacDonalds Mac, in a similar fashion to Leafcutter John&rsquo;s role in Polar Bear. I actually quite enjoyed this.<br /><br />
 Adios Celtronika, a good idea on paper but didn&rsquo;t quite gel for me, thanks

The night was drawing on and we were beginning to wilt ever so slightly!
Catriona McKay and Alistair MacDonald’s Strange Rainbow were the final act that we witnessed. At around two a.m., Catriona started making soundscapes on the harp with what was either a Pifco Cocktail Stirrer, her vibrator or an e-bow (it was dark!). All this was being sampled, processed and regurgitated via MacDonalds Mac, in a similar fashion to Leafcutter John’s role in Polar Bear. I actually quite enjoyed this.

Adios Celtronika, a good idea on paper but didn’t quite gel for me, thanks