Sunday, 22 November 2009

Pretty Successful Broadcasting

Based on the above image, it's clearly time to experiment with the flash settings (and practice taking decent photos) on the tidy new camera, but at least it came out. Greyscale looks better than the original, hence my rudimentary Photoshop messing.

To The Enterprise in Camden, then for Flashforward, (see what he did there? No website, though...) an evening of up and coming acts organised by Sean Redmond.

Sean's an acoustic guitar-wielding troubadour who saw fit to kick off the evening with some touching heart-on-sleeve ditties.

Next up was one J. willgoose, esq, or if you're an interested listener or better yet, a cool alternative record label looking for a new act, Public Service Broadcasting.

J is a sound engineer by trade, so he's obviously adept at making recorded sound burst through speakers with punch, clarity and subtlety where necessary, but is also clearly a master at wiring up confusing, even bewildering, lengths of cable to complex chunks of electronic equipment.

The fact that J had a couple of technical difficulties (dealt with in amusing fashion, with a sampled public service announcement played on a loop) early in the set suggested his combination of gear was a little more complicated than a mere mic and amp. And so it proved.

A laptop, guitar, banjo, keyboard, sampler and theramin were all utilised during his set, often during the same song - pretty impressive going. Far too early to be suggesting the Tooting man is an alt/esoteric Prince, but so much instrument swapping can only impress. Especially on only his third gig.

It doesn't matter how many instruments you play or how savvy you are at recording if your tunes blow like a Dyson Airblade, but none did.

Mixergames in particular was a snappy alt-breakbeat number one could imagine Krafty Kuts dropping early doors at a party populated by cool people in Hawaiian shirts. New Dimensions In Sound, meanwhile, purred along cheerfully, a bit like Plaid and Groove Armada at their most relaxed, skipping hand in hand along a quiet coast. At least until about halfway through, where some OK Computer-era Radiohead guitar makes a welcome, if unexpected entrance. Theme from PSB was arguably the most immediate tune on offer and perhaps epitomised the PSB sound best (as you'd expect with such a title). Brief spoken word samples, nimble beats and flirtatious banjo riffs worked keenly with lightly trancey synths in a way Lemon Jelly would surely envy.

Intricate music can often be pompous and far too cool for its own good, a bit like the people who make it. PSB tunes are far from simple, but are great, unpretentious fun and work as both cheerful Sunday afternoon soundtrack and potential party starters. If and when there's a PSB album knocking about in 2010, it'll feature on the London Liked stereo...

No comments:

Post a Comment