Monday, November 13, 2006

Had a bit of a postpunkoid weekend there... actually it was a postpunkoid 14 hour spurt. Saturday morning I participated in a panel on My Life in the Bush of Ghosts as part of this conference, good fun, spectrality came up a few times as you can imagine. And the night before I ran into Orange Juiceman Steven Daly at, where else, the New York live debut of Scritti Politti. Which was incredible. I expected it to be slightly shaky, and there were the odd fumble now and then between songs, a false start/"let's rewind that shall we", but wow--the force of the performance was a total ambush. Green actually sings live exactly like on the record, it just comes out like that, that beyond-human, angelic-falsetto perfection. And how often do you hear a band doing five part harmonies? Eevery member of the band, apart from the drummer, was singing at various points, perfectly replicating those uncanny self-dovetailed lattices of multitracked Green on the album. Amazing to hear songs I'd never thought would, or could, be played live--"Wood Beez", "The Word Girl" -not only come off but sound better live, retaining the slick gloss and crisp punch of Cupid & Psyche but adding a swing and feel and sheer might of sound that just wasn't there on that prissy-produced record. The zing of those slashing rhythm guitar bits on "Wood Beez"! Other highlights: "The Sweetest Girl" and "Skank Bloc Bologna", naturally; a cover of a Deru the Damaja/Premier tune ("Come Clean" i think it was?) that came off surprisingly well with Green in MC mode,; another tune with Green spitting in the stead of former MC collaborator Skills and showing he's come a long way since the "rap" bit in "Jacques Derrida", things off White Bread that hit especially hard live like "E 11th Nuts" and "Cooking" and of course "Boom Boom Bap," while the encore of "Petrococadollar" was mindblowing (don't think i've ever heard a lead voice mixed so prominently and dominantly at a live show) and the final song, some kind of "we are Scritti/introduce the band" band-theme tune was a hoot. At the start Green apologised for his lack of flair for between-song banter but of course this was just self-deprecation and the whole gig was badinage-tastic with lots of cute joshing between band members. Definitely not to be missed if this passes through your area.

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