everisland: THIRTEEN – Reviewed

THIRTEEN at The Kazimier promised ‘a journey into the subconscious’, with live music and visuals from The Hive Collective, Capac, Sun Drums, Loved Ones and Supercell. More a festival and homage to Friday the thirteenth, it swiftly became apparent this was no average gig.   

The night kicked off around 745pm, with small underground cinema Tea and Two Slice getting things under way with a choice selection of surreal film clips (providing tea and toast to wash it all down, hence the name). Tea and Two Slice’s aim to provide a platform for people of all kinds to come together to experience something they won’t find on television, suits this kind of event;  managing to pull the usual gig goers to turn to the stranger next to them for a chat – something unusual in our experience. Picks of the bunch included: No Mas Presents Dock Ellis and the LSD No-No,  a superb line drawn animation by James Blagden, documenting a baseball player’s drug trips in the 70s. Bimbo’s Initiation (1931) is like an illuminati advert featuring Betty Boop, if you can get your head round that. Naomi Klein’s short, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism was next. A collaboration with director Alfonso Cuaron (of Children of Men), it is a disturbing look at shock tactics used to control the flow of information in Western politics. In stark contrast, the most charming and captivating short comes in the form of Hedgehog in the Fog (pictured, above), a 1975 Soviet animation directed by Yuriy Norshteryn. This beautiful and funny film captures our fears of being lost in a world we don’t understand, the effects reminding us in no uncertain terms of the evening’s themes.

Hive Collective used their 45 minute slot between Magic Youth Club and Loved Ones to confuse and disorientate; static-like projections accompanied hypnotic beats, with a bizarre performance artist handing out hexes (playing cards with an evil eye printed on it) to the crowd, which we happily exchanged for an evil-tasting shot. They provided the visuals all night; each film considered and well-matched to the live music, as visuals should be but rarely are. We bob along on a sea of choppy waves and misty rain to Sun Drums; Magic Youth Club’s acoustic Americana is matched by children in may-day fayres and flower parades. Hive did seem to get a mite ‘devious’ during Loved Ones set; after the band experienced technical difficulties, the collective posted subliminal images of Noel Edmunds on the screen, much to the amusement of the crowd. Despite this (or maybe because of it), they provide that extra element of intrigue, transforming the evening into one of magic and atmosphere.

Arguably the best-known band of the night, Capac, banged out a crowd-pleaser of a set, ably accompanied by Kate Smith (main picture). We first caught these guys when they were known as A Cup of Tea, commissioned to play a Daniel Johnston tribute night in the basement of Red Wire. They’re a different proposition now, maturing from a laptop focused duo to a trio with a more dynamic live act. Mixing leftfield electronic club beats, plug-in guitar, electric drums and found sounds, Capac provide an anthemic and visually entertaining performance. Stand out track See the Young, featured Smith’s Kate Bush-esque vocals bringing an eerie ingredient to the already eclectic mash-up. People’s dancing was testament to a successful alchemy of dancefloor beats. Capac are well worth seeing if you haven’t caught them yet.

For us however, the band that really beguiled our senses as the night promised was Sun Drums. With a self-titled EP launching next month, and a notoriety for their rare live performances, they have gained a reputation for mature soundscapes, that of a band with twice the experience. Clearly respected by the musicians present, and eagerly received by a packed and whistling crowd, the lads announced their presence with deep, thundering sounds. The time spent on individual tracks is more than apparent; layer upon layer of sound rained down whilst seemingly growing in the venue space. Samples, drum machine, plug-in guitar and the vocals of Tom and Jacob combined in a crescendo, fitting the swirling, mist of the  visuals perfectly. An impromptu encore of Dry Chalk Bone, whilst suffering a few glitches, was a sweet and moving end to a storming set.

Though not perfect, the night was an ambitious, bang up-to-date reflection of the city’s electro and folktronica scenes, serving as a sublime demonstration of how our progressive music and art scenes can merge together to create something more than their constituent parts.

Posted on 16/01/2012 by thedoublenegative