Monday, July 14, 2008

Super Sonic Day Three @ The Custard Factory, Sunday 13th July 2008

And the Lord sayeth 'tis Sunday...verily go get ye brains blown out by a pair of Japanese dudes'. Yes. I have lost part of my brain so I need to keep my whistle stop tour of day three brief, lest I lose all control of my motor functions and just sit here dribbling (no change there then).

Thanks to me being a bit disorganised we missed Einstellung (shame, they are v.good), but arrived in time to see musical dynamo Max Tundra, a man who packs more sass, humour and beats into his set than should be humanly possible. Loved this guy. Shades of Moby, Kid Carpet, Arthur Russell, Zappa and Scissor Sisters all wrapped up in a bundle of loveliness. Bought a CD. £5. Bargain. He's supporting Hot Chip in October (Brum date on the 29th I believe - go see). Check out his Tunng remix of Bullets too. Mashtastic.

After a quick dash to the bank for more funds got back just in time for Parts and Labor...or Labour as we say here in the UK. You say potato etc etc...anyway, jerky, punky musical base topped (in a pizza stylee) with contrastingly tuneful vocals. I'll have a large slice please. I kept thinking Arcade Fire...with a bit of Flaming Lips. But then what do I know...I am missing part of my brain after all. Saw a little of math rock disco party dudes Errors then a dash of Earth. Back to the heavy stuff. Doom laden, portentous but strangely melodic. Kept making me want to nod my head and throw my long hair around. But I have a skinhead and that would just look bloody stupid.

Onto yet another glorious treat - Fucked Up (pictured). I do love a bit of hardcore punk. My two Gallows gigs rate as some of the maddest nights I've ever had and I had to hold myself back from jumping into the moshpit today. Lead singer - and all round legend - Pink Eyes is a man mountain of punk attitude. The band ripped the place apart and after mucho drone rock it was a refreshing (and much needed) boost of energy. Thrashing about in the audience, cracking jokes, even carrying one guy right to the back of the venue, old Pink Eyes gave us blood (smashing cans in your head will do that), sweat and tears (of joy). My sweaty embrace with him at the end remains a festival highlight.

Right this is where it all went a bit...okay...a lot nuts. Kikuri (can't find a Myspace page for them...) features Japanese noise monsters Merzbow and Keiji Haino. Merzbow tortures the life out of a pair of Apple Macs loaded with the very sounds of hell itself. Keiji hits back with some sort of table theramin type thing, a guitar and (I think) a traditional Japanese instrument - all enjoying some mighty feedback and fx. Oh, he sings too. Imagine the noise of a screaming child. Play it through the biggest speakers in the world. Loop it over and over again...and you still won't get just how LOUD THIS WAS. I felt all of my vital organs vibrate. My eyes actually started to bulge like that bit in Scanners. I feared for my sanity...but, at the same time, I was rooted the spot, powerless to move. This is music as a weapon. A bloody great razor blade of noise tearing away at your insides, jabbing, slicing, gouging great chunks of brain out of your ears. I'm glad I witnessed it...I'm not sure what damage it's done though. Only time - and some expert therapy - will tell.

After Kikuri - and having picked bits of my frontal lobe off the ground - I tried to gather myself for the final assault. Gravetemple were up next. Hmmmm. I gave them 15 minutes. Didn't get it personally. I heard a number of the audience muttering about it being a bit dull. I'd plump for 'measured'. Maybe it all kicked in after I left. Interesting to see what others who stayed the course made of it. Limped off to catch a bit of Harmonia. Krautrock legends who seemed to really hit their stride after a couple numbers...but the game was up, Kikuri had minced me up real bad. Time for bed Zebadee.

After three days of noise, blood, Japanese madness, cider and very little sleep I'm still in a state of shock really. What is clear is that Super Sonic is a truly unique, special and fantastically well organised festival put on by people (respect due to Jenny and Lisa) who really, really know and love their music. I've been disturbed, intrigued and enchanted in equal measure. I've seen some things I'd love to see again and a few that scared the bejesus out of me. I've laughed, winced and danced (well tapped my foot a lot...I'm getting on now you know). Same time next year then?


Russ L said...

I'm really glad you both enjoyed yourselves. It makes me feel better about going on about it so much.

Next year! I can hardly wait.

The Baron said...

Oh is a truly extraordinary festival. I've seen some things in my time but a number of the bands/artists hit new heights of 'whatthefuckness'. Which, in this prepacked, downloadable, vanilla old world is a very rare (and most excellent)thing.

Just one thing I'd change...note to Monday off work next year.