mercredi 7 octobre 2009

Chrome Hoof, JP Massiera, Magma. Barbican 06/10/09

It all started in that pub; the man thought it was a fake note. A pint of Courage, I had no change. Not a familiar pub I have to say but the landlord wasn't ready for any familiarity. A few minutes later my buddy B was passing the door. 'Great directions' he said. Quote. Usually I’m pretty bad at directions.
One and a half beer later we were headed to the Barbican. Got a bit lost on the way I have to say but that got us in the mood. Nice estate. Found an entrance. While cruising the elevator we saw someone looking like Nick Currie. Something about the style statement. Could it have been him? Most probably.
Trekked to the bar and found a bit of Pride; soon we were ushered in. I thought I got us some good seats but we hit the narrow end front stage. Looked at the crowd. Buddy B was intrigued. A good mix, a bit old overall. Introduction of the night to unfold.
The first band was about to come on stage: turned out our seats weren’t that bad. We were five feet from the dividing line, from anonymity to the spotlight. Sparkles of silver, Chrome Hoof glittered onto their podium. They walked slowly setting us in. To be frank the music's hard to describe. Not that I couldn't blend in some antonymous band's name but I would rather not to. It was Sun Ra for the Brick Lane crowd. Nice set, a handsome bunch. Suddenly another freak came out from backstage, slow paced, progressing like a chameleon. She took a first step then froze for a while. The tension came in. She was wriggling her body against the ramp. Would she ever make it onto the stage? It took her a bit. Then I saw another one on the other side. It was an act. I thought she'd been spiked.
They were hitting the half hour. That was enough. Too much to take in. The front row seats were still a bit spare. Then the wriggling freak went backstage: she'd meet up with her twin and the star of the night.
JP Massiera. A sample from Messe pour le temps present. They helped him on stage to the tune of some old blaxploitation soundtrack provided by Chrome Hoof. He looked like Ben Gazzara in The killing of a Chinese bookie. He walked like a snake to the other corner of the stage where his favourite toy was waiting for him. Some kind of sampler he was activating with a drumstick. He never got the hang of it. The beautiful MC from Chrome Hoof was twisting her body, hitting the floor with her heavy wand. Then Jean Pierre let it out: a loud crowd-possessing 'REEEE-PEEEEE'. Drunken style. Invigorating. And he did it again, and again. My ribs were splintered, buddy B was pissing himself. Then Jean Pierre went on for a quieter number. He was trying his best to stand still. Couldn't tell if it was an act. In any case that deserved an Oscar. By that time most of the crowd was baffled. It went on to another song. More fool-playing from JP with his little sampler. He couldn't work it out. Needed some help from the drummer. He looked happy tho, like a happy drunk nursing a bottle of gin. Then came on another song and some reading: 'Je suis un ivrogne et je bois'. By that time we'd guessed. He carried on: ‘Une vipere avale mon penis’ or something like that ‘et un crabe m’attrape l’anus’ couldn’t be sure. And that was it, time to polish it off with the first song. The snake biting his tail. The freaky dancers held him; he was twisting his mouth in convulsions off stage. My bladder was weak. Buddy B agreed, it was time for release, another beer and a cigarette.
The announcement pleaded us. It was time to get back in. Magma. They started with a nice number. Got the crowd a bit wild. The head-bangers lashing it on front row. Didn't know what to expect but there was hope. Not for too long. I wish I could have cracked the shell of pantomime but I couldn't join in. It turned a bit nasty, the musical kind. Ok it was in their weird language and the playing was good but I couldn't get into it. By that time the head-bangers were mesmerised so I couldn't tell if it was just me. 'You want a beer?' said buddy B. An offer I couldn't refuse. He went off to get some ammunition. I was studying the side alley. He came back with some good news: a beer and a sighting of JP at the bar chatting up some girls. The show was still on but it was at the bar. More panto, a decent solo from Charly Oleg on the keyboard. The bladder was weak. And I had to get some more beer. When I came back buddy B was half asleep. It was like being trapped in some wicked dream. The Guiness helped a bit; so did another apparition of JP, the high priestess holding his arm on the side alley. And he was off.
Magma went to finish. We had an encore: Kobaia. Started well but by this time I'd lost it. Some of the crowd loved it, the head-bangers waking up from their spell. For the others it was time to join the ranks in the urinals. We joined in.
Overall it had a good going and a silver-headed star brightening the horizon. French-Cosmic-Prog is not for me, but Jean Pierre, with your freaky combo you made my night and quite a bit more for the rest of my life. I hope I'll be playing the drumstick with the devilish temptress when I reach your mark. 'Je suis un ivrogne et je bois'.

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