Nov 1, 2009
angela

2009 Takahashi’s Shellfish Concern Tour

2009 tour poster

Edinburgh – Alison House

Edinburgh - Alison House

First and foremost, Edinburgh is a beautiful city, and it was great having it as the first stop on our tour.  We were shown around by locals and I discovered how great Ellen Gallagher’s work is at the Edinburgh Museum of Modern Art. Additionally, Promotor Lin Zhang’s (of Diva Abrasiva) hospitality was amazing and very much appreciated. He let Rod and I use his room during our two day stay, and let Anton to use the guest bedroom which came complete with a skylight!
Regarding the performance, we played in a great space at Edinburgh University’s Alison House.  The room was quite large and two stories tall, with a balcony that overlooks the performance space.  It felt like a University too–very quiet, well built, and carpeted. It felt like a very appropriate space.  We saw the opportunity to set up a small collapsable stage for the painting area, which  was a great perk, and set the drums and guitar on either side. Having an elevated area that I could step on and off of is not something I’m used to, as most venues don’t have that, but I found it gave me additional mobility during the performance which was great.  I feel the visual work functioned beautifully within the context of the aural performance, and I also feel that it is quite successful in its final form.

Glasgow – Pivo Pivo

Glasgow
This performance was rushed and uninspired, and it reflected both the in music and in the painting.  Going into it we knew we were playing on an acoustic singer-song writer night, but we hoped that as long as we gave a good performance, the audience would remain open-minded, and perhaps found themselves enjoying the set though it didn’t really fit in with the night.  Unfortunately however, the night had been overbooked (6 performers in one night) and everyone’s sets were shortened to 20 mins. as a consequence.  Having just driven to Glasgow from Edinburgh and hearing that bit of information was demoralizing.

Performance-wise, it apparently effects me tremendously being so hyper-aware of the duration and feeling rushed.  I really felt like I had to get the work somewhere…and QUICK. This completely killed any subtlety or any organic, serendipitous, composition from occurring.  It looks like a train wreck, and felt like one too, as it was happening.  The guys agreed they also couldn’t follow a thought, and so musical development and nuance suffered as well.

Manchester – Dry Bar
Dry Bar

To say we were dubious about this gig is an understatement, having spent a few weeks trying to get hold of the promoter, he eventually says two days before the gig “if you can find another band that’d be good” (in fairness to him, we had arrogantly asked to pick the other bands so we could play with people we liked, but that was a couple of months in advance).  We suspected, rightfully, that the actual promotion for the gig amounted to the square route of f-all so had very low hopes.

In the end, a small selection of our friends turned up and it turned out to be quite a nice atmosphere with support sets from Pete Mosely (solo guitar ambient loop drone stuff, good textures, makes me wish I still smoked weed) and Mark Pilkington (laptop plus Nord synth, not the best time I’ve seen him as his patch crashed so had to rely on backing tracks, but went down well anyways).  I’m never brilliant at analysing sets a while after the gig, especially with improvised stuff, but for me this one felt good and I liked the painting at the end of it.  Certainly after Glasgow it felt like a breath of fresh air and set us up nicely for our first trip to London.  Oh, and we sold a DVD for the first time, and a few porn comics, so all good on that front.

Anton

London – The Klinker

The Klinker
Painting owned by Hugh Metcalfe.

We arrived in London hours early, as we expected heavy traffic that was, in the end, non-existent.  We set up and then headed to a Turkish restaurant that ended up serving some of the best food we’ve had in the UK. We even got a dessert on the house, surely because were were taking photos of our spread like tourist idiots.

Yadda, yadda, yadda…

This was the best performance of the tour. All elements were appropriate and in harmony.

Huddersfield – Sleeper’s Lounge

Sleeper's Bar

This was the 2nd date of the tour that was booked (the first one being Dry Bar), and it was also the only date of the tour that wasn’t an existing night/event. Scott agreed to put us on in Huddersfield, then found the venue, then some opening acts etc… It was a great venue, and one of the best attended dates on the tour.

We setup our usual gear, and usual arrangement, but because of the shape of the venue and performance space, very few people in the audience could see Angie’s painting straight on. Most so it from the side. Anton and I were able to see it perfectly, so that didn’t impact the performance itself any.

The improvisation, for the most part, was very good. Great ebbs and flows, and Angie’s painting was working very well in the ‘mix’ of things. The first improvisation came to a natural conclusion, and given the opportunity to play one more short piece, we took it. Unfortunately it wasn’t very good, further proving the adage “when you have an ending, take it”.

This was originally the last date of the tour. We were a last minute addition when an act pulled out of the MANTIS Festival.

Rodrigo

Manchester – MANTIS Festival – Nexus Cafe

MANTIS Festival
Painting owned by Sam Andreae.

This gig was well attended and awesome. It was our first gig with Mauricio Pauly.

  

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