The flicker of fairy lights. The taste of a forest on a wet day. The sound of a backroom deep in a David Lynch dream. Harbour boats bobbing on a slow tide. An empty armchair letting slip the secret of a past owner. Hope Sandoval lounging on a carousal, legs swinging over the side, watching the glitter blur of each slow revolution.
Skeletal love-torn hymns that waltz to their own heartbeat. This Mortal Coil. An ice-crisp voice that seems to live behind your eyelids; but only when you close them. The ritual of elegant decay that is only revealed through timelapse video – even that Nine Inch Nail one for Hurt showing a rotting fox carcass in reverse. Victoria Legrand purring “Your wish is my command” on Wedding Bell, pulling the melody down into an Abba daze before releasing it back into the air. Nico and Marianne Faithful and Francoise Hardy.
Cate Le Bon
The shop window of the newly-opened All Saints store on the Hayes is full of beautiful, antique sewing machines. They sit there in nice rows, neatly aligned and dormant, subservient to the window aesthetic. Once individual icons, their sole function now is just dressing for the multi-million pound St David’s 2 complex. Their heritage equally pawned and ignored as customers head for the cash-till.
Okay, they’re probably not antique anyway, they’re probably snap-fixed in Spitalfields and have less milage than Katie Price’s typewriter. But looking at those sewing machines on the weekend felt like standing outside the Point just a year ago, pondering the future of Cardiff and the embarrassing cultural death that seemed to be conspiring against it.
The Coal Exchange already closed and the Point served with a noise abatement order that would ultimately contribute to it’s closure, it felt like a solemn question mark hung over the head of everyone who loves dipping their daps into the city’s music venues. With the craggy spires of St David’s 2 emerging above the horizon it seemed the city couldn’t give a shit about our heritage. Shut down, decay and move on – like Cardiff always has done (look at pictures of the old decaying docks in the seventies for instance, and compare it with Bristol or Manchester; history you can still see and touch).
Cardiff doesn’t love us, you see. They won’t close a tiny, cobbly lane for Swn Festival and having shown little support for the Point are prepared to lose yet another venue in the Globe. But like the beautiful suckers we are, we love Cardiff. We fight to keep the Vulcan open; we put our hard-earned into Kruger and 3 Syllables gigs; we sit and watch the colours change in Bute Park. We buy chips on Caroline St, but we put the wrappers in the bin. We suffer the closure of a venue, or the loss of a promoter, but we move on; or we stand up and do it ourselves.
Montonix - Cardiff Arts Institute, 30 November
Monotonix – Cardiff Arts Institute, 30 Nov, with Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs /
Body Language (Drag City) Review
Blames the cops. Three garage punks from Tel Aviv, Monotonix were once contained safely within the boundaries of Israel. Until they started playing gigs. Five seconds later they were being banned from most of the country’s venues for a live show that tends to descend into a wild mix of sweat, chaos, setting themselves on fire (band) and random sex acts (audience). Like a Tasmanian Devil with a Rickenbacker there was no way Monotonix were going to sit idle, so with their homeland refusing to play ball they upped sticks for more welcoming climates.
Produced by the Fucking Champs‘ Tim Green in San Francisco, ‘Body Language‘ is a cacophonic mess of blistering, dirrrty garage and cacophonic punk, with ever so slight nods in the direction of Cream and Led Zeppelin. Just six tacks long and seemingly drenched in as much gasoline and leather-stinking sweat as you’ll find at one of their gigs, this is rock and roll at its most filthy and exuberant.
Filed under Gigs, Reviews