Min Diesel, Deathpodal, Matricarians & Ashley Park, Tunnels 2 – 26/08/2010
On arrival my heart sank somewhat on finding that the gig was actually taking place in Tunnels 2 due to some metal pish going on in the main room. Actually it wasn’t so much that the gig was in the other room, more the fact there were 2 gigs going on at the same time – profitable for the venue of course but due to the lack of proper soundproofing between rooms, past experience has shown that it makes for a less enjoyable night if you are struggling to concentrate on what you have turned up to see due to the music next door intruding into your ear drums.
Sure enough, first act Ashley Park suffered somewhat from this as his material is purely acoustic guitar and vocals. His songs follow a consistent format of starting quietly and building towards the end. He kind of reminded me of early Elliot Smith, with hints of Nick Drake in some of the guitar work. I struggle to get into acoustic singer songwriters in a live setting in general and with some gumby metal band going on next door this was made even worse.
Matricarians were next up, a project involving Alan Davidson of Kitchen Cynics fame and various other folks dependent on availability. On this occasion it was a 2 piece affair with Alan wielding guitar, violin, autoharp (I’m sure this is what it was, feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, string-instrument experts), toy trombone, penny whistle, handheld fan, Dictaphone and some sort of dodgy looking sex device (OK it was more likely some sort of kitchen appliance minus an attachment but it looked useful for other things) to produce various looped noises with bandmate assisting with some sort of gubbins I couldn’t see from my seat. They started off with some spooky atmospherics which reminded me a bit of Godspeed You Black Emperor offshoot Set Fire to Flames, and built to a noisier climax. At several points Alan got some nice layered guitar going on but decided to get something else going instead – I found there was almost too much going on at times and would have liked a slower build on a theme but hey that’s improvisation I guess. The gig next door also intruded into this set and it seemed that the unusual instrumentation was causing a few issues for the sound man, some perplexed looks suggested that some of the more unpleasant noises were unplanned. Alan mentioned that they had some CD’s available but I clean forgot to get hold of one…I’d be interested to hear the recorded version and would also like to see the full band version of this.
Noise intrusion was no issue for the next band Deathpodal, who made a good live representation of their recently released EP, Exu-Wow. They are pretty noisy, fairly intense and use lots of those off-sounding chord sounds. You know, like Sonic Youth and Shellac. They were nae bad.
Min Diesel finished off the evening with a somewhat hurried set due to a hired drum kit in need of return. This is the 3rd time I’ve seen them and they seem to be getting tighter but there are still moments when things seem like they are going to fall apart slightly. They start with ‘Broad Street Blues’ off their recently released EP. I liked the last song which was a very Dinosaur Jr-esque guitar thrash.
This is a pretty rubbish review to be honest but the Red Stripe was affecting my memory of the latter stages of the evening. I also met the guys who used to be SIDCA and ended up yapping a bit, along the way I was asked what I thought of Joy Division. I think it was some sort of test and the slightly pained look when I said I liked them suggested I had failed. Oh well. Godzilla Blues.
Min Diesel MySpace
Ashley Park MySpace