Sunday, March 22, 2009

Reviewing last night

No, it's not a burn. It's the now blurred stamp which I got upon admission to the show
It's been ages since I've been to a pub or 'club scene'. When I stopped drinking and smoking years ago, that particular aspect of my social life dwindled to non-existence. The smell of smoke and stale pub/club alcohol now makes my stomach do cartwheels. And because I now naturally wake up so early every morning, once eight or nine p.m. passes, my body starts to wind down and go to sleep. Not conducive to late nights out on the town.

But last night I went to see A_Phake & DJ Irukandji's electronica performance, along with the backdrop of my extended video montage. Before going out, I slept for an hour or so. This refreshed me and enabled me to keep awake and alert until I got home close to one a.m.

The first band to perform was Gyazette. I didn't see their whole performance, since it was a while before I braved the smoky sardine tin. But from what I could hear outside, they sounded good and, as someone said: "Not too overpowering." Many bands feel they have to be loud (volume) in order to be powerful. Obviosuly Navid did a good job with the sound engineering.

It was the first time I've seen A_Phake and Irukandji perform. A_Phake's voice has an ethereal quality that merges well with Irukandji's electronica. His way of performing is unique, but not in the loud, overdone way of someone who is trying to be different because they think they must be in order to 'perform'. I was looking at him moving around in the hours before their performance - long, lanky, laid back, smiling, fraternizing, breaking into a little languid dance now and again, looking very 'at home' in his skin and amidst everyone in the sardine tin or out on the sidewalk. That's also how he comes across on stage ... just as himself. No need for acting and pretense.

Standing behind A_Phake, doing his 'thing' on the laptop, pumping out the original electronica was DJ Irukandji with his own way of being - quiet, unassuming, yet very present and connected to the pulse of the music and the audience. There was a quiet rapport going on between the two that spoke of passion, practice and professionalism.

Seeing my video images streaming on the screen behind them for their whole performance was magical. In a twist of synchronicity, A_Phakes lyrics and movements many times fitted perfectly with the elements of the moving visual backdrop which created a whole other world on the stage.

Patrice did a great job of promoting the act. I thought her reminders of the performance were prolific and consistent without becoming overwhelming and irritating. She's good at maintaining the presence necessary to get a name 'out there' and in the minds of the people ... at least, the underground people. It struck me last night how much of an underground world that 'scene' is. Especially in Trinidad, where soca music/Carnival is the main course (and unfortunately sometimes considered the only course) on our cultural menu.

My drink for the night was a bottle of water ($7). Low maintenance.


Lynn Cohen said...

congrats for your showing and glad in geled so well with the other parts of others work.
I too would find it hard to enter a smoked filled pub anymore in my life, having given all that up so many years ago.
$7 for water. Yikes. Next time bring your own! LOL
I wish I could see your film stream even by itself.

Elspeth said...

That's $7TT, not US. Just about roughly $1US.

Anonymous said...

thanks elspeth! the show was great. there were times when the video was in perfect sync to what a_phake was singing!

Anonymous said...

please follow the links to hear their music. All their songs are available as FREE Downloads!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Spec for the great review. Glad to see you again after so long.
I try to engineer for the audience as well as the band. I will see you on Friday.
Much love,