PERMANENT VACATION'S "COMMUNITY NOISE" ALL-DAYER.
Sunday 16th September.
It was probably innevitable considering just how consistently excellent PV gigs are, but this was amazing. They really outdid themselves this time and put on their best show so far.
Opening proceedings was Euhedral. A much more ambient and subtle set than when I saw him before. He seems to have found a focus now, which is shaping his work as opposed to the slightly try-everything-I-can approach of before. In a way it's a shame as I really liked him first time round, but this is by no means a criticism or an attempt to take anything away from this set. On the contary, Euhedral has improved with this new found sense of focus and is looking forward and exploring where to go with this. At a time when it can get too easy to get bogged down in staying put and sticking to what you know, it's refreshing to see someone willing to push themselves and explore new ground. A great way to start the day off.
Next up, Patel Pretal. Trimmed down to a two piece now, they also seem to have more of a sense of focus than when I saw them before. The new duo format is one that suits them, they work very well together, even if their equipment occasionaly lets them down. They use vocal drones to create a very warm (I'd possibly even go so far as to say lovely if I didn't think it would offend Pierre) sound that if I was writing for Wire magazine I would say is a sound that comfortingly hugs your head, or something like that. I don't, so I'll simply say that it's an engrossing sound that hooks you and doesn't let you go until it's finished.
Thirdly was The Duke Of Zuke. The first two pieces of their set were really good guitar and violin duo pieces. The second two pieces were more obviously recognisable Godspeed-style fare, the violinist switching to bass, and made less of an impact on me, but were still good.
Twat Trot Tra La were next up. These guys have been playing around Oxford for a while now and I've never got round to actually seeing them before. They sound like White Stripes meets The Fall. This is a very good thing. They finish with a cover of Foals' "Hummer" that is both hilarious and genius.
Elapse-O were on before us, and those buggers had to go and play the best I've seen them. Great, as if I wasn't nervous enough, possibly the best band to have emerged from Oxford this year go and play their strongest set so far. I'm not quite sure why it was, it just all seemed to come together really well and was very strong. The fact they've done a few gigs recently has obviously helped them improve. That this band keep getting better is pretty exciting.
I was shitting myself. How do we follow that? At some point during setting up though, my nerves suddenly went, and by the time we were ready to start I was really up for it. Not that I could look anywhere further than about 3 feet worth of floor infront of me, but I just went for it. I can only remember about half of it. Apparently I threw my bass at someone's legs (sorry whoever that was) and some guy started dancing. I broke a string, my cable (which meant doing a lot more vocals than I had planned to) and my drumsticks. And possibly a toe. And my right hand still hurts from essentialy beating up my bass. I'm not really sure how it sounded to the crowd, but it went really well & the feedback we got from people afterwards was really good. So all in all it seems that my first gig with Traktors (and indeed, my first ever gig) was a success. Can't wait to see the video of it.
It was definitly the single most intense and exilerating experience of my life.
I'd managed to calm down a bit by the time headliners Action Beat started. I remember seeing Action Beat last time they played a PV night, and they were amazing then, but this was on a whole other level. 4 guitarists, 2 drummers, 1 bassist & 1 violinist = one hell of a set. They seem to write themes and improvise the songs around them while playing, kind of like a jazz band in that respect, only they sound nothing like jazz. The Glenn Branca & early Sonic Youth comparisons made of them are easy to understand, theirs is a heavily layered noise-drone rock, but the sheer energy and enthusiasm they convey flavours their music with an upbeat tone, a positive and optimistic feeling that you just get hypnotised by & totally lost in, and you kind of don't want it to ever end. They were unbelievably good. One of the best bands you will ever see live without a doubt. These guys are something truly special.
To put it simply, Action Beat are one of the best bands on the planet.
To tired to write more or emphasise further now. "Hooray!" said the reader.