Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Circadian Video * Opening The Archives Of Demonology: Gravenhurst's Patented 'Subaquatron: Sonik Mysterie Kult' Bucket Brigade Analog Delay Pedal

Heigh ho – who is there? No-one but me my dears.
'Circadian' Video
Tremendously exciting news this week – my pal Sam Wisternoff (aka Anticon-signed Bristol drone troubadour SJ Esau) has given album opener 'Circadian' the video treatment it deserves. Featuring Vinka symbols invading internal organs, slow-mo lip-synching and self-generating crayon diagrams, with a cinematographic palette moving between the manufactured nostalgia of saturated Super 8 and scratchy 'found footage' VHS, a disorientating array of recurring images play out against a continually shifting background of psychedelic textures and stop-motion animations, mirroring the song's cyclical rhythms and ambiguous lyrics. This being the first time I've been personally involved in a music video from the outset, Sam and I spent a sunny afternoon in the St Werburgh's area of Bristol filming me suffocating myself with a bin liner, before police broke up the fun following a phone call from a concerned resident. Most of those scenes would have been too unpleasant to use were we not able to offset the atmosphere of misery with footage of a man dropping his car keys into a hat.
Watch the video for 'Circadian' here
Friends in Germany, you can watch the video here
Sonic Cathedral 'Celebrity Pedalboard'
Nat Cramp at Sonic Cathedral invited me to contribute to their 'Celebrity Pedalboard' page, divulging the secrets of my patented 'Subaquatron' Bucket Brigade Delay Pedal. Join the Sonik Mysterie Kult here
Merrie Beltane,
Nicodemus & Pliers

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Gravenhurst Show at Init for the Roma Ultrasuoni Festival : A Statement

The show at Init for the Roma Ultrasuoni  festival was ruined for us and the audience because  of circumstances completely beyond our control. I hesitate to point the finger of blame at people  publicly but in this situation I have no choice  because we are absolutely furious about this and it needs to be made clear that the chaos was  not our fault. We drove for eight hours to play at  this festival and were met with a completely  shambolic set up and incompetent staff. The sound  check was totally pointless as the engineers clearly  had no idea what they were doing, and we stood on  the stage for an hour while they milled around  slowly plugging and unplugging things, then they cut  us short before we could finish, saying we had run out of time. We then went off  for our dinner, which was served to us cold,  and we  were given only water to drink. Cold food and water  after an eight hour drive, nice hospitality; while  all around us the public were being served hot food  and drinks. So contrary to what we were being told, the kitchens were open, but just not for  the artists. Still, we were determined to play a  good show. When we got on stage we could not hear  our voices. We were singing 'deaf'. You know the way  deaf people sound when they talk? They sound like that because they cannot hear their voices. That was  the situation we were in onstage. Try singing like that - you won't sound good. We are not a  difficult band to engineer. All we need is to be able to hear our own voices in our monitors, Rachel needs to hear her synth and  Claire needs to hear my guitar. That's it. That's  all there is to it. Instead, Rachel and Claire's  voices were coming through my monitor, while my voice was not in any of the monitors. We struggled  through the first two songs, continually telling the  engineer of our monitoring problems, to no avail. Then in 'Saints'  my microphone dropped out completely, so the audience could not hear my voice either. The staff  scrambled around trying to sort it out;  it  transpired that Rachel's monitor wasn't even plugged  in. If you know anything about sound engineering or  performing you will be sympathetic to our plight -  the onstage sound was a complete nightmare.  Eventually I tired of telling the engineer where to  put our voices and simply walked across the stage  and switched my microphone with Rachel's, a coarse but completely essential intervention, thus solving a problem that should have been done at the  sound desk at the beginning. We were then told we had to play our last song, so we played ' 'Black Holes In the Sand' as well as we possibly could in the circumstances. Anyone who has seen Gravenhurst live  will attest that we are a professional band that  knows how to play live. I've played live for fifteen  years, hundreds and hundreds of shows all over the  world, and i've never come across a situation like  this - total incompetence. Between us, Claire, Rachel and I have played over a thousand gigs. We are good at our job -  the people running this stage were not. It was a humiliating waste of time for us and our audience.  We are sorry for the fans who were looking forward  to the show. We will play Roma again, and we will  ensure we play in a professional venue suited to professional musicians.