Monday, November 08, 2004

Acid Mothers/Circle/Vialka: Live at Klubi, Tampere

Something about last Tuesday night's psychedelic rawk spectacle here at the Klubi club our of little Tahm-peh-reh town...

Vialka from France were a boy-girl duo of a guitarist and drummer (just don't mention White Stripes here), and were quite funny after I got over my first shock. A bespectacled ethnomusicology student-looking girl wearing something that looked like an ethnic regional costume, drumming like a berserk and singing/wailing in the style of Poly Styrene of X-Ray Spex. One song was obviously about how shitty everything is. Peaches, eat your heart out. The guitarist having a silly long goatee à la that Queens of the Stone Age guy. In his white shirt he looked like a deranged Amish. The music was a sort of punk-prog combination with folkish overtones, complicated song structures, tempo changes, etc.; like punk but played by music conservatory students who are into prog-rock.

Circle I hadn't seen in ages, but were really worth waiting for, to say the least. Before the gig I had a chance to talk with Circle's jovial bassist Jussi Lehtisalo, one of the nicest guys I know in music scene, and I donated him also Kompleksi's demo. Circle started with a longish ambient-drone mood, then turning to something which sounded at times like Can, at times like Spacemen 3. Not exactly their gargantuan rifforamas of yesteryear, but something more subtle. One guitarist sang blues-like vocals, keyboardist Mika Rättö wailed in Damo Suzuki-style. Another fine gig from Circle, still the best Finnish band of this type (Krautrock/postrock/psychedelia).

Acid Mothers Temple And The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. (whatever that ) from Japan I had missed when they visited in Tampere two years ago. And to be honest, I was a bit wary of hearing them live for the first time, since at least the only album I've got from them, New Geocentric World, was a bit too heavy jamming to my own tastes.

But I suppose Acid Mothers are a band actually best heard live, since for me this gig was just spectacular: Kawabata Makoto and his merry (furry) men leading loud monster jams consisting of psychedelia, Krautrock, Hendrix, Black Sabbath, et al.; and lo and behold, it worked fine for me, and what has been rare for me lately, got my old ruined body moving. But then, I guess I've always been just a hippie in disguise. Just hypnotic and physical. I still don't know if I'm going to get more Acid Mothers albums for home listening, but as a live experience they were wonderful. With Circle, this night felt sound-wise like a time machine leap to the early 1970s, but I guess in this case retro is not that bad a word...

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