[Grief] Re: Astoria Gig

Mark Jarvis markjarvis at yahoo.com
Tue May 18 12:14:39 EDT 2004


The Astoria gig was the sixth time I have seen TG so I
thought I'd give you my impression.  I went in
expecting a 4 out of 10 but left thinking more like 9
out of 10.  

Soundwise, all of TG's concerts were pretty heavy on
the bass so it was no surprise to me that this one had
a lot of bass too.  Remember that they were obsessed
with ultrasound in the 70s?  I was standing at the
back and every bass beat made my chest vibrate - very
similar to other TG concerts.  However, it was a lot
quieter than usual TG concerts.  My ears only rang for
5 hours afterwards whereas I would be deaf for a day
normally.

I found TG very musical at the Astoria compared to
other gigs I have been to.  They had a lot more "beat"
whereas most of the concerts I had previously attended
relied more on Gen's bass and Cosey's guitar to keep
the continuity.  They also tended to do songs with
gaps between them whereas at previous concerts one
song tended to blend into another.

Continuing the comparison, Cosey sat the entire time
at the Astoria - first time I have seen her sit at a
TG concert.  Chris Carter was at the front of the
stage whereas at all the concerts I attended he always
hid at the back.  Gen's position at the back,
occasionally moving forwards, was also odd.  I won't
comment on his outfit - other grief folks have already
given a great description.  Peter Christopherson moved
around a lot more than he usually does.

>From watching them on stage, Chris Carter seems to be
the mastermind of the new TG for me - he has clearly
influenced their new stuff a lot.  I was disappointed
by Gen's contribution overall.. even some of his
lyrics seemed to rhyme!  What is all that about?!

In terms of instrumentation, Gen played a bass guitar
with a beer bottle and also played a violin through
the usual space echo.  Cosey had her usual satellite
stick guitar and a trumpet.  She had keyboards and a
guitar synth in front of her but rarely seemed to
touch them.  Peter played something like a Korg KAOSS
Pad Entrancer - somewhat different from his previous
setup, which was a bunch of tape recorders mounted in
a rack.  Chris Carter had a small mixing desk and a
midi/synth keyboard plus a bunch of effects.  All the
songs backing tracks were being powered off a set of
apple macs which Chris Carter controlled.  Peter and
Cosey had networked macs.

There were two big differences for me - one was that
people clapped after all the songs!  In the TG events
of the past, the audience rarely clapped - we were
generally posing and trying to look cool so clapping
was out of the question!  The second difference was
that there was a swarm of stage hands whereas in the
past it was just Stan Bingo and TG themselves managing
their equipment.

They played a bunch of old stuff - persuasion, what a
day, discipline, hamburger lady, interspersed with the
new stuff, which was available for purchase at the
gig.  They were selling a 4 track CD for 10 pounds
(limited to 3000 copies) or the same on vinyl for 8
pounds (limited to 500 copies).  (I might have got the
prices the wrong way round).  I listened to them at
home when I got back from the gig and they are also
very bassy compared to previous TG material.  Whilst
more melodic than usual, the style reminds me of
"journey through a body".

Other memorabilia at the gig included a B&W poster
made for RE-TG, a brown sweatshirt ("official DVD
recording attendee"), stickers and the back catalogue.
 I was not that impressed with the memorabilia to be
honest.

The audience was also interesting.  There were a few
oldies there, like me.  We're all in our 40s now so it
was easy to spot us.  There were also plenty of
younger people.  The cameramen spent plenty of time
filming the audience so I am sure there will be
footage on the DVD.  One person sure to be on there
was the Japanese girl who stripped off her top and
attracted a lot of attention on the right of the
stage.

The astoria can hold around 2200 people and I would
say it was pretty much full.  

Having seen Gen's commentary in advance of the gig, I
am left wondering whether the 4 tracks on that CD they
were selling was the sum total of their new recordings
or whether there is anymore material to be released
later.

All in all, I was very glad I attended, all the way
from California.


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email:   markjarvis at yahoo.com
fax:     (+1) 978-246-0075


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