Bardo Pond Live @ Mono, Glasgow, 28/11/06
First off, I should say something about the venue, for Bardo Pond's performance. I am ashamed to admit, I have never set foot in Glasgow's Mono before. Not only has had many impressive bands playing there, it also has its own record store (Monorail) and an organic foods store too (Monomart). But most impressive, was the wide stage area that accomodated a three bands and a lot of interested punters. I'm going to make it a priority to go back there soon, possibly this weekend!.
The night was kicked of by the mysterious Alexander Tucker. On the train journey into the Glasgow City Centre, I read an excellent review of this man's music, in a free newspaper. The reviewer certainly called it right, because with an array of guitar pedals and samplers, Tucker created a massive, hypnotic sound.
He looks like a cross between Richard D. James and some Seattle Grunge musician, but his music is just something completly different altogether. Using the aforementioned samplers, Tucker plays repetitive chords on acoustic and electric guitars recording or 'sampling' them as he goes along. From there, he layers more instrumentation on and some interesting and highly accomplished chanting, that had his monolithic sound reverberating around the venue.
I am not sure how well this would come across on record, but live, Tucker is at the very least an intriguing prospect. Excellent and well worth investigating.
Which is not what you could say about the next act, Jackie-O-Motherfucker. Apparently, they are the leading light in the New Wierd America movement and have been championed by magazines such as the Wire. On this evidence, though, there are some seriously deluded people.
It was as if 6 complete strangers walked on stage and tried to perform. There were no tunes, no structure and barely any points of interest. Maybe this is their appeal, but I just didn't get it. I alawys try my best to find something good about everything I hear or see, but it is slim pickings as far as Jackie-O-Motherfucker are concerned. The drummer, I suppose, did a good job of trying to hold everything together. I have in the past enjoyed some improvised groups, such as Scotland's Scatter, but I could not get into this one at all.
To be quite honest, they lost my attention the moment the feamle 'vocalist' bizarrely decided to perform the rest of the gig from under some sort of quilt!. Utterly pretentious, extremely lacklustre and simply a complete waste of time.
Headliners, Bardo Pond, on the other hand, came out with all guns blazing and were exciting (the way a live performance should be). With most of Mogwai in attendance, Bardo Pond did their uppermost to provide a thick, fuzzy rock sound.
They are all about those chunky Black Sabbath-esque riffs, that seemed in danger of blowing the people, too near the speakers, away. Due to a poor sound mix, the lead singer was often drowned out by the distortion. Which is a shame, because on record she plays some lovely washes of flute throughout certain songs.
Bardo Pond probably wish they were born in time for the Woodstock era, but they (fortunately for us) weren't. Instead, they are providing some of the best hypnotic rock noise this century.
Update- There are a few useful links here, in terms of Bardo Pond's side projects and some live mp3's
Update 2 - Thanks to Last Days, for finding a link to some Alexander Tucker samples