Saturday, July 16, 2011

The New Blockaders - First Live Performance

The New Blockaders - First Live Performance
Hypnagogia CD. GIA06.
300 Copies.

First Live Performance was given the vinyl treatment by Vinyl On Demand a few years back and as with pretty much everything else with TNB’s name on it disappeared in an instant. I’ve just been looking at my own copy. I gently eased it from its bubble wrapped chrysalis and stroked its textured sleeve, my spine going all tingly and the hairs on the back of my neck stiffening. TNB have that effect on some people.

First Live Performance was June the 8th 1983 remember. A time when punk had stubbed out its last meaningful fag and Trevor Horn jacked in singing with Yes to form ZTT. Its worth bearing this in mind whilst listening back to these two eighteen minute tracks.

As ever its the sheer ferocity of the delivery that knocks you sideways. The junk noise chaos that emerges from your speakers is a staccato one, each painful spike in volume coming at you like heavyweight jabs whilst that undercurrent of discomforting shuffle and scrape forces you to rethink during its course. How did they do that? Why does it still sound so fresh and vital? This is head clearing junk noise and electronic squealing par excellence that even after all these years never fails to fill you with astonishment and admiration.

The sound quality and production on these two 18 minute outings far surpasses the live material that turned up on disc 4 of Gesamtnichtwerk it is also a far more forceful outing than Live at Hinoumea and Live at Anti-Fest.

Much has been written and said about TNB’s early work, some of it even by me, the only thing left to be said is this; if you don’t have these two live events, in whatever format you choose, you aren’t just missing a few pieces of the jigsaw you might as well not have it. Essential in every way.

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