no label CDR
God is not Great
To the Wharf Chambers in Leeds to dish out ALAP badges like communion wafers. Which got me thinking. Funny thing religion. People eating bits of other people, babies having their genitals mutilated, animal sacrifice, Papal indulgences, suicide bombers. Of course you can do anything in the name of religion. I’ve been reading Christopher Hitchens splendid book ‘God is not Great - How Religions Poisons Everything’ and when you look at religion in the cold light of day, as you should, it all begins to unravel. Hitchens makes this unarguable point: if you or I were to cut the foreskin off a baby boy and suck the damaged member we’d be incarcerated but if you’re a Jewish ‘mohel’ you can cary out his procedure with the states backing. I could go on at length of course but then you’d never know what Ramleh were like. Buy the book for yourself and discover more.
Ramleh certainly thinned the crowd down at Wharf Chamber and this was the three piece ‘rock’ Ramleh not the two piece Power Electronics Ramleh. For the majority of the audience Ramleh’s three chord rock chug wasn’t their thing and at an hour I must admit to having my patience tested but this was my first time, the legendary Ramleh, who play very few gigs at all, Gary Mundy, in the flesh and then the Sabbath party band came on.
After the event I tried to reconcile my inner differences. Did I like it? Not really. In parts they sounded like an instrumental U2. At times they really hit a defiant stride and took you with them but it was only later that I realised that all my favourite Ramleh rock records have Phillip Best on them and tonight there was no Phillip Best. It left a gap that was the reason I couldn’t fully engage with them. At least we got see Early Hominids blast out a twenty minute piece of ultra throb. Early Hominids are beginning to hit their straps now and glueing big beats to the kind of bass throb that Merzbow excelled in is a direct way to my non religious black little heart. And due to a Manchester Skullflower gig being cancelled we got a last minute Voltiguers appearance in which Bower and friend whipped up a ten minute twin guitar wall of thrape. A perfect way to quick start your evening.
As ever, a pre gig snorter was arranged in the Duck and Drake. Shuffling homeless scruffs rubbed shoulders with shuffling home owning scruffs and as ever CD’s swapped hands. One such was given to me by someone called Jonas who had long hair and wore a brown storemans coat. He described the contents as mock jazz but I’d describe them more as quintessential English colonialist surreal humour in a Vivian Stanshall meets Diz Willis kind of way. Which seems pertinent as Diz’s name cropped up regularly during the late afternoon swiller.
Protagonists of David Gadson is four tracks of spoken word observations over backings of sax squawl, urban jazz and Jelly Roll Morton on a loop. I was particularly smitten with ‘Doom Radio with Reginald Ffolks’, in which someone with a plummy, lispy, English accent reminisces about his old records [Vera Lynne] and his Teddy Bear over the aforesaid Jelly Roll loop. The deadpan estuary English delivery and living in the city observations of the proletariat getting pissed and vomiting cheered me no end but it was all over too quick. 26 minute including silence leading up to the hidden track in which we get to find out that Steve’s favourite chord is D minor is way too short. More please.