Bridget Hayden - Just Ideas/The Night’s Veins
Singing Knives Records.
Did I tell you about the time I got blind drunk at one of Campbell’s parties? Apparently I was dancing around the living room to Sun Ra flapping my arms about like a loon before eventually staggering to a taxi rank and from there my mind is a blank. I do have vague memories of talking to Bridget Hayden, drunken, incoherent ramblings on my part. I’m a terrible blathering idiot drunk which is one of the reasons I tend stay clear of overindulgence these days but after way too many vodkas, or whatever it was I was shoveling down my neck that night, I was no doubt in full throng, extolling the virtues of The Incapacitants or the night flights to New Delhi on Virgins new Airbuses or some other nonsense. I have no clear recollection of the chosen topic of conversation but I do remember talking to her, or as is probably more accurate annoying her. So I’m now taking this opportunity to apologise to Bridget for any offense I caused on the occasion of one of Campbell’s parties many, many years ago. I'm a good boy now honest. Just ask Neil.
So here comes the glowing review of a cassette that features seven tracks of Hayden’s solo material as recorded between the years 2002 and 2007.
Work that veers from all out guitar noise to Yoko Ono type moaning as accompaniment to, not surprisingly, Vibracathedral Orchestra type improv work outs with drones created from out of breath harmoniums and fluttering flutes. The latter are from the ‘Just Ideas’ side, a title which gives you some indication of whats going on here. Its the best side with wheedling, squealing violin creating short overtone bursts that have an almost ethnic feel to them and then overdubbed slide guitar and moans and that almost Astral Social Club rapid beat feel as from a Casio keyboard drum machine preset set to max. ‘The Night’s Veins’ two tracks begins with some full on guitar racket with Hayden shredding strings amidst a cacophony of feedback. What follows are ethereal voices, radio transmissions, tapes in reverse, Chinese State Radio broadcasts at three a.m. Just ideas and pretty good ones at that.
Hayden is perhaps better know for her involvement with Leeds droners Vibracathedral Orchestra and she also takes part in the rare collaboration, I’ve dug out the Delaney/Todd/Hayden release ‘Freeway Alabama’ so as to re-familiarise myself with its luxurious expanses. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen her live on more than one occasion too, hunched over a guitar wreaking havoc from it but I may have been drunk and can only half remember. Those days have gone. Did I mention this before?