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Godspeed You! Black Emperor

Discussion in 'music' started by farfromthesun, Jun 9, 2017.

  1. farfromthesun

    farfromthesun pfm Member

  2. RichardH

    RichardH Bodging pleb

    Take you earplugs - they play LOUD. Awesome band live, though they are the only band I have seen where the stage lights dim when they come on....
     
  3. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Agreed, definitely an ear-plug job (though all rock music is for me). I saw them a couple of times years back and they are very good.
     
  4. Ed Rogerson

    Ed Rogerson Culturally irrelevant

    Supported by Bardo Pond as well - should be a top evening's entertainment.
     
  5. farfromthesun

    farfromthesun pfm Member

  6. SteveB

    SteveB Wir sind schaufensterpuppen

    Shame I can't make that gig but I've seen them twice recently and I am sure it will be a great evening. New album arrived earlier today and looking forward to giving it a spin later
     
  7. farfromthesun

    farfromthesun pfm Member

    Tonight! Earplugs at the ready!

    Looking forward to a few beers at the Craft Beer Co. in Limehouse before onto an aural assault from GY!BE.
     
  8. SteveB

    SteveB Wir sind schaufensterpuppen

    Report awaited...
     
  9. farfromthesun

    farfromthesun pfm Member

    Ha, sorry. Yesterday was a long day, considering I had 3 hours sleep after getting home at about 2.30am after the gig...

    I arrived at the venue - Troxy - about 15 minutes before GY!BE were due to take to the stage, and after the support acts had finished. I found my seat and decided I would be better off standing at the front of the balcony, where there was plenty of space and I wouldn't have been a nuisance to anyone.

    It's been a long time since I saw a *real* band play, usually attending events featuring electronic music, so I was very intrigued by the stage set up. There didn't appear to be any emphasis whatsoever on any particular musician, and there were a lot of them! Various plastic chairs, cushions and other furniture adorned the stage, and to my mind this doesn't give the audience a focal point, or front man. Of course, anyone familiar with them knows that they're relatively "faceless" and there's no front man so to speak, and so the set up that I observed was certainly in keeping with that.

    [​IMG]

    The lights dimmed and a single band member appeared from the shadows and made their way to their instrument and the music began with a quiet, single droney effect. Gradually, more members appeared, additional instruments were layered over the existing sounds in a wonderfully sublime manner, and over the course of some 15 minutes the layers built up - as did the volume - until the band were in full flow, delivering that melancholy yet discordant wall of sound that's so prevalent on their studio work.

    This opening was not a track per sé - not one that I could definitively identify in any case - but seemed to draw on various sounds and structures that I could attribute to albums as far back as "Slow Riot for New Zero Kanada". A mesmerising and hugely impressive start to the show. The visuals, which I understand were "Live Mixed" repeatedly flickered with the word "Hope" throughout the opening, layered over imagery that was reminiscent of their album artwork.

    The performance continued in this vein - it ebbed and flowed through more structured, rock type instrumentals, though the majority of the performance was far more abstract and unrecognisable, and in my mind, that was ideal because that's what I really like about them. I was quite amused by the fact that I could barely attribute a single sound to a particular performer - with the exception of the drummer and a violinist, everything else just melded together effortlessly to create the sound that makes them so unique.

    I recognised a couple of melodies and hooks from their recent "Luciferian Towers" LP, but generally it seemed very much like an impromptu jamming session and I was pretty much blown away. I recognised what may have been a cover of a Sunn O))) track, but I couldn't quite put my finger on what exactly it was.

    On the negative side, I was slightly dissapointed that they didn't play "East Hastings" - the track heavily featured in 28 Days Later - given that they were in London and it was Halloween, but I think that it was just wishful thinking on my part. I was also slightly let down by the PA - I didn't need my ear plugs and at times the layering appeared to become mushy and the system seemed to lack a degree of capability for such a complex arrangement of sounds. The benchmark - for me - was Autechre at Royal Festival Hall last November, which was so loud that it quite literally made my bones shake, yet never distorted at all and was always perfectly clear. The sound at Troxy was a long way from that - however this is not the fault of the band at all.

    In summary, I loved it. I could have sat there listening to them for hours and will most definitely see them if they were to turn up in London again.
     
  10. SteveB

    SteveB Wir sind schaufensterpuppen

    Great write-up, thanks :)
     
  11. rdf

    rdf Active Member

    I bought the new LP, and I kind of wondered why I bought it, because I've never been their biggest fan. Avoided playing it for a couple of weeks, finally stuck it on, and WOW. It's a terrific record. Going to revisit the older stuff because I think the penny's finally dropped for me.
     
  12. MotelBlues

    MotelBlues Member

    “F♯ A♯ ∞” even comes with the penny.
     
  13. rdf

    rdf Active Member

    Ha! Indeed it does.
     
  14. BJP

    BJP Optimistic Utopian

    In my all time top 10 , the vinyl and CD are slightly different , the CD being also longer.
     

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