giovedì 31 luglio 2014



… In a softly lit foyer bar down by the Thames we find ourselves huddled tighter in groups whilst local patrons look on in indignation at what their beloved arts centre has become refuge to. Before us, between two columns in the centre of the bar, seated and almost motionless, our four Spacemen, amps pointed inwards and thoughts transfixed likewise. The air surrounding them is rich with the delicate hum of vibrant electricity, an incessant throbbing ambience rising to stirring crescendos and then falling away to a whisper. The best way to describe it would be intense but atmospheric, so much so that it blends with the feel of the occasion with out being loud and oppressive. Sonic's plectrum clicks audibly against his strings causing rhythmic arcs of sound to pulsate throughout the bar and wing their way casually into the night air. Jason meanders around, pulling a hypnotic ellipse of jagged spectral tonality from his fretboard, repeating phrase after phrase, again and again, minimal, maximum. To call it contemporary sitar music is no untruth. They have always relied on the drone in their manifestation as a rock band and here they take it to an extreme. Throughout the set they keep up this continuous momentum, now and then slipping in half-formed parts of songs which would finally appear on Playing With Fire. In a way, then, this performance is a precis of that whole album and an introduction to their more relaxed, nebulous side. All around the room people's expression range from disinterest to irritation to fascination. How long can they keep up this game of seduction? The sheer endurance requires a single bloody-mindedness common only to men possessed. After ninety minutes (longer than they ever play with gaps between songs!), Sonic glances at his watch and leads the descend into silence. Each successive contracting whirl of the spiral down brings up closer to reality. The starship lands, there is a smattering of relieved applause, and we leave feeling privileged at having experienced something truly beautiful.

The recording of 'An Evening of Contemporary Sitar Music' has been released several times in various bootleg forms, this is the first official release in the UK on Space Age Recordings.

Recorded at Waterman's Art Centre, Hammersmith, 19th August 1988.
Sonic Boom: Vox Starstreamer
Jason: guitar
Will Caruthers: bass vibrations
Steve Evans: guitar
Pat Fish: joint rolling

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