Venue: The Packhorse
Location: Leeds England LS1
Another production of Team Borscht, who look after Wilson oop north. Richard Morris from Team Borscht may well get in touch with some shit about the gig.
📝 Pat Says
JBC trans-generational mayhem as Eider and Formby clash on allegedly acoustic version of "Girl-Go"
Leeds, England - A small knot of quaint but ultimately confused northerners were exposed to the mysterious powers of counter-cultural entertainers and analytically impermeable rock sociopaths the Jazz Butcher Conspiracy in an intimate British pub Thursday, writes Muffin Ritblatt. Once again the cheeky music hall eccentrics demonstrated their complete inability to come to terms with the Space/Time continuum by performing with a line-up that blatently flouted the very principles of quantum physics as they are understood today.
The Conspiracy, represented on this occasion by ringleaders Pat Fish and Max Eider, began the evening in August 1982, playing a selection of their cult songs from their first album, "Bath Of Bacon" recorded in the year of the Falklands War. But this was no simple effort at reviving a lost era of indie-pop mediocrity. Deprived of his usual effects unit (whose power supply he had left back in Lodon), Eider actually managed to recreate his exact sound from a concert in the upstairs room of a quaint London pub style venue in November 1982, while Fish's inept caterwaulings and scratchy amateurish strumming had listeners longing for the DJ to play some Bronski Beat or fine Young Cannibals.
Amid rumours that members of talented doom-rockers Bauhaus were in attendance (it turned out to be the head of the Love & Rockets fan club), the dentally-challenged Fish and the frankly alarming Eider played through a selection of ancient garbage before throwing the audience a curve ball with the inclusion of the song "Whaddya?", recorded long after Eider left the group.
Owing the the spectacularly shakey performance of the tune, many failed to notice that the eclectic duo had departed from the norms of reality and were in fact engaged in an assault on the very fabric of the universe itself.
Experts are undecided on how exactly the British fops were able to effect their ultimately nightmarish bending of time and space, but Doktor Herbert Pruegler of the Berlin Institute of Home Economics believes that an apparently endless rendition of the song "Sister Death", followed by a period of some five minutes during which the guitar-toting deviants played only the chord of D Major, may have had the effect of temporarily bringing the passing of time to a standstill. At any rate, after a moment of collective amnesia, or "lost time" as X-philes might have it, the audience became aware that Eider and Fish had been joined onstage by guitarist/producer Richard "Lenin" Formby. The traditional rock "old pals" act had an bizarre twist, however: Eider had left the band before Richard Formby ever joined, and Formby had already disappeared from the JBC circle before Eider ever re-joined. Long-term students of forteana will recall a similar incident in 1995 when Eider was supposedly spotted on stage in London alongside Peter "Something Simple For The Weekend" Crouch, the JBC guitarist who infamously became an air hostess in 1993 before going on to Premier League success with the Aston Villa soccer club.
Owing to the practical difficulties of warping the space/time continuum in such an outrageous fashion, the dandyish and heavily moustachioed Formby experienced a few problems with his equipment before starting to play. It soon became clear that the Conspiracy's disrespect for the laws of physics was matched only by its cavalier attitude towards its own material: for "Mister Odd" Eider found himself laying down the rhythmic chord backing alone, while Fish and Formby insisted on both playing the same guitar solo simultaneously. Professor Haskins of the University of Hawaii suspects that this might have been a device to "fix" the astonishing temporo-historical wormhole which they had constructed.
The performance continued with a rendition of "Girl-Go" from 1990's album "Cult of Debasement" whereon Eider and Formby fought an aerial dogfight reminiscent of the later years of the first World War. Towards the end of the version all pretence of chord structure was abandoned in favour of a heinous squalling, droning row. An ensuing version of the brutalist paean to necrophilia "Zombie Love" saw the quaint Brits returning to the 14th Century, reproducing a chillingly accurate sonic portrayal of the Black Death that decimated the audiences - sorry, population - of Mediaeval Europe.
After noisy demands from the audience to be returned to the 21st Century forthwith, Eider and Fish returned to the stage for a valedictory version of "Drink" before retiring to a secret laboratory for debriefing and refreshment. The majority of the stunned listeners left the venue to find themselves returned to the early 21st Century, but a small number remain stranded in a dark and evil place somewhere between 1983 and 1993 with no obvious means of egress. Emergency services are doing as much as they can, but say that they are in urgent need of parapsychological assistance from experts in St. Petersburg last seen in 1991. President Tony Blur has appealed for information, while Minister of the Interior David Blunkett has sworn to outlaw any further interference with the fabric of space and time by pot-smoking oddballs. (A.P.)
After a wee bit of umming and ahhing about whether to attend this particular gig (well, it was a school night and the venue was somewhere within the arctic circle), the car was loaded with coke and crisps, compasses readied and the adventure began...
We decided to take a brief detour through Leeds city centre (ok, we were lost!), but as luck would have it, found ourselves on the right road as though guided by some divine hand (Eider - right).
By this time I had a hankering for the traditional northern food of chips and gravy, so the only disappointment of the whole evening was when I had to settle for un-gravied chips from the nearby kebab shop (top chips nonetheless!)
On entering the pub, we began to wonder if there might be another Packhorse on the same road as this one was barely large enough to allow adequate cueing room around it's pool table, let alone host an music event of such magnitude.
Upon spotting a poster on the wall of the stairs, we ascended to the first floor of the tardis where we were transported back in time to mad uncle Trevor's living room, Christmas 1985, except rather than have to listen to the latest Perry Como re-issues, we were treated to a performance of rare warmth and intimacy.
The family gathering atmos was even more noticeable when Richard Formby turned up with a coachload from the Moors.
New stuff (something about Sweet Home Alabama), old stuff (Girls Who Keep Goldfish), different stuff (Whaddya?, La Mer) was all played with conspiratorial joy. Quite what run-in has occurred in the past between Pat and Celine Dion, however, to cause such an outrageous outburst should probably remain a secret (was it the Titanic or the Vegas gigs that she pipped you to????), suffice to say Anglo-Canadian relations are now being repaired behind closed doors as I type.
With the local coachload fairly baying for an encore of D.R.I.N.K. (was it the song or the beer they were after?), Pat and Max, being the consumate entertainers, obliged their gracious hosts to round the evening off perfectly.
Thinking of the night in hindsight still raises a smile.
Vive le difference !