Venue: The Labour Club
Location: Charles Street Northampton England
This was a real strange one, with an audience made up largely of other musicians, most of whom had probably seen Wilson play about twenty times already. Well, be fair. Still they come. Thanks, guys.
There were two separate vibrations going on at the same time, and I'm not just thinking of the band's pharmaceutical intake.
No, the audience were quiet and subdued. Maybe, I reckon, they were just plain oppressed by the sheer volume and darkness of the alleged entertainment. Everybody I spoke to after the show seemed well taken with the set; they just weren't about to let us know while it was going on. Or something. A lot of people didn't realise that we had finished either. They thought that maybe we would be going on for a second set. Well, I must admit that the majority of us do look like we belong in a a pub band, but really. No, folks, if you wanted more you should have done the old ritual thing and shouted and shit. Oh, hang on, that's right. I hate the rock concert ritual. Oh, this was a confusing one.
Meanwhile, back in the delusion jungle...
Onstage Wilson are having the night of their lives. The track is crisp and bright and brutal, the bass is heavy, the guitarists have only ever heard Arc and Weld in their lives. As far as we are concerned, we are a heaving black crater of evil doom and justice. Botman Bot doesn't even turn up for the first two verses. You can see people wondering and worrying. Are we going to watch this band fall to pieces right in front of our eyes on an innocent Saturday night out? First no Curtis, now no Bot...what can it all mean? Botman Bot arrives via the front door, bang on time to deliver Curtis' crime rap on God's Green One. Headstone is yelling "rip up the phone boxes!" It's all edgy, sparky, exciting. To us anyway. Maybe it looks unprofessional or something. We know that the sound is good. Andy's magic PA strikes again.
It's into a new tune next. I wrote the words to the chorus the morning after the gig. Well, it'll be an excuse to come down to the next one, won't it? Then we're off into a run of 3 rockers. Somewhere in the midst thereof, we achieve Our Perfect Sound. It's evil and fizzing and swinging its massive great ass all over the place. There's singing - harmonies even - and shouting and banging and wailing and squawking and Stephen Fecking Hawking. We do the best version ever of Buffalo Sniper. Yes, I was compelled to sing large chunks of "Rocking in the Free World" at the same time as Bot was doing the proper lyric. Do you want to make something of it?
After a sneaky little Secret Government we descend into a swaggering and hostile version of Play It All Night Long. Every Saturday Night does nothing to lighten the mood. Critters is chiefly about shouting and violence and war and hate and the Loch Ness Monster and it's over in a second and then it's all aboard the Taliban Jeep for a swift and sweaty-palmed review of Wilson's Dark Agenda.
It kicks off. Botman Bot is giving it "Bitter & twisted! Go ballistic!" from Fat Controller. The kick drum is a truck. The bass is a huge big tanker full of something with a specific gravity far in excess of its half-life. The guitars are fizzing like nasty little cluster bombs. Inevitably, there is a hideous and protracted pile-up. The poor bloody audience are witnessing something that has nothing to do with either entertainment or anger management. Fuck, it feels good.
And that's it. Lord, it's quiet. Me, I just reckon people were shell-shocked.
You know, maybe we just weren't entertaining. Maybe we've become so dark and demented that it's just no fun to be around us any more. Maybe we've just got old and crass and boring.
But from where we're sitting, the band is moving up to another dimension. We're into one of our phases right now, and, if it be the Will of God, the next few shows could see Wilson mutating into something even more mental. Given that the next gig is in Builth, I'd be prepared to take a punt on that.
Fishboy 05:34 am 19/4/2004