Iain Cameron's Diary
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2010-09-07 - 1:59 a.m.

Up early to work through the e-ms. A message from Gilbert about Bark1-percussive. We agree which is the best take but Gilbert has suggested some EQ alterations. I left at 11am to get to Victoria by midday but was actually about 15 minutes late. Fortunately I had my phone so I could text my progress. My XX-patriot friend confirmed he is going back to being an X-patriot. He plans to drive to UAE at the end of the week - across Europe to Turkey then Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. We spent our time relaxing on the balcony of the 2nd storey Wetherspoons in the station watching the world rush by below. He was able to tell me some more about Hamiltonians which had featured in his PhD.

I had arranged to meet Rob at the Temple tube at 5.30pm - in case there was some delay I bought a copy of The Word attracted by the interview with R Thompson. The District Line still worked and Rob was on time - we walked up to Covent Garden to a rather attractive pub. We spent a long time talking about France - where we had both holidayed. Time slipped past and we realised we were late for Boat-ting. It was raining so we got a cab down to the Embankment and after a bit of a struggle identified which boat the club was on.

Boat-ting is indeed on a converted barge. The band/performers set up on one side - opposite the bar which is on the other side. Most of the audience are either in the bow or the stern. We got some seats in the bow. It was an amazingly rich bill:

Lol Coxhill - Sax
Alex Ward - Clarinet

Sybilline Sisters

Steve Noble - Drums
John Edwards - Double Bass
Alex Ward - Guitar

Led Bib
Mark Holub - Drums
Peter Grogan - Sax
Liran Donin - Bass
Toby McLaren - Keys
Chris Williams - Sax

The sax and clarinet duo was extremely musical - both players used extended techniques but not excessively. The blending of the two instruments was very impressive and their set was if anything too short. The SS have a lead voice who declaims poetry and two backing singers who sing wordlessly in a fairly abstract fashion. The closest thing I could relate the performance to is Meredith Monk although this is not particularly accurate reference. N.E.W at times reminded me of the Hendrix Experience - Rob said he thought of early Pink Floyd. The bass player made a variety of sounds, sometimes using the bow, sometimes plucking conventionally. Led Bib were if anything louder. Their website says they won a Mercury prize in 2009. The electric bass was very powerful and reminded a bit of Jack Bruce in Cream improvisations - a Gibson like growl. The two saxes reminded me of a student band I was in - Wild Oats - where I played soprano and flute and Steve played alto, soprano and flute. There was a Fender Rhodes (I think) using a lot of outboard effects - rather in the way the instrument was played in the early 70s and particularly in Miles' electric bands. For me this is just a brilliant sound - so different from a contemporary synth. Their set was very varied and very musical.

This only left the problem of getting home through the tube strike. I was lucky enough to catch the last Westbound District Line train as far as Hammersmith. A Heathrow bound train came along quite soon - the trick was that my station was closed and so presumably the train didnít stop there. Fortunately I picked up this intelligence just in time, leaping out onto Hounslow Central station. A bus came long with perfect timing to get me home. I will definitely give Boat-ting another crack - probably in a fortnight's time.

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