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Gig: Autechre "Black Friday" @ Royal Festival Hall

Here's a nice shot I took of Andy Maddox, who was one of the warm up acts for tonight's Autechre show. His music was accessible but unrecognisable to me. The other support act Russell Haswell unfortunately was both inaccessible and unrecognisable, in fact probably unrecognisable to Russell as well. He seemed to make the song titles up as he went along and the music, if you can call it that sounded like he was manipulating feedback in his equipment with a chainsaw. 

Autechre on the other hand looked like this, as the gig was a "lights out" performance. The point was to allow the audience to focus on the music, none of which I recognised, and given the responses of the audience, not recognised by them either. But I understand that may be the Autechre thing as they've cleverly evolved their live sound to be an organic construction rather than a replaying of their albums. What got the crowd to cheer was a recognisable snippet of something that sounded more like music than noise, and as that little 4/4 snippet appeared and allowed us to nod our heads we'd cheer for more but it would soon evolve back into the noise that permeated most of the set. Being in darkness also made any little bit of light that did appear an instant distraction, and as some people left early the ushers, who were carrying muted torches would run to collect them. I seem to find myself paying more attention to that than the stage.

So a weird night, that ended a bit abruptly. I think the set was a little over an hour, and there was no encore. I can say I've done a gig in the dark though. Would I go to another? Probably not if it was Autechre.


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