WHAT THRILLED me most
about Non's set was watching one man's
valiant struggle and eventual victory
over an ugly and decidedly antagonistic
mob. The audience bayed and yelled and
chucked a thing or two as Boyd Rice (for
he is Non) sought to overcome his
unfortunately protracted technical
problems. At one point it seemed he'd
given up and a desultory farewell was
mumbled. But ...
paced surge of bleak and uncompromising
rhythmic tones were exuded, pulses of
light matched the noise. The impact was
powerful and imposing. It deadened the
detractors, it fired up the sympathisers.
flickering stabs of illumination his
entire body would sometimes disappear and
reappear with an eerie now you see him
now you don't tempo.
Neubauten entered and played a song. A
gen u ine song. It sounded like a mid
'60s beat group propelled by dustbin lid
percussion a big beatgroup! It was
oddly infectious and jolly and a
remarkable kick in the teeth, by the
ensemble, to public expectations.
past I've found their live sets either a
compulsive, electrifying experience or
else a single empty clatter. Tonight
guitars were more to the fore than the
customary drills and saws.
growled and contorted around the mike
stand, tearing agonised convulsions of
blues from his instrument, it grew
apparent that his Nick Cave sabbatical
has resulted in a handful of bad
seediness being scattered hereabouts.
Einsturzende Neubauten presented
themselves in a new guise, exponents of
treacherous, torturous rack and roll.
it all still chimed the resplendent ka-thud!
ka-thwack! as metal bowed to the
mighty blows but somehow there was a
pervading subduedness. None of the usual
ear shattering wattage, and toe tingling
peaks of intensity were seldom sustained.
One song evolved impressively from a
murmur to a whisper to a shout to a
scream and quite definitely there was a
calculated method to their madness. But
wasn't quite honed. A strange incident
occurred when a saw was applied to a
large cylindrical piece of metal. No
audible sound emerged, just a very pretty
fountain of sparks. As the exits were
being stampeded, I wondered wickedly
whether this had been the Neubauten quest
for commercial success.