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Home > Music

Broadcast at the Islington Academy: 10 questions

Broadcast, Islington Academy, December 10th, 2003.

Alan Connor

11 December 2003

  1. Why wasn't it louder? Sure, it must have been hard to get the basslines - even ones as pretty and moreish as Broadcast's - to penetrate the beards and duffelcoats that the crowd came sporting, but that just means you turn up the amps. Yes, there's a pretty vocalist, but a whole lot of what makes Broadcast interesting is the sound of the sounds, dude, and the way the rhythms are nice to loll around in. People were tapping and jigging about a bit. They should have been deafened.
  2. broadcast.jpg

  3. Why was there so much security? A phalanx of Dubya bomber jackets were guarding the venue like they'd had a tip-off that the horn-rimmed Japanese chicks were going to finally kick off tonight. During the bag searches, I heard about the Dump Your Weapons Here box at a Nine Inch Nails gig in Montreal, which steadily filled to the brim with chains and skivs. This didn't happen here, and neither was the security fencing used.
  4. Is Trish Kennan's voice sweet or cold? With that haircut and those prettinesses, you're tempted to say cold. But sometimes, you just assume that a girl singing over rhythms must be doing the ice maiden thing, and Trish doesn't always. I mean, she's not Nico. There's something welcoming and co-operative about her lullabyish voice. And yay for that.
  5. What the hell happened to that great bar that the Marquee had for a bit? I had such a tasty bar snack there before Michelle Shocked's gig. You could eat cheaply and well within the venue itself. Was that so wrong?
  6. What do swirly projections make you think of now? There was a time when the kind of desaturated double helixes, public information films and Norman McClaren blobs that Broadcast use made you think of the birth of electronic music, a past that acknowledged all the possibilities of the future, which seemed like it was in the future, and felt, well, very now. Whereas now,it's reminiscent of a few years ago. In a good way. I'm confused.
  7. Come to that, what the hell happened to the Marquee? There was a good venue there, that made you forget you were in a shopping centre. But now Carling have asked that mall spirit to come on in and plaster itself all over the walls. For a while, it seemed like Dave Stewart had done one good thing. For a while.
  8. Why do people have a beef with percussion? The NME has lately been using "bongos" and "perussion" as shorthand for music which takes itself too seriously and isn't Jet. But tell me, polyrhythms or no: what is wrong with a nice lady holding a soft shaker?
  9. What happened to Plone? That one's easy, from the posted gig listing. Mike Johnson is alive, well, and performing as Mike In Mono.
  10. Why are 3" CDs so pleasurable? Mmmm. They fit in your pocket, and they fit in that nice inner circle in the drawer of your CD player, and I now have Broadcast's 'Microtonics Volume 01', a series of short "stereo recorded music for links and bridges", which I will use on my radio proigramme. If I want to spook the listeners a little.
  11. Why don't Broadcast do a coolio soundtrack? Their blobs and loops of sound would sound great under an action sequence in a movie, and then they'd be all famous and stuff. Film producers, take note!

Broadcast's 'Haha Sound' is on Warp.


Re-reading recently Iggy Pop talking about his relationship with Nico ("she taught me how to eat pussy and all about the best German wines"), one thing became apparent:

"'Jimmy, you have zis one big problem' -- I was just a little lad for chrissakes, but I was still game -- 'You are not full of zee poison! Zis is not correct. Zis is not right. How can you perform when you are not full of the poison? Me, I will help you just enough to fill you with zee poison, but otherwise you have nothing! We do not want to see a person on the stage: no, no, no. We want to see a performer, and zee poison is the essence of the performer.'"
What an absolute bore.

fr. p256 of Nick Kent's 'The dark stuff' [Penguin, 1994]



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