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Nurse With Wound / Autrenoir (live at Convergence)

Nurse With Wound live at Convergence March 2016Village Underground, London
19 March 2016

The expectation was unbearable. The support act, Autrenoir (an alliance of Paul Régimbeau — AKA Mondkopf — and Greg Buffier of Selenites and Saáad), had finished half an hour ago and the Nurse With Wound contingent were assembled hirsute by the side of the stage.

Autrenoir’s storming set was still ricocheting recent memory, their cinematic drones and chest-shifting tremors were just the ticket, burnt as intensely as the monochrome film work that accompanied them. Discarded trolleys caught in the swaying grass and swollen tides. Figurative enigmas tied to the cardiac thump of  abstraction. Hard-edged digital contours a world away from Nurse’s first five minutes.

Kings of the preposterous, Nurse with Wound start their set with a nonsense poem, surreal wordage supplied by one James Worse — I don’t know how they find these people but I’m glad they do. A bald-headed orator, sporting a wicked chin of hair and a booming voice. His body gesturing, knees bent to the charge of each absurd and whimsical sentence. Arms thrown skyward, the words landing sticky-fingered into your mind, ensnared by distended calls from the canopy. A loplop(ed) cacophony squealing away behind him, an animated Mr Stapleton putting his back into a sliding bird whistle. The orator discarding his read papers with flippant flicks, his words machine-fed into the massive mixing desk that Mr Potter is looming over, those Lear-like sizzles regurgitated until the whole is bubbling queasily.

Nurse With Wound live at Convergence March 2016

The on-screen S&M leather-clad figure of their first album slowly undulating like haunted blancmange, the paperless orator finally departing the stage, his machine-spun words echoed in the venue’s Victorian architecture. The page black with a forest of noggin-twisting sound, the imprisoned wordplay drowning in a whale-smeared slaughterhaus. I’ve got to stress this is only the first ten minutes and it (or should I say – the Wound) is already oozing satisfactorily.

For here on in, the darkness fish are flowing plentiful, flickering with buoyant curves of distended notation. Some lovely shadowy drone sweep by, puckered with little shrill sandwiches that silver-fish the bulbous, skewered, quivered into flurries of pure chaos underpinned by heavy pulses and beats. Is that Mr Liles working his guitar with a toy hammer, or is that Mr Waldron holding a jawbone of a bass with funkster intent as the other two throw in irregular gusts and tapered tangles?

Nurse With Wound live at Convergence March 2016

Everything is so far away and dimly lit. Some accidental rhythmics spurt forth, the screen bleeding dayglo, then sinking sinisterly around cabaret man’s words. A welcome return of one Benjamin Louche, last experienced over at Koko a while back, his grinning caricature chilling the air like that ever-so helpful barkeep in The Shining. “I could be a child’s entertainer”, he goes. “A child… I was one… was once one…”, curdling Punch-n-Judy-shudderations of kazoo sealing the malevolence.

Quentin Rollet‘s saxophonics gift-wrapping the feast in smoky curls, as those collapsing piano keys slam behind. This is a heady disturbia, razoring real, valid torch-lit madness as that 150 Murderous Passions cover trembles graphically on screen, your eyes caught on the pulsating umbilical, vulva fed into chopped-up baby and surgically callipered eyes. A glimpse of soured melody always hinting, rotating in a dough-like centrifuge, the screen concentric circles, the centre distorting into devil horns, grinning faces have me lost in the lush corruption of it all, swaying Sardina, beaming on the  inside; this is entertainment without the paper hat. I’ve seen this lot numerous times, but this is going down as the best so far. I really hope Dark Fat (the next instalment of the Nursey journey) is scooped copiously from a similar trough.

Nurse With Wound live at Convergence March 2016

But it isn’t over yet as they notch up the intensity, clamber into a rackety void that’s hard to escape from, both vocalists running back to the stage shouting angrily from within. A storming finale to a highly memorable show. I really hope this materialises as a release in some shape or form in the near future; meanwhile I’ll have to make do with this CDR I bought from the rugby scrum that was the merch stall for… well, I’m not telling. Worth every penny though — fleeing back to the wilds of Swineville, the car full of sleepyheads, its cancerous soul sounding in my ear as the blackness of the motorway swallows my headlights; some would say priceless.

-Michael Rodham-Heaps-

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