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Current 93 – Swastikas For Noddy / Crooked Crosses for the Nodding God

The Spheres

Current 93 - Swastikas For NoddySwastikas For Noddy was my favourite of Current 93‘s work until Thunder Perfect Mind stole its glory some years later. It’s very much a family affair, a pulling of disparate threads directed by David Tibet chasing his hallucinogenic vision of a crucified Noddy.

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Current 93/Shirley Collins/Macgillivary (live at the Union Chapel)

Macgillivary - live at The Union ChapelLondon 8 February 2014

Macgillivary started proceedings with some rather spooky vocals, multiple choirs caught in the looper’s long corridors, trapped trajectories, cloister curving, quickly followed by a souped-up electric zither accompaniment, as her sorrowful voice continued to work its magic through the vastness of the chapel. She pulled out some nice feedback too, and those ‘white horse’ piano tides were superb, reminded me so much of Galás‘ dark inroads or a more shadow-cast Enya. She concluded her set by walking into the wings, leaving the looper to stretch her vocals ad infinitum, the audience left to clap an empty stage.

Shirley Collins - live at The Union ChapelCurrent 93/Shirley Collins/Macgillivary (live at the Union Chapel) […]

Current 93/Reinier van Houdt (live at Meltdown 2011)

Meltdown Queen Elizabeth Hall, London 19 June 2011

“Please take your seats in the auditorium, as this evening’s performance is about to begin.” Sent scurrying into the Queen Elizabeth Hall by Sir Ian McKellen’s stentorian tones, we bury ourselves deep into the QEH’s welcoming black leather seats just as the lights goes down. I bolt down half a glass of the overpriced pseudo-Coke sold to me minutes earlier, and instantly regret it.

The lights dim, and the tableau remains lit by only six small lights – five blue and one orange – as dry ice swirls around moodily in eerie little clouds. Out onto the stage strides Reinier van Houdt, a curious and beguiling mixture of diffident and confident. Pale, thin (picture Christian Bale in The Machinist without the Method humour by-pass) and barefoot, the Dutch pianist sits down at the black Steinway Grand and greets us with a disarming

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Current 93 – Aleph At Hallucinatory Mountain

Coptic Cat Current 93 - Aleph At Hallucinatory MountainWell, here it is at last, the long-awaited new full studio album from David Tibet‘s ever-shifting collective Current 93. Their first since 2006’s apocalypse opus Black Ships Ate The Sky, it’s quite a departure from that album’s panoramic folk sound. Anyone who didn’t see any of their recent shows may be in for quite a surprise, though it’s a good one. Gone are the delicate crystalline folk structures of the last few years; it would appear that, along with a lot of the more discerning musical community, Mr Tibet has been discovering (or rediscovering) the joys of doom and stoner metal. After a deceptively fragile opening, two great slabs of guitar noise let “Invocation Of Almost” lead the way for probably the

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Mind Your Head 03: Current 93/Carter Tutti/Danielson Famile/They Came From The Stars, I Saw Them/Diamanda Galás/Acid Mothers Gong/Damo Suzuki/The Incredible String Band (live)

9, 15, 17, 21 October 2003 The South Bank Centre, London

The Mind Your Head festival for 2003 is subtitled “Exploring new meanings in sacred music”, though this seems more of a loose thread connecting the line-up together somewhat tenuously. However, the intriguing double bill which opens the series at The Queen Elizabeth Hall provides some food for thought on the issue, as do the series’ participants in nearly two weeks of events which follow.

Carter Tutti is the re-branded identity of stalwarts Chris And Cosey, and their manifestation on stage opens the series with an esoteric concoction of glitch and drone, of male/female interplay and the surge of a powerful psychedelic imperative – which is perhaps what the new sacred music allusions refer to in their particular case. A quantum step on from their CTI ambiences and Electro-Disco songs as C&C, Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti‘s glistens with

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Current Ninety Three/Antony And The Johnsons (live)

The Bloomsbury Theatre, London 6-7th April 2001

Johanna ConstantineJohanna ConstantineJohanna Constantine

Antony And The JohnsonsPerhaps if Billie Holiday had received nuptial visits from the spirit of La Cage Aux Folles and produced an offspring, that might explain how the universe has been blessed with Antony Hegarty. Perfoming live for two nights in London in support of Current 93 and the David Tibet Show, Antony And The Johnsons provided us with a glimpse into the nature of that blessing. And like a book is always better than the movie, Antony live was far better than even the CDs would let on. He poured himself onto a stage before a bedazzled audience, swathed in pink chiffon, as elegant as an angel, and sang like a violin. With the most beautiful voice of all time, ethereal

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