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Swans (live at Koko)

Koko, London 15 November 2012

Following their new album, The Seer, Swans first live performance in London for two years was genuinely eagerly awaited. The second album from the ‘reactivated’ Swans had shown that despite, or indeed because of, the long break they were still capable of producing innovative music that defies comparison with any of their contemporaries. Swans reputation as live performers goes before them, and a performance including material from the demanding and yet uplifting new album held the promise of being a particularly special event.

I have never been to a gig with such a palpable sense of anticipation. Every corner and balcony at Koko was packed and the nervous excitement of the crowd communicated an intense expectation of a spiritual experience, rather than just a gig. Sir Richard Bishop’s low key but powerful warm up set the bar high and served to crank up the

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Sir Richard Bishop – Intermezzo

Ideologic Organ

Originally self-released as a CDr by Sir Richard Bishop in 2011, Intermezzo now gets a vinyl outing courtesy of Stephen O’Malley‘s estimably eclectic Ideologic Organ imprint. Maybe surprisingly for a record with such a limited first release, this is one of those œuvre-spanning albums which provides a snapshot of Bishop’s range and versatility, as each instrumental piece on here pretty much fits into a different genre of (mostly)solo acoustic guitar music.

So once “Dust And Spur”s has rolled straight in from familiarly fantastic Fahey country, and the avant-surge of “Reversionary Tactics” has switched back and forth, Bishop brings out “Dance of the Cedars,” a suitably-titled Arabic waft of Mediterranean air where the pollen and evergreen spires which symbolise so much of the

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Wolves In The Throne Room/Naked Shit – Earth/Sir Richard Bishop (live at The Underworld)

The Underworld, London 10 and 12 February 2008Naked Shit Naked ShitThe day after a chunk of Camden Market burnt down, Southern Lord‘s finest black metal act touch down in The Underworld. Thankfully the conflagration was at the other end of the High Street, so the gig continued as scheduled with the only hint that something had occurred being the line of police officers across the road by the tube station.

Support act Naked Shit are notable not only for their terrible name, which at least sparks debate as to whether it’s a nude turd or an excretion performed in the altogether, but for the presence of a horse as the bass player. OK, so it’s really a man in a suit with

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