The Forum, London 7 December 2012
It’s cold outside… but nice and cosy warm in The Forum, where the throng of Numanoids, all wonderfully resplendent in black, have gathered to hear the music from the master. While the intro music plays the anticipation and tension mounts. Crys of “NuuuuuuMaaaaan!” ring out around the venue. Then suddenly the lights go out and a massive roar goes up from the crowd as the stage set is revealed. Two synthesizer players sit either side of a drum kit surrounded by their keyboards, all three atop a platform that has cold white lights shining from inside. This design reminded me a little of his 79 Living Ornaments set, and it was perfectly in keeping because tonight we were treated to a bit of old school Numan.
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The Forum, London 16 June 2011
Returning to the London stage after testing the waters at Hellfest, Roadburn and the redoubtable Supersonic festivals (the latter of course taking place on their home ground in Birmingham), GC Green and Justin Broadrick make an admirable choice to not overdo their stage dressing at The Forum tonight. One modestly-large amp stack each, and a screen for projections, plus some smoke. Actually, a lot of smoke; not in the SunnO))) fashion, where the audience cannot see more than a metre in front of their faces, but enough to make for a constant swirl of thick atmospherics under the colour-switching lights.
Starting off as they mean to proceed for the rest of the night, “Like Rats” blasts out its vitriol and barely-concealed contempt for humanity, Broadrick’s guitar shredding in what is
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The Forum, London 17 December 2010
This is Earth calling, this is Earth calling……
It’s mid-winter, snow is on the ground and Arctic winds blow and London is bought to a stand still by Tube strikes and 2cm of the white stuff (no not the “Right Stuff”). Beaming down from their planet, Hawkwind are on their usual winter solstice space ritual tour and tonight is its final night.
What better way to warm the frozen masses than to slide into a rousing rendition of the X In Search of Space classic “You Shouldn’t Do That.” In fact tonight Hawkwind manage to slip in a few little surprises. From the moment the set starts with Tim Blake’s space synthesizer giving an electronic countdown to cosmic blast off you know you’re going to be in for a treat. Then the rest of
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The Forum, London 18 July 2010
Skinny Puppy shows are pretty much bound to be weird, and more than a tad befuddling; bemusing even. Where else can a grown man shimmy onstage dressed like cross between a lightshow-bejewelled Torquemada and the dead king of Sutton Hoo, all pointy white cone-hat and empty-socketed stare against a background of videogame corridors – which it soon transpires on further exposure are probably filmed in the real world – and a panorama of desert warfare fallout and urban debris colour-filtered into psychedelic abstraction. Skinny Puppy’s musical approach is somewhat similar to their visual sense; distorting, inverting and making the organisation of commonplace sounds unfamiliar and more than a bit digitally outré. Slipping wraith-like between the precise boundaries of genre with an unnerving adroitness, walking the tightrope between the
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The Forum, London 26 July 2008
They’re certainly not 22 going on 23 any more, but the Butthole Surfers have taken measures to ensure their set goes down in properly deranged psychedelic hardcore style tonight. First, it’s the classic late Eighties lineup of Gibby Haynes and Paul Leary at the front and centre, with the rhythm section filled out by Theresa Nervosa and King Coffey, still managing to stand up and drums like being posseessed, and the heavily-bearded, flying-axed bass courtesy of Jeff Pinkus provides a suitably weird backwoods presence, especially as the rest of the band seem to have grown into a look which harks back to their meeting as accountancy students all those
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The Forum, London 9 October 2004
Having reincarnated with a new touring band as PTV3, Genesis P-Orridge returned to the London stage five years after his triumphant – if ultimately unsatisfying – Royal Festival Hall cocking of snooks and other no doubt pierced appendages (how does one pierce a cocked snook, exactly?) at the ravenous tabloids which had hounded him into Californian exile. Where that show had failed musically, at least as far as Psychic TV were concerned (check the DVD of the event for further evidence), it had worked on so many other levels: gloriously camp video introductions from the late Quentin Crisp; support sets from the fabulous Master Musicians Of Jajouka and Billy Childish being among other performance highlights; the thoroughly psychedelic atmosphere and lightshow; the strategic planning of the gig to take place both
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The Forum, London 19 July 2004
It’s a point that’s already been made, I’m sure, but there’s at least something to be said for the otherwise abhorrent War Against Terror. Just look, or rather listen, to what’s going on. As well as the politicisation of once-apathetic masses, the already-politicised but seldom heard of Industrial Rock giants are all coming out to the barricades to chuck stuff. See the headlines – “NEW MINISTRY ALBUM NOT SHIT SHOCKER!”, “KMFDM INVADE BRITAIN AGAIN” and now even “SKINNY PUPPY FINALLY RETURN TO LONDON”.
Having bought tickets for their last (cancelled) London gig back in, ooh, 1990 or thereabouts, I have to say I was really quite excited about this, and like an excitable schoolgirl (albeit one who was into anguished shrieks and cut-up beats) prepared myself for the occasion with a couple of
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The Forum, London 3 April 2004
If one thing in life is true, it that people get older, bands get mellower – the noise and sound and fury of an Industrial youth flows into a neatly-tailored sartorial elegance and a penchant for slower numbers. Or so it is with Einstürzende Neubauten; perhaps it was always there, as such things happen with people as with music. A friend recently observed upon hearing the track “Silence Is Sexy” for the first time, that it was Marks And Spencers music – that is, middle aged, perhaps a bit boring: a contribution to the pension fund. It seems somewhat appropriate then that the merchandise stall tonight is selling what are effectively EN-logo’ed cardigans – smart, stylish black affairs, but comfortable enough to go with a matching set of slippers – and yes, this reviewer purchased one.
All the above may be true, or an
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Wormwood Live The Forum, London 19th July 1999
When The Residents put on a show, it’s something very special to see indeed; like Jesus Christ Superstar (surely one of the defining moments of pomp-pop-opera, and whose theme provides the opening fanfare as the curtain goes up on the monocular ones) taken beyond the realms of kitsch to a theatricality which defies satire and emerges resplendent as total genius incarnate. To explain: the very fact that there are four musicians dressed in surplices with foam eyeballs for heads making the kind of gargantuan music to suit the subject of Curious Stories From The Bible – at once pompous, Prog and post-Modern – while the two main actors declaim (with skill which somehow transcends overacting) the group’s peculiar interpretation of key moments from the not-so-Good Book is mind-boggling enough. Add in the skull-masked and bird-like carnival beaked male and female leads (or
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