We've been back a bit. And dealing with work mountain. Thank you to all of you who have patiently waited for responses to our emails and mail orders. I think we can say normal service has resumed.
We know New York. It is like a brasher noisier (smellier, particularly at the corner of Allen and Broom: the word deboning is now in our everyday lexicon) version of London so we feel at home here. Even in Chinatown, where Chris spent frantic hours looking for a place to buy a Mogwai and worrying about bags of frogs.
The show was at Monster Island Basement. Properly downstairs and sweaty as hell. With a swing. We got off the plane and went to the show. So it felt really crazy, especially with all them girls dirty dancing to John Maus. More about them later.
Todd P and his super-hardworking crew managed the night with aplomb. It was a big ask, there was so much!
Here are some photos from the show. We started with surreal super narrative extra colourful and completely surprising AMBERGRIS:
Next, Wet Hair, Shaun and Andy from Racco-oo-on with a new treat:
And then, Bird Names, the first time we have seen them, and they are as amazing as we knew they would be. It was an absolute joy to meet all of the band for the first time and to see their awesome live show:
After them, we had the incredible Silk Flowers, joined for a special set with our friend John Wiese. Super-minimal and atmospheric, this was a real privilege. PS We are listening to their new album on PPM almost constantly, and their new video is AMAZING to the point of wordlessness.
Silk Flowers were followed by Soft Cirle, now a two piece, Hicham's relentless drumming accompanied by Ben's guitar work. Trancelike, danceable, technical and endlessly fascinating, this was one of the best things I have seen for ages.
John Maus followed. It feels like an age (and probably is) since we last saw John and tonight he played a set which was really impressive. To watch an audience sing along always moves you more than you expect when they are songs you know so well. But to see them dance in a saucy manner while singing the words will provide a talking point for weeks to come. As always, John puts everything into the performance. Amazing.
Future Islands have a really difficult task ahead after the total love-in that is Maus, but they rise to the challenge, taking the disturbed electro-aesthetic of John's and putting in more beats per minute and a bucket load of extra angst. People are dancing, the sweat is dripping off the roof and the camera is starting to go weird because of the heat. Or maybe it's me that's weird, we've been awake for over 36 hours.
After Future Islands, both Matt and Sam ask me outside to share a joint. I don't know if this says more about me, or about Lucky Dragons who are up last. Their set is perfect, more drone driven and primal than I'd seen before, a rapt audience that lapped up this ritualistic set, which Luke and Sara pitched perfectly.
Before we left I was aware that I had had half-formed conversations with lots of people. I apologise if I spoke to you and I made no sense.
MORE TO FOLLOW!