09 June 2008


Various commitments in my family and professional life conspired to prevent me from checking most of the fun at this year's Venn Festival, but I did manage to slip out for a Sunday evening session at The Thekla (which, for non-Bristolians, is actually a boat permanently moored at the docks). Unfortunately I'd missed Ice Bird Spiral's set earlier in the afternoon, but it was great to link-up with Kek and Doppelganger for a few drinks and some stimulating conversation out on deck (sitting in the open air on a rare warm summery evening, smoking as many fags as we damn well liked- aah, bliss) followed by another mental blowout below-deck care of premier improv-rockers Sunburned Hand Of The Man, my favourite live band at the moment (actually the only live band I've experienced in recent times, so not much else to compare it to, really!).

Maybe they were slightly more subdued than the last time I saw them, but still it was another fascinating performance, commencing with an all-guns-blazing motorik assault, followed by a meandering exploratory journey through groove-based jamming, wah-wah freakout and beatless freeform electronics. To paraphrase Kek, it's interesting to note how they will sometimes dig themselves into a hole and then have to work out how to claw their way back out again. But it's testament to their seemingly telepathic empathy with each other that, with six people on stage making it up as they go along, the end result seems fairly cohesive and directed. Top gig! Here's a few more of my crappy pics if anyone's interested...


  1. 'stimulating conversation'?!
    - as I remember it you were getting tearfully nostalgic about old audio leads you'd been forced to sell in times of poverty...;-)

    BTW- lookin' at those photos, how many people in that band? I can only see one clearly.....?

  2. i counted six on stage most of the night...though of course i was kinda focussed on the female member...attractive blond with a table full of electronic gadgets...it don't get much sexier than that!