Freak Out Ethel was the name of-an Avant-Garde “happening” much akin to those occuring in the big-smoke i.e. London in the Late Sixties. It took place at THE DONCOPOLITAN H.Q. upon the Saturday of the 2017 St. Ledger Weekend. A fantastic and mind-blowing evening, it was organized by Rachel Horne, Craig Manga (New Weird Planet) and myself James Phaily.
The celebration began at 7pm and and ran into the early hours of Sunday Morning; featuring sets from some of the most diverse sounds and brightest lights on the Northern Scene. From Sonic-Art to Sludge Metal, this curious gathering of artists and fanatics managed to turn the easy-going, affable and salubrious atmosphere of the DONCOPOLITAN H.Q into a sonic spacecraft which “by-all accounts,” transported both audience and participants unto the astral realm beyond the sun.
At one point during MANGABROS set, Tom Walsh of KLAGG remarked to me that in all his years of giggin’ and hangin’ out with bands, this was the best concert he’d ever been to…
“Even better than PENTAGRAM?” I asked the staunch Sludge-meister. Tom affirmed that I was quite correct in my assumption. Taken from the horse’s mouth, that’s big shakes from a Doomlord such as Mr. Walsh…
HAWKWIND IN-A TEACUP:
Every saga has a beginning…This was provided most eloquently through the wyrd blessings of a righteous dose of surreality, courtesy of Lincoln’s very own PETER K ROLLINGS and his fantastic “experimental sonic machines.”
Peter’s wonderful performance and intriguing experiments in sonic invention kept us enthralled for over half an hour. His handmade costumes, instruments and analogue machines were not only amusing; they took us to a place far beyond the HQ and into a performative realm that could only belong to the man himself. It was just wonderful to take a sneaky-peek at the magic of Peter’s psychedelic/sonic universe…Think “Hawkwind in a Teacup” and you won’t go wrong…
After the surreality of Peter’s set, we took a voyage/leap across the Abyss, courtesy of the crushingly heavy, stoner slabs of Doom that is KLAGG. These guys are hot-shit/no-messin’ and watching this duo live is somewhat akin to watching the best riffage of Black Sabbath charged up with the aesthetic of Motorhead, the rest of the Speed-Metal entourage and a generous spoonful of the Butthole Surfers.
Absolutely mind-blowing; both magically and musically Tom Walsh (shredding guitar) and Jim Stanley (battle drums) know each other inside-out…To what at first listen can seem like a cacophonous dirge is actually a work of controlled genius/timed to perfection and somewhat akin to painting pictures in the dark. Pure fuckin’ Armageddon and anyone who loves all things metallic should give it a listen…
Next up was your humble reporter James Phaily and his outfit EMPTY SUN. Following on from my successful performance at Supanova Studios in Armthorpe and the release of the Desert Compass (Lazer-Gun Phoenix) EP I performed the record in its entirety.
I can only tell you that it went really well, not just because I didn’t get too leathered before the show but because of the friendly, receptive audience and the amazing sound-design from John Alexander.
My nerves had been building up for a number of weeks as I was preparing the poster and rehearsing. However, I enjoyed and was happy with the performance I gave, mainly due to the cosy surroundings, the proximity of the audience and the happiness I hope all concerned felt at being involved in this shared musical happening. It was clear as we progressed through the night that both audience members and performers shared a sublime equilibrium; a magickal gnosis, created through drink, be merry friendship and camaraderie.
BOYS FROM THE BLACKSTUFF
After EMPTY SUN, ’twas the turn of our headliners; the sublime MANGABROS; who really topped the night off with their particular brand of surreal, avant-garde, electronic goodness…The guys beeped, bopped and cajoled us seemingly effortlessly for easily an hour and a half. It felt as if their sound was entirely organized to celebrate our coming together as a “cosmic-mind”: the satirical aspects of their message willing us to canoodle with pockets of godly laughter and the insane boogie-woogie of Yes Sah! Are we having a good time or what?
Whilst Tim and Craig Manga took care of programming and vocal duties respectively, their very special guest Peter K. Rolling’s led us through a scintillating display of character-based performance art. This added a distinctively progressive influence to the MANGABROS shockingly enriching brand of electronica. What with the shop-window mannequins, the imagery of the MANGABROS package as a whole and the sheer good time feelings between the acts coupled with the invisibility of the threshold between us–the audience: this was the perfect end to a fraught day, which gave way to a highly rewarding evening and night.
It just goes to show what can be achieved when open-minded people and a musical diversity of sounds are gathered together to share each other’s joy and happiness…All Hail MANGABROS: I am a believer–Halleluwah!!!