I came back from DJing on Friday the 13th to the sad and shocking news of the Paris attacks. For several days, I joined in the catatonic disbelief and numb melancholia in the UK as we processed this tragedy. The terrorists achieved maximum impact by targeting art and culture. Their intent was to divide and inflame passions, not just via a body count, but through an attack on freedom of expression. The violence is intended to destroy moderation and incur greater government control over our society. Surely the best defence is to choose not to let our fear manipulate and radicalize us into unreasonable and hateful behaviour.
Let’s move onto the optimum therapy for the blues, music. After a four year gap, the international fusion that is The Chap (with British, Greek, German and French members) has released their new album, The Show Must Go. Exploring the “dehumanizing aspects” of modern life in Europe from several different perspectives, it executes angst ridden anthems for the disparate dystopia. This seems rather appropriate in light of recent events – and it’s damn good as well.
It feels apt to mention one of the first Gallic punk bands, Metal Urbain. They were known for their radical image (punk was not big in France) and relied on heavily distorted guitars, replacing the traditional rock rhythm section with a synth and a drum machine. It was a unique approach, foreshadowing later post-punk-hardcore bands such as Big Black and The Jesus and Mary Chain. The song ‘Panik’ pitted snarling, politically galvanizing lyrics against a backdrop of sleazy fuzz guitar and dense off-kilter percussion. Sometimes you need some kick ass music about dysfunction to get your mojo back after a serious blow.
My gig of the week is presented by Groupie Grandma Promotions on Sunday November 22nd at T. Chances, 399 High Road, N17, and tis £4 entry. On offer is an autumnal cornucopia of rock craziness and shoegaze beauty from Airdrop, Violetic, and Indea. Violetic have been described as “etching dark sonic landscapes with melancholic chords… a cerebral and hypnotizing act to catch live”.
The Kool Kitchen will be DJing at Amersham Arms, 388 New Cross Road, SE14 on Friday November 20th. I’m in the back room from 10:30 pm and it’s free entry. I’ll be concocting a heady brew of indie, 80’s electro hits, hip hop and fun till 3am.
I will also be hitting the decks at Paper Dress Vintage, 352a Mare Street, E8 for a double weekend blinder on Friday November 27th and Saturday November 28th. There’ll be live bands and late opening as I bring two very different helpings of psych, soul and freakbeat to rock the frocks off the place.
If the best medicine to combat terror is good music, then here’s the latest Kool Kitchen podcast, chock-a-block with nuggets of brilliance to spread well needed good cheer.