We headed down to JT Soar on a cold December evening to see Rattle...
After a bit of a double booking with work which meant I missed the first two bands, I arrived a little warm on such a cold night. Whilst the bands were warming up it took me a whole set and a half to cool down. My friends announced that I had made it for Becky (R Dyer) and from the other room I heard soothing sounds of a metal clarinet; a thing out of fashion, derided by “serious” (read pompous) musicians and no longer made. It was perfect.
During their set I was reminded of mid-20th Century orchestral movements, only this seemed far more relevant, personal, and strangely, a modern-day Sandra Kerr and John Faulkner “Bagpuss” dreamscape. I’m not sure of the relevance but there were a lot of songs about birds. The canary featured and hinted at the extra sensitiveness of people in the way such birds were sensitive to gas in underground coal mines.
There was a ritual of not an advent calendar, but an Owlvent calendar. Owls were dispensed, or should I say released at intervals during the set, the recipient being their dad. Looping instruments and in particular the previously mentioned clarinet, miniature harp and various electronic devices R Dyer played through tracks from their debut album “Little Victories”. Sensitive, delicate, and soothing, their songs echoed themes of being on the fringes and outside the mainstream, fresh eyes on old scenes.
The interaction between the two protagonists, intertwining and flowing in and out, far too easy to just interpret as tribal drumming - it is not
Rattle are favourites and regulars of JT Soar, but also far larger venues. The interaction between the two protagonists, intertwining and flowing in and out, far too easy to just interpret as tribal drumming - it is not. With their standard set up facing one another rather than the audience, they tried new and old “songs”, capitalising on the interplay and experimentalism between the two of them.
The minimalism of the idea with the delicate vocal harmonies, lulls you into forgetting yourself. Occasionally unnerving, but not unsettling their sound, changing casually during each song, without you noticing, fogs time and place and you are entranced by the performance. The evening definitely warmed up, but all too soon it was over.
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