Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Hobart Report 2015 by Matthew Middleton

And then there was the Noise edition ,,,,,,a day and night of avant-garde music curated by the Hobart Music Yeah group. Stepping off  that gargantuan main-land and onto thee historic Van Diemen's territory was the Crude(r). The flight was an singular arc, a stone's throw. A fresh, simple jaunt thanks to the Jet-Star group. Star jump. The airport shuttle driver furnished us with a detailed history of the area. Stimulating stuff. What a hell-hole was our Tasmania in the early days. And yes, entering Hobart feels alot like driving down into Dunedin on North Road....the similarities are eerie. Hobart is surrounded by hills like our Dunedin, but the hills lack that lush nz native canopy. You get that when you're seperated by hundreds of miles.
Took a while to find the venue, as is typical of someone armed with a retro nokia without gps capabilities...after a few nervous loops i waltz in all alternative and shoe-gazing and i'm greeted in a style befitting my absolute obscurity round these parts. I realize im no-one special. . This is, indeed, south of heaven...uh...south of .Melbourne...and north of None Gallery... . "Got a place to stay yet?" a sharp dressed Dan Lewis enquires ..my lack of gypsy smarts is palpable now- I haven't a clue. I have truly left it to the last minute. With an assuring glance I am informed he will jack something up for me, a couch at the very least. This is heartwarming news.
It's 3 in the afternoon in the charming town of Hobart. I'm surrounded by those things I love - stalls packed with obscure cds and tapes, a bar, a stage, lighted spaces, the promise of darkness, the whiff of power-violence. Several acts are lined up - the likes of  Cocks Arquette,The Harrison Forward,Aktion Unit,Niko Niko,Drunk Elk,Granpa Abela,Ragtime Frank,PENGUINS,radio cegeste, Crude,
Repellant,Fetish Ritual, Plus special one-off collaborations:Pip Stafford & Evelyn Morris ,Joshua Santospirito & Blair Rideout The Hunter & Georgia LucyPolanyi & DomicileMutterlard & Chrysalis. 
Didnt eat. Got drunk on rider. Was truly blown away by Dan Lewis's Aktion Unit.  Improvised music, of the wilder variety, this time joined by a vocalist of true dexterity, explorative range and performative magnetism. Her name escapes me presently sorry. Apparently she was a student of improvisation, but to me she had graduated years ago - her vocal control was stunning - rendering the likes of Yoko Ono mute. Stunned was I. The effect lasted well into the night as I soaked up the outpourings of Lucas Abela, other women of shamanic vocal prowess, a band of power electronics enthusiasts (whos technical problems pierced the veil of their anti-musical armoury unfortunately), the super-sensitive radionics and anachronistic sound collage of Radio Cegeste was welcome relief from the whitehouse fans, Cocks Arquette roared like some crazed nutter with a dry sense of humour - Evelyn Morris's athletic drumming was a perfect accompaniment to the all-round brutality, It was all good until I performed and stuck a myki card in between my ass cheeks and took it out and licked it,,my couch offer fervently withdrawn. 
Yes the myki system is a digital sham. Yes I 'touch on' when i can, and wipe off sometimes too. But is it worth such desecration? I had to do something to outshine the sexy industro-squalor of Penguins didnt I. Don't think it worked. Think i repulsed my potential hosts instead. Nevermind. 
And so i eneded up hobbling around inner city Hobart that night, like a wounded soldier, totally freezing, spewing me ring out, my instruments a frightful burden, waiting for my 5.30am pick up to the airport, told to move on by angry hotel staff ( i attempted to sleep in an ally outside best western) , it was real 'cant wait to tell the boys at work' stuff. Was  nice to see the stars a clear as they are in Hobart however. You forget the cosmos is there sometimes. Its there alright. Its deep. Its dark. Its cold and no-one can hear your power-violence. 

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