Quiver at Fortyfive Downstairs, Melbourne – Gig review and photos

March 7, 2011
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Quiver at Fortyfive Downstairs, Melbourne, Australia, 26 February 2011 - photo by Michael Bowser, Music Vice

The Gig: Quiver
Where: Fortyfive Downstairs, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
When: 26 February 2011
In One Word:  Perverse

Not exactly a “rock” show tonight – as you might expect from a gig in an art gallery/space – but a fascinating display of musical  prowess and perversity nonetheless.  And while I do have a passing familiarity with the work of German noise-meisters Einstürzende Neubauten, one of the avante-garde acts being “covered” tonight, I’d be lying through my teeth if I were to claim I knew much about this most-maligned of musical “genres” (though I have been on something of a John Zorn binge for the past year or so).  Film soundtracks are perhaps my greatest touchstone here, and if this evening’s “set” were to fulfil such a role, I’m glad to say it would be a very disturbing film indeed:  Lars Von Trier meets Frank Henenlotter, perhaps (okay, so I do watch an AWFUL lot of fucked-up FILMS)!

Eccentric highlights, in a set with no great shortage of such things, are the breathtakingly uncatchy inepti-pop of Shaggs song “My Pal Foot-Foot”, and the wilfully loopy Zappa-isms of Louis Andriessen’s “Worker’s Union” (which I honestly can’t see replacing the simple “1, 2, 3, 4…we don’t want your racist war”-style chants we Australians are more accustomed to)!

Scrap what I said earlier about this not really being a “rock” show:  Two words that come to mind to describe tonight’s entertainment are, perhaps, “dangerous” and “disquieting”.  Indeed, more than a few of the ensemble’s guests tonight wore, erm, “brave” expressions as they departed the venue or congratulated the musicians…and if that ain’t the true spirit of “rock” write large, I’ll be buggered if I know what is.

© Michael Bowser, Music Vice

Related internet links:
Fortyfive Downstairs

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