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Thread: Lindsay Cooper Songbook 2019

  1. #1

    Lindsay Cooper Songbook 2019

    I saw the Lindsay Cooper Songbook on their (very) short European tour last night at Cafe Oto, celebrating international women's day by playing Cooper's music. A great evening, broadly similar to their last time at Cafe Oto, but with a somewhat different line-up. Returning from last time were Yumi Hara (piano, synth, lever harp, vocals), Chloe Herington (bassoon, soprano sax, melodica, percussion, backing vocals), Chris Cutler (drums) and Tim Hodgkinson (alto sax, clarinet, percussion), with new this time Mitsuru Nasuno (bass) and Atsuko Kamura (lead vocals, percussion).


    The evening began with The Watts, which is Hara (keys, vocals), Cutler (drums) and Hodgkinson (lap steel, knick-knacks) playing a heavily improvised set. Very out there, but at times anchored by Hara's vocals, and I think that contrast between voice and Cutler/Hodgkinson going mad is when the band is at its best. We then had three solo performances. Nasuno played a hypnotic piece using live looping. Herington then did her song about corporate sin, as last time -- great piece.


    Finally, the first set finished with an amazing vocal solo from Kamura, again using live looping. The photo shows her being introduced by Yumi.


    The second set was the Lindsay Cooper Songbook doing News from Babel pieces: "Auschwitz/Babel", "Dry Leaf", "Black Gold", "Devils", "Banknote", "Waited/Justice". Kamura, filling in for Dagmar Krause, who was unable to attend for health reasons, made a tentative start on "Auschwitz/Babel", but then warmed up. I particularly enjoyed "Banknote" and some great vocal improv at the end of "Waited/Justice".


    The third set was largely instrumental, with Henry Cow material ("Half the Sky", "Look Back", "Gretel's Tale", "Falling Away", "Slice", not necessarily in that order) and two pieces from Music for Films ("The Empire Song", "Iceland", again not necessarily in that order). Stand outs for me were a contemplative "Iceland" and an exciting "Gretel's Tale". The set then ended with Kamura returning for "Anno Mirabilis", which Hara always wants the audience to sing along too and we never do!

    I picked up a copy of Valve's #2 [Cycles], Herington's band's recent EP. Recommended.

    Where Are They Now? Yes news:
    Blogdegezou, the accompanying blog:

  2. #2
    Thanks Henry for the review!
    Having seen this project (or variations of it) 4 times but never in Cafe Oto, I am pretty envious

  3. #3
    Lucky bastids ! . It pains me to have not seen any of this stuff, in the flesh. Thanks for posting the photos.


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