It’s funny how a (relatively) minor change like the non-availability of one drink at the bar can completely change your opinion of an establishment. I love The Medicine Bar as a venue for gigs when they’re selling the bottles of cheap (-ish. All things are relative. They only sell bottles you see, the rest of which are three quid a-piece) Carlsberg over the bar. When they’re not I can’t stand the place, and so it went on Tuesday the 6th when Trigorius and I attended for a Capsule gig.
The first turn came courtesy of The Arm, an instrumental band from the promised land of Tipton (where the cut is filled with milk and honey and all on ’em as lives there dow arf spake proppa). This set marked the fourth time I’d seen them, and seemed far more about pulling the iron out of the fire than any of the previous ones. Sprawling chaos (about as close as you can go to mush without crossing the line) coalesced into purposeful stormin’. They’re not what you’d call an industrial band, but the rhythmic brutality of heavy machinery was recalled. That thing the bassplayer does where he makes that swoopy-swizzly sound by whacking on an effect and grinding on the top string is awesome, too.
I genuinely regret missing artist-in-the-middle Chris Clark (of Warp records notoriety), since the description of him in the nonsense distributed to advertise the gig seemed very interesting. As I’ve mentioned before, though, prices were up-diddly-up-up at The Med Bar on this particular night, and we wanted a drink. An actual drink. One that you didn’t need to sell your first-born into slavery to afford. We repaired over the road to The Old Crown for a couple of pints and returned in time for the headliners.
Trans Am, then. I was left exclaiming “Best Band Evaaaaaaar” in that way of mine that never seems to annoy people quite as much as I hope it will. I suppose that if you haven’t heard them you should probably be thinking along the lines of Krautrock-ish repeat-repeat-repeat-gwaaaaaaaaan (no, really) type of stuff, but that’s only to describe their live performance as a whole (their recorded business varies around and about a lot of different things). Every moment is either interesting or fun or tensely building up to something interesting or suspensefuly building up to something fun or is just generally gwaaaaaaan and then you have to stop dancing for a moment to catch your breath but you can’t and… yeah. They’re great and most certainly worth seeing.
Cryptic/in-joke endnote: I acknowledge my definition of osmosis wasn’t as accurate as it might have been. Be off with you.