Silver Apples, G. Lucas Crane – WORM, Rotterdam 7/11/11

Silver Apples’ music has always been very trippy and loose; relying on an organic and pulsating groove. And everything got very snakey indeed after a while at Worm

 

Image courtesy of The Arts Lab

 

Ah WORM, possibly our favourite venue at the moment. They have all the things that made the previous incarnation at Delfts haven so enjoyable (quirky bogs which always cause me problems of ingress and egress, ridiculously obtuse selection of vinyl and DVDs, and good cheap beer) now in place in the heart of trendy Witte de Withstraat. Not only that they always have a selection of ridiculously good gigs on offer, this being one of them.

Starting the evening’s entertainment was G. Lucas Crane, a hirsute man who creates a manic and pretty aggressive blend of electronic sounds, squeals and growls. Now, it must be said that this was a great gig. Sometimes seeing a solo performer make noises with lots of unidentifiable apparatus on a table can be wearisome but Crane’s undeniable skill was in presenting his sonic trickery as a performance. A clever use of projecting what he was doing in onto the screen behind him had the audience actually feeling as if they were part of what was going on, there was a narrative to follow or at least be aware of. All too often it’s very easy to be confused or left cold by these kinds of gigs and I think that is mainly down to confusion on the audience’s part as to what to do, apart from watching someone fiddle with some switches. As it was, Crane was able to magnify his maniacal energy and questing, restless musical map pretty effectively.

Quite a crowd had built up to see Silver Apples - which is sadly just Simeon these days. Looking sharp and rangy and wearing a sort of Stetson (which accentuated his weird, otherworldly vibe) he strode on and immediately busied himself in creating the strange, fragile Utopian sound that is only nowadays seen as a truly visionary one.  Simeon’s unhurried, patient approach was that of a quiet and genial teacher (he had notes for each song that that he carefully placed aside upon completion) and this meant that the audience only slowly got sucked into the gig: not that this was really a problem, stuff like Velvet Cave do take time to wrap themselves around your consciousness, and no-one at WORM was in a particular hurry anyway. And Pox and Oscillations are such marvellous electronic essays that there was never any fear of things falling flat.

Silver Apples’ music has always been very trippy and loose; relying on an organic and pulsating groove. And everything got very snakey indeed after a while at Worm, with You and I being possibly the highlight of the gig for us. Unfortunately around that point Incendiary’s brain plopped neatly into the tank of alcohol prepared for it. I’m sure Seagreen Serenade was given a whirl, but I can’t remember. I also think Simeon also did Mustang Sally and The Owl but I could be pushing it here, memory-wise, I’m certain a number of tracks from The Garden were played, but hell who cares? Just at the point where things began to get very loose, he stopped, leaving most people goggle-eyed and baying for more. And that was either a brilliant bit of timing or a wonderful coincidence. No matter, a marvellous night all round.