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Friday, May 6th, Crawdaddy, Dublin
The last time I saw Thighpaulsandra was as a member of Coil in the their last ever performance in the City Hall Dublin. On the night he played a background role sculpturing sound with Sleazy for the howlings of Jhonn Balance in a set that will thankfully be immortilised on the much anticipated DVD box set.
The City Hall concert was powerful and magickal. Thighpaulsandra's set last Saturday in Dublin was also powerful and magickal in a different though not unrelated way. It was not the prog-rock wankfest I had hoped it wouldn't be.

There were two support acts whose prolonged sets I suspect ate in the time available for Thighpaulsandra as the house lights came up rather quickly after they finished the initial set and thus no encore. The set lasted about a hour of uninterrupted music with instrumental tracks blending in percussion led vocal tracks. Given the nature of Thighpaulsandra's body of work I cannot give any definite song titles for the instrumental parts which may or may not have been improvised out of recognition. Snatches of dialogue were mixed deep down into the instrumental parts. Vocal tracks I did recognise were The Angelica Declaration, Slammer, Black Nurse, and His Royal Highness The Prince Of Wales Breaches Reality. There were at least two other tracks with vocals I cannot put a name on.

Thighpaulsandra had divided the band into two factions. The burqa faction were dressed in fetching red burqas and played guitar/bass and percussion. The Barbarella faction were dressed in gold shorts and little else. They played electronics and can-on-a-string. Thighpaulsandra wore a long regal gown with a curling antenna. His pecking order was indicated by his gold sandals; all the other members were barefoot. It was kind of weird seeing him without trauma makeup. He played around with some of the synths and sang vocals where applicable. There were other instruments too, a couple of Macs and quite a lot of instrument swapping but that was to be expected.

The show was choreographed like a Derek Jarman movie and I'm sure he would have loved it had he been there. One of the Barberella guys (the one off the Double Vulgar II cover) acted as a muse ministering to the inspirational needs of Thighpaulsandra and the some of the other members. He also fixed up the burqas where they went afray and played the can-on-string. During on the tracks, one of the burqa wearer's played a melodica. Given that his mouth was hidden, the tube emerged from beneath the veil like some Stellarc appendage. Lest to say if the show was put on in Dublin 15 years ago, they would probably all have been arrested.

At just about an hour, it was probably too short, and we didn't get to hear 'Michael Publicity Window' but that was probably down to the venue as mentioned. I definitely want to see him play again.

Last Updated on Monday, 18 July 2005 16:55  


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