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Flower-Corsano Duo, The Electronic Sensoria Band and Boys of Summer

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cover imageThe opening night of their European tour saw Chris Corsano and Mick Flower in fine form. Making their albums sound utterly flat in comparison, they stormed through a thoroughly psychedelic performance. A thunderstorm of drums punctuated by Flower’s electrical shaahi baaja, this was music at its most elemental.


18 July, Dublin, Ireland.

Boys of Summer create music in the vein of Coil’s Time Machines or Emeralds; drawn out Kosmische drones elicited from synths. They do justice to their name by having a distinctly cheery vibe to their music and were a relaxing introduction to the evening’s entertainment. I would have preferred a comfy sofa instead of the stool I was sitting on for their set. However, the relaxing vibes were killed towards the end when they introduced a loud and piercing sound into the mix which had me scurrying for my earplugs.

cover imageThe second support slot saw The Electronic Sensoria Band not on their usual form; they seemed to have trouble connecting with each other and with the audience (the majority of the crowd stood at the back of the venue, creating an awkward gap in the centre of the room). Overcoming their isolation, there were moments of dazzling brilliance where the three players sparked with particular credit due to drummer David Carroll. Fergus Cullen’s bass clarinet was a source of some electrifying noises but Cullen seemed to be constantly losing his inspiration and stopping just when things were heating up.

The Flower-Corsano Duo could not be accused of stopping when things got hot. From the instant they started to the moment they finished in a sweaty mess, they fired on full throttle. For their entire set, the venue was projecting the polar episode of the BBC’s Planet Earth documentary series. Watching polar bear cubs frolic in the snow and walruses being savaged by the cubs’ parent while soundtracked by the Flower-Corsano Duo was strange enough but seeing Corsano transfixed by penguins and spurring him on to further feats of incredible drumming was an unusual experience to say the least.

cover imagePenguins aside, the intensity that the pair reached was earth shattering. Flower pulls a universe of shimmering beauty from his shaahi baaja (Japanese banjo), sounding like an army of Ravi Shankars jamming in a glorious multicoloured heaven. All the while, Corsano’s drumming pushed percussion to a level that should be physically impossible to achieve. The last time I saw these two play, I was stuck at the back and could not see what Corsano was up to. This time I made sure to be up the front and I was gobsmacked at his dexterity and speed. He was a delight to watch, a controlled but frenetic foil to Flower’s vigorous but static performance.

By the end of the evening, I was drained and ecstatic as it is impossible to be a passive audience member during a concert like this; it is almost a religious experience as the music takes control of my body and I dance as best I can to no distinct rhythm (which is only marginally better then when there is a rhythm!). Judging from the rest of the audience (who had finally moved fully into the venue), I was not alone in my appreciation and the Flower-Corsano Duo (and the penguins) received a heartfelt roar of approval when they finally stopped.

Last Updated on Sunday, 13 September 2009 00:05  


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