The full line up
for the evening was:
Robert Rental and The Normal
"The time of the Cryptic One
gig was a very important time
for all the industrial scene
altogether. All the interested
parties were there that night.
People and groups that have
since become infamous against
the hard core underground scene.
"It was an electric night, very
alive and thumping energy from
wall to wall and from roof to
well below ground. A great shift
and a great surge forward
happened that night.... Suffice
it to say it was special in
MANY many ways to all the people
who attended" - Cosey
Sleeve note on:
Live At The Cryptic One Club London 1978'
Imagine the Stranglers backwards… (a compliment)
Throbbing Gristle - Cryptic One Club
A youth club under a church. A cramped cellar, lots of arches. The "stage" is 15 feet deep and six feet wide. Twenty at most of the audience can see it. A few more can see part of it. In a corner lager is being sold for 50 pence a can. The writing on the wall doesn't say "a culture never falls to pieces, it just gives birth", but that's only 'cos I'd forgotten my chalk.
It was hot, crowded, murky, NOISY now and then, silent but mostly decadent.
Minutes before nine, Genesis P.Orridge introduces (one by one, good lad) Throbbing Gristle, and himself as David Brooks. "Bruce Forsyth has nearly finished," he mumbles, his voice treated and blotted. "To-night is family evening. We usually play for about an hour."
Genesis P.Orridge is the ultimate rock comedian. Throbbing Gristle's set was funny. A remote parody of a rock (or whatever) group seriously performing bleached, blank, carefully-composed junk. A remote parody of anyone from David Coverdale's White Snake to the Tom Robinson Band.
Throbbing Gristle understand rock music's terrible tedium and the thin line between white noise and Thin Lizzy.
T.G. used tapes, guitars, radios, tv's, voices, fingers, rings, a bass, eyes, intensity, a violin, stupidity, gullibility, electronics and stimulants to spew out a rotting, decaying noise. A seagull hiccoughing and amplified? The Stranglers backwards? As musical as Pere Ubu? Or Yes? No.
Inevitably, when people improvise moments of repeated sound are attained (unlike a rock gig where the whole thing is stiflingly preplanned). Some parts of this T.G. would sound good on record. This doesn't mean that they succeeded or failed; just that they functioned.
Orridge stiffly stalked the space between amps, instruments and walls, blindly strumming a bass, distorting and macho roles, teasing the sense of control, singing nonsense that could have meant something, sawing a violin, and shing a bright light on the dumfounded, wide-eyed audience. Their response was pride, fear or defiance. It was funny. I didn't laugh out loud. But I smirked.
The ultimate poseur, I thought, is someone who dances to Throbbing Gristle. And Throbbing Gristle went on and on … just like a rock group.
Paul Morley, NME, 18 November 1978