Onze Heures Onze collective includes the band OXYD; photographed by Stephanie Knibbe.
OXYD: Alexandre Herer - Fender Rhodes; Julien Pontvianne - tenor saxophone; Olivier Laisney – trumpet; Thibault Perriard – drums; Oliver Degabriele - electric bass
They have an album coming out ‘Plugged in Nirvana’. Songs from this were played last night at the Vortex downstairs. Gillett Square, Dalston, London. Today they are off to Manchester Jazz Festival.
Slowed down Nirvana tunes, distorted with sailing trumpet, bipolar tenor sax, rock drumming, and intensive keyboard.
Messy music that at times blended so perfectly it seemed to lift me off my seat, before clashing and returning me firmly to my chair.
A little of the Nirvana they base some of the work on could be detected briefly before it dissolved again into something that sounded like nobody and nothing else. This was the third concert I thought was original this year. Pretty good.
These guys finely tuned rock and grunge in their own way; they formed whilst in college several years ago, blithely bypassing any seven year itch. The musical instruments get along as though it is usual for them to be played in this way, which I don’t think it is.
At the start of the gig I found myself thinking of rabbit ears.
Apparently rabbits can hear up to two miles away, their long ears move independently of each other scoping sound above the grass surrounded animal. They hear a similar range as us, with some higher pitches.
Noticing my mind wander I enjoyed the conclusion of two months in a Spanish speaking country learning the language and saxophone. That plan crystalised, I believe, due to the presence of people playing music with passion, really well. Creativity is contagious.
It is a wonderful thing that we will never run out of music or language, so many songs to be written, played and sung.
The two other gigs that had a unique quality, prompting my mind to dance freestyle, are logged below.
Lubomyr Melnyk's Matinee show at Café Otto, Dalston, London in May, with mini album 'Evertina' was first. He shared continuous piano music, initially with an accidental background of house music next door! The audience and musician ignored this well enough, and it stopped before we kicked off.
The long song I found visually stimulating, crossing Morocco and sitting in the desert, remembering goodbyes like in a vivid dream. The next 48 hours was all about music for me, I played my saxophone for the first time since moving house, due to neighbour nerves. How was that freed up?
The second gig also triggered internal visuals, which I found quite transformative. This was thanks to Nils Frahm, at the Roundhouse, Camden, London, also in May 2015. He was playing piano... do listen for yourself it’s the only way.
Only Kate Bush has made me cry in a live concert before, but it happened a little bit here too, not unhappy tears on either occasion. The sensation was personal, but like the whole of the crowd were also riding this wave.
Following this I bought a keyboard for my psychotherapy clients (art and EMDR based work), well, I might borrow it from time to time; and started on a new painting whilst listening to Nils ‘Toilet Brushes’.
The latter two concerts encouraged visual and pure experiences, without external prompts other than the solo musician playing his music. OXYD pushed intent on the here and now. Yes, go on, of course you can do that!