Damo Suzuki



Replacing a support act on short notice, the quartet whose name almost rhymes with the breakfast cereal shreddies brings forth something you can distinguish with interesting guitar nuances and changes in tempo that you can almost spot prior. They play tracks from a recent EP (neat artwork) and alternate between duo vocalists (call and response etc) with differing timbres, the higher-pitched one being the more expressive and interesting to hear as the greater versatility and eccentricity of the delivery fits their undefined style better.

I wouldn’t say I’m entirely captivated as I’m really not sure where their style of placement lies, although their set steadily improves as the end nears (the feedback shredding thing?). In all fairness, the stage sound didn’t quite appear to be on their side so clemency can be granted, plus the bassist informs the audience of his struggles with renegade glasses in tandem with tending to the rhythm.

Damo Suzuki

The instrumentalists set up the equipment necessary for the electrical-induced frequencies to be heard, so as to placate the encroaching congregation I find myself within; a pre-recording of a voice plays in the background, along the lines of a stream-of-consciousness spoken word performance (“director of your own films”? “Wash cops away”?) which acts as an introduction to the billed-individual’s stage appearance. The performance is an improvisation, with Suzuki’s familiar freeform approach of singing indiscernible phrases dictating what the musicians undertake while playing. To my relief it’s actually quite an engaging performance and certainly doesn’t come across as an ersatz Deutschmark pick-pocketing scheme as I had heard from former spectators.

His delivery stylistically changes depending on his mood and what I presume is his interpretation of what vocal is appropriate for each instrumental evolution stage. To be specific, they include a Louis Armstrong impersonation, a lighter tone for the passive phases, fast paced-inarticulate scat singing, his conventional modal register and the ceasing of any vocal sound to the presumed benefit of respite for his lungs and the ease of navigation for his ever attentive ‘sound carriers’.

Although I could persist in rambling owing to his greater profile, I shan’t; the subordinate performers deserve due credit for sustaining a performance that could have easily slumped into a mediocre affair. Particular standouts include the synthesiser casting Damo a decade beyond his heyday into Neue Deutsch Welle, what I imagine the folk music of Mozambique to be (courtesy of the drumming) and the closing portion having a vague resemblance to a particular part of ‘Supper’s Ready’ (15:30 onwards?). I suspect if you go in with the expectation that it will hark back to the artistic peak of that 3 lettered-named band you’d be slightly disappointed, but that doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate the spontaneity of telling structure to take a hike.

Damo Suzuki: Official | Facebook 

Angus Rolland

Recent career decisions have compelled me into the journalistic... thing; I could list my literary influences or even debate which 3rd rate beverage has the best economic value per litre (But I won’t). Oh, in addition, I write reviews for the Independents Network.