Tonight, I am going to THE KING KHAN & BBQ SHOW at The Pit's and I'm really looking forward to it 'cuz their record will probably end on top position in my best-of 2005 list. Kris 'Demolition Derby' Verreth will be there too with a bunch of records I ordered through his excellent mailorder service during the last couple of months. Consequently, I will be able to give you my list of favourite records, 7-inches & reissues of 2005 one of these days. In the meantime, here are my favourite shows of the past year :
1. THE LOST SOUNDS at The Pit's "a total mindfuck - keine schönheit ohne Gefahr nicht?"
2. THE REATARDS/TOKYO ELECTRON/ANGRY ANGLES at The Pit's "the Tokyo Electron bass guitar that got blasted into my face couldn't spoil the fun that night - Jay Reatard was simply devastating"
3. THE FATALS at The Pit's "a real surprise - amazing psychotic blues sludge"
4. THE BLACK LIPS/RIVER CITY TANLINES/GHETTO WAYS at The Lintfabriek "3 x bingo - Oh what a night!"
5. TEXT OF LIGHT : A Live Musical Homage to Stan Brakhage featuring LEE RANALDO, WILLIAM HOOKER, DJ OLIVE, ALAN LICHT, AND ULRICH KRIEGER at De Vooruit "A great project and a mesmerizing way to enjoy the avant-garde films of Stan Brakhage"
6. THE EX at the N9 Villa "still going strong after all these years - it made me realise how influential The Ex was and still is"
7. TH' LOSIN' STREAKS at The Pit's "ex-Trouble Makers - these guys know how to party!!!"
8. THE MOJOMATICS at The Pit's "2 Italian gentlemen - these guys know how to rock in style!!!"
9. SOUTH FILTHY at 't Oud Liefken "A last minute show I organised at a great place at the countryside - a night to remember!"
10. THE BASEBALL FURIES at the 4AD "A great show but lofi punkrock bands should be seen at a small joint like The Pit's instead of on a 1 meter high stage"
I also enjoyed two reunion shows in 2005 : THE STOOGES in Lokeren and PERE UBU in Brussels. I think I missed 3 great bands last year being the DEMON'S CLAWS (snow blizzard), CRASH NORMAL (those damn Derwishes!) & THE MIGHTY GO-GO PLAYERS (dead-beat). The worst shows were those by ROCK CITY MORGUE (ex-White Zombie - bweurk!), BAMBU STATION (very mediocre reggae band from the Virgin Islands), THE WHIRLING DERVISHES OF KONYA (I missed them in Konya last year - their show in Antwerp however turned out to be very artificial (read : downright boring!)), DIE ROTZZ (C'mon guys, a little effort please? A show is not supposed to be a sloppy rehearsal!) and some Flemish art school shithead band called HARKER that fucked up the immense beauty of The Goddess (1934) at the Cinema Novo Film Festival in Bruges.
My yearly favourite shows list used to be much more varied but nothing much seems to happen outside the punkrock scene nowadays. The end of the Bluesestafette in Utrecht means no more exciting soul & blues shows. Reggae has always been a dubious live thing with more letdowns than revelations. World Music is doomed to fartsy Art Centres. I could go on. At our little punkrock scene however, things actually happen if you know what I mean so here's another thumbs-up to everybody's favourite club the mighty Pit's. I hope the cops won't bother us again before 10 PM...
I would like to end this post with a quote from Peter Guralnick's essential book "Feel Like Going Home". Sadly, nothing has changed ever since and I'm not talking about the blues scene alone.
These were, in fact, many of the same problems which have plagued every blues "concert" I have attended since I first saw Lightnin' Hopkins at Harvard twelve years ago : a stiff, unnatural atmosphere, an unbridgeable gulf between performer and audience, and a tendency to treat the blues as a kind of museum piece, to be pored over by scholars, to be admired perhaps but to be stifled at the same time by the press of formal attention. It was a depressing realization and one that left me on the whole with the feeling that even in its own backyard blues had ceased to be a living experience.
Good Night, And Good Luck (finding an exciting non-punkrock show in 2006!)