Reviewer unknown. (It wasn't me.)
Japanese musician and video artist, performing at the NFT as part of their Optronica festival.
Karl Bartos, former member of Kraftwerk, live at the BFI London IMAX. In pre-gig interviews, Bartos was claiming he would only play three songs by his old band. On the night, he obviously thought 'bollocks to artistic integrity', and the set was roughly a fifty-fifty split between solo material and Kraftwerk Klassics. Compared with the sleek, subtly updated versions on the current Kraftwerk live album, Bartos' versions are a bit clunkier and more 80s-sounding. But it makes the three guys on stage
interesting to watch, as they're visibly doing stuff to make these sounds happen, rather than just pushing a button on a laptop and walking away for four minutes. Strangely, they turn out to be more interesting to watch than the accompanying video backdrop - the usual cute animations, archive footage and abstract imagery, the only real innovation being the sheer bloody size of it as it's spread across a large part of the IMAX screen.
It was creepy seeing these posters all over the tube network on July 8th. It's kind of unforgivable to still be seeing this one at Highbury and Islington on July 13th.
(And apparently the book's about a terrorist attack on the new Arsenal stadium, which is bloody miles away from the area illustrated in the poster...)
Live at Bar Academy Islington, though thankfully the lighting got better as the evening progressed. Since his last appearance in this moblog, the Kid has had a Top 200 hit single and released his debut album: but thankfully, his approach to making the best pop possible on instruments from The Pound Shop remains unchanged.
Nouvelle Vague, live at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. Their album was one of my favourites of last year (featuring punk and new wave classics treated to a French easy listening makeover), and I was curious to see how it would translate to a live environment. Perfectly well, it turns out: the arrangements for guitar, keyboard and drums are fairly simple, and the rotating pool of four chanteuses doing songs like Too Drunk To Fuck and Teenage Kicks are each wonderful in their own unique way. I love the fact that they all looked a little bit awkward on stage, as if they knew they were expected to do the French sexy thing, but couldn't really be arsed. Which is, of course, even sexier.
(Not pictured: splendid support act Hanne Hukkelberg, the bastard lovechild of Mary Coughlan and Bjork in all the best ways.)