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Instal 05 – Day 01

Posted: October 15th, 2005, by Marceline Smith

I’ve missed Instal. My first time back since 2002 and really nothing’s changed. More seats thankfully although it really doesn’t seem like Instal if I don’t spend half the day sitting on the concrete floor contemplating my shoes and gazing happily at the brickwork and metal while trains rumble overhead and noise rumbles through me. I don’t have the stamina to see or write about everything on this weekend but I will collect my thoughts as I go and post some of them here. (Also, massive thanks to Barry for getting me in).

I spent most of Jandek’s set hovering up and down the fun scale, unsure of whether I was enjoying this and, maybe less importantly, whether it was good. Though, whenever I decided it was tedious tosh (about 5 separate occasions in over an hour) he always managed to do something to bring it back and make me re-assess. I liked things in isolation – Jandek’s mournful lamenting, his intuitive guitar playing, the gorgeous echoing bass – but rarely thought they worked all together, wavering between unstructured and cluttered. I think I’d like it better stripped down to bass and vocals.

Simply one guy and a guitar making a racket. At times fighting with his guitar, at other times cradling it, this ordinary looking guy whipped up some awesome sounds – waves of feedback punctuated by bursts of noise, whispers and screams. I’m looking forward to seeing him with Hijokaiden today.

This was sheer spectacle, the stage beautifully lit with clear colours lighting up the fog of dry ice through which you could glimpse the silhouettes of 2 men with guitars. They built up their piece from quiet doom to full on apocalyptic terror and it was mesmerising. The guitar onslaught was interspersed by minimal, powerful percussion leading to me trying to make the case for them as the anti-Low. By the climax, god knows how many minutes or hours later, it was like sitting in a wind tunnel of noise with my clothes flapping and the slow creep of deafness threatening my ears. At the end they did devil horns to the crowd and then had a big hug. Aw.

Day 2
Day 3

Marceline Smith

Marceline is the fierce, terrifying force behind diskant.net, laughing with disdain as she fires sharpened blades of sarcasm in all directions. Based in Scotland, her lexicon consists of words such as 'jings', 'aboot' and 'aye': our trained voice analysts are yet to decipher some of the relentless stream of genius uttered on a twenty-four hour basis. Marceline's hobbies include working too much and going out in bad weather.


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