Saturday 2 June
Posted on Sunday, 14 October 2001 by HieronymusS
SATURDAY NIGHT AT THE FRINGE
Bath Fringe, various venues, Sat.2 June
stolen from Venue magazine lifestyle sales statement receptacle
It's nearly a cliché, but that won't stop me saying it again: if you couldn't get to everything good on the middle weekend of the Fringe, then that just proves the festival was doing its job. You Bristolians, in a city five times the size, might occasionally get a weekend night that looks as good (tho' some of the names below haven't popped out of Venue pages before) but they won't take place close enough together for you to dream of catching any more than two of them. In a city where none of these venues are more than 10 minutes' walk apart, you can and many did, in different combinations too.
Start at one end of town with CCQ Breakbeat at the Hat, a harder-than-ever sideshow of what has for a handful of years been one of the westcountry's most approachable but experimental live dance orchestras. I must say I like this beats&blowin' script better than the song-centred reading - but how many other collectives in these parts can go out and play completely different sets on the same foundation, or pick & mix the two with such confidence?
The only flaw in that as a starter would be that if you were there you'd have missed Cyderdelic over on the Bedlam indoor show. If there was a Glastonbury this year, these guys should be headlining comedy: taking a very well-targeted rise out of the nonsense babbled in every FreEcoRaver handout or 6am muddy dayglo conversation you ever had, from a perspective still utterly committed to all those extra-political causes, an Alan Parker Urban Warrior for Reclaim the Streets. Such well-placed self-satire hasn't been heard since the golden age of anti-Thatcher Alternative Comedy or the acid comics of the '70s, and they're still sharp/mad enough to infiltrate TV's Question Time after MayDay, get thrown out and endanger their negotiations for a series with the Beeb at a stroke.
Turn up in time for The Baghdaddies, Balkan gypsy wedding-band music crossed with Ska from a bunch of Geordies with a Frome dairymaid on lead vocal and a deranged dance energy you can't argue with, and you'd have been done for for the rest of the night, they throw the audience around to the point of delirious exhaustion.
Luckily that would have put you in the right building for Stereophonic Circus.
What is it with these guys? They put in a blinding set of the sort of approachable performance & film crossover that no-one else is doing from the grass-roots, choreographed to hard but sensitive beats from Bobafatt & Honeytrap at the decks, and still they're not satisfied. When they turn in the show that moves them as much as it already does the audience it could be devastating.
Of course if you'd been in Windows all that time you'd have missed the night out's other high-point, Hazel Winter at the Porter, turning souls and ears inside-out as only live music from the heart really can. Equally well a great evening out could have included local composer Hywell Davies' 'Salva Me' un-po-faced un-posey installations on Walcot Street, Stravinsky at the Pav (straight festival), the rather funky Spare Rib at Moles (no festival), or the truly lunatic DaDa Bus Tour whose memory is sure to be etched on the brains of everyone who sailed in her if they have any braincells left at all.
Fringe takes you to the edge again!
Night of the Living Art
Posted on Friday, 12 October 2001 by beaker
Something most unusual happened over the fringe. My memory not being what it used to be, well not being what I presume it used to be but cant remember, I don’t know when or why it was happening but it was during the fringe festival, ah yes! it was the opening night, POPACATAPETL were the opening act of the much anticipated ‘New Improved’ Fringe Club and throughout town there were abandoned shops and spaces open and full of paintings, sculptures, shmoozers and boozers.
Unusually enough this doesn’t seem to happen quite enough in Bath. Being able to wander around picking up on the art trail and having a welcomed alternative. Now forget the pub crawl, for an unclassified period we can enjoy the art crawl, not so much looking at the art but just having a sense that these places were actually hosting something, a happening, a soiree, call it what you like. There was a continental whiff in places you’d least expect it. A closed down shop hosted a gallery by Southgate bus station, a building I can only recall as being a garage opposite the theatre royal. Perfect uses of these otherwise perfectly wasted spaces, that Bath, from time to time and all too often, seems to suffer from.
Memory well diluted the night moved into morning and the Fringe Club was the final destination and how this has changed now the full space is available for music, dancing, whatever,and POPacatatapetl (?) were the nights entertainment. What is going on?? never before have we been able to enjoy music at (ooh got to go will fill this in later thanks to the abilty to edit these reviews, nice one binky)
Walcot Nation DAy by brayhound, his nibbs
Posted on Tuesday, 9 October 2001 by beaker
Walcot Nation Day 2001
Walcot Nation Day, Within a few years it has gone from something relatively small to this creature.
This year we had the new stage in the cattle market. There I heard some of the finest new music I have heard to date. Onega Sound System started the proceedings. At last they have emerged with a sound credible enough to stand out as being something both fresh and original. Followed by a jam turnover to Babyhead, including this time a few members of Onega invited to stay on stage. The sound and energy and humour in the music was the unique, magical and more intense than anything I had been subjected to in Bath before. The location of the stage also ensured an evening full of sun (unlike the main stage which by 6pm has become a dullened haze of evening shadow, adding somewhat to the crawling hangover or festival eye, a syndrome some of the more hardened veterans of festivals suffer from in unpredictable flashbacks manifesting in the stance of a balancing tower of cards holding high a pint glass or half full flaggon of cider). After the Babyhead show I left feeling somewhat affected by the whole experience. I felt I had seen and heard something I would never see anywhere else again, something that would only ever happen on a day such as this, something I knew I would never be able to explain in any sense to anyone and with a feeling that I would never ever need to see Babyhead perform again, with fear of being disappointed.
It is a one off, there is nothing else like it but please people/traders of Walcot please get a grip and don’t turn this into another money minded festival. Lets hope that all the work people with good intentions who arrange all the stages, sideshows, entertainments and make this such a unique festival arent overshadowed by the shops, traders and chancers, eager to capitalise on the general good will of people in support of the day, and will eventually will make it just like everything else. Next year can we expect Burger King creeping up the road on rickshaws.
Next year if attending may I recommend you take with you;
A supply of drink,
A pram to ram through the overcrowded street,
Something to give away,
A handfull of clichés
& a broad sword.
Submit your reviews!
Posted on Tuesday, 9 October 2001 by nicksteel
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