Friday, 8 October 2010

Broadcast on Later

Broadcast play Come On Let’s Go on Later in May 2000, rather disingenuously introduced by Jools Holland as a new band. Well, five years new by this stage. They also played Unchanging Window, which hopefully might turn up some time. This performance is from the Noise Made By People era, when they were still five. The gradual dwindling of the band is wryly chronicled on a series of instrumentals across their albums and Eps, which countdown the fateful progression towards the current duo of Trish Keenan and James Cargill (here on vocals and bass), beginning with Minus One on The Noise Made by People, followed by Minus Two on the Pendulum EP from 2003 and reaching the ne plus ultra of Minus Three on the Tender Buttons LP from 2005. You can trace something of the Broadcast family tree here. Tim Felton is playing guitar. He went on to form the group Seeland (the name a nod to Neu, I would guess) with Billy Bainbridge, formerly of fellow Birmingham radiophonicists Plone. Bainbridge himself joined Broadcast for some of their live shows around the release of Ha Ha Sound in 2003. On keyboards at this time was Roj Stevens, who has now released an excellent album on the Ghost Box label called The Transactional Dharma of Roj. It has a typically striking cover designed by Julian House, who under his Ghost Box nom de plume of The Focus Group collaborated with Broadcast on the much feted Broadcast and the Focus Group Investigate Witch Cults of the Radio Age LP as well as the recent Study Series 04 single on Ghost Box, Familiar Shapes and Noises. The Transactional Dharma develops the kind of sounds Roj made for Broadcast, and conjures pictures of a hall full of bright automata, their cogs winding and ratcheting as the machines are woken into creaky life after a lengthy slumber. And if that brings the hall of bright carvings from Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast books to mind, then perhaps its no coincidence, since he is also a member of also the name of the record label) which seems to make reference to Peake (although strictly speaking, the owls with the Earl of Groan is so obsessed and which eventually devour him live in a tower – there is a Hall of Spiders, mind) and whose acronym is the rather charmingly owl like cry HOO. One to play alongside a song by the Alan Garner referencing folk-rock revivalists The Owl Service for a perfect music and literary themed segue.

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