I primarily came for Bish, so in that respect I wasn’t disappointed. He played four fairly lengthy tunes, utilising elements of bluegrass, raga and plain old rock & roll. The final track, accompanied by an eastern drone, was particularly good. Live and electric, some of the intricacies of his acoustic material were lost, but it was still very effective. His guitar playing is loose, bordering on the slapdash, at times, but at others he comes across like the bastard love child of Davy Graham and John Fahey (as biologically impossible as that may be). He can be that good.
Earth. Hmm. The snail’s pace was expected – nobody goes to an Earth show to go mental in the moshpit. What I didn’t expect was the polite and anaemic sound. I thought there would be some physical force coming through, but there was just dreary, turgid and aimless noodling. Early Swans were slow but had a visceral, in-your-face, confrontational power. Codeine were slow but had tunes. Tonight, Earth were slow and had…nothing. It was one of the dullest fifty minutes I’ve ever spent. It was comical to see some audience members visibly yawning through the tunes and then go apeshit when they ended. Tiresome.