Teho Teardo and Blixa Bargeld – The Union Chapel (18 March 2014)

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I’m sure that I’ve owned records by Einstürzende Neubauten. Not even necessarily in my most winkle-pickered and polo-necked period. I can even see the covers, sat next to the Bunnymen records. Can I tell you anything about them? They were a bit industrial…had some German titles… No. Not really. I mean; I must have listened to them. At least once. Head honcho Blixa Bargeld will always be, to me, the bloke last seen clogging up the Badseeds ‘wafting about’ his fairly pointless guitar. So, when he was announced as playing a gig with Teho Teardo – an Italian ‘musician, composer and sound designer‘, I’ll be honest, I was expecting pretentious wank of the highest order: Lots of noise and things that make you use the word ‘atonal’.

Why choose to expose yourself to such expected guff? BECAUSE. Just because… And, most importantly, you never know.

Turns out, the latter is most apt. My lack of knowledge runs deeper than you’d think. Seems the album this two have put together are a bunch of mid-european style laid-back croons. TT providing designing the sounds and BB mumbling and rumbling along over the top of them. Actually, just he kind of thing that suits this (as I’ve said) wonderful venue.

The little Italian guy has a guitar midied up to a laptop. So, he strums and riffs along, but creates a techno bed. Accompanied throughout by cellist Martina Bertoni, and for the latter part by a full string quartet. It’s all rather lovely. Mr Bargeld mumbles and grumbles over the top, doing that Cohen/Gainsbourg thing that all old goths aspire to. He seems to be having a great time cracking jokes with the first two rows. We’re in the third, so can’t hear a word he says. There’s a bit of pedal work on the vocals and some clicking and squeaking. But, it stays the right side of silly.

There’s not exactly a surfeit of tunes here that you’re gonna leave whistling (in fact the catchiest thing in there is a Tiger Lillies cover). But, that’s not the point. I’m sure with time you could come to grips with the work and it’ complexities. For the time being, I’m just more than happy to just let it all wash over me. Which it does, brilliantly.

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Written by Tony Kiernan

19 March 2014 at 3:29 pm

Posted in Gigs, London, Music

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