Went to London and spent a weekend in a penthouse apartment in Kensington with seven friends listening to Merriweather Post Pavillion. It's not like we didn't try to go out. We did. It just never worked. We nearly made it to a salsoul club, whatever that means. We did make it to an insane club that wasn't sure whether we were 'indie rock' enough to get in, despite the fact that the closest they came to indie rock all night inside was 'I Wanna Be Your Dog' by the Stooges, a drop in the gushing river of indifferentiable electro.
I bought records on Portobello Road and in Rough Trade. I bought clothes in (predictably) American Apparel. Took black cabs, saw Westminster, went the wrong way around the Circle line to get to where I was going. But the weekend was about Animal Collective. Every gap, while we were cooking or waking up or just hanging out, was filled with Merriweather Post Pavillion.
And then the weekend passed, and it was Monday the nineteenth of January and we went to the Koko in Camden to see Animal Collective.
This guy stood in our way for a while, singing Orwellian songs in a John Lydon-on-I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of here persona. Few support acts have been worse.
Then came Avey, Panda and Geologist. The set-list was as follows:
In The Flowers
Weird unrecognisable version of Winter's Love
Lion In A Coma
The rainbow strip lights were going and it was the first Animal Collective gig I've ever been to that hasn't had majority new stuff being passed down from the improvisational gods on high. It was mostly pretty cathartic.
Things that were off:
Winter's Love's only recognisable bit was ONE BAR of the drum loop from it, during a 5 minute long improvisation that was apparently supposed to BE Winter's Love
I think the bass was missing from My Girls, which robbed it of some of its finality at the end
I have a feeling they missed synching the beat in Banshee Beat, ironically, but it was still great as just an Avey strumathon.
Things that were on:
Everything. The guts of Merriweather Post Pavillion, which is probably the most perfect album I can think of, and I've been thinking for about two months.
Slippi, being off the cuff as it is, freewheeling along. Chores, starting in ultra-slowed down, lamenty Panda Bear mode, but eventually kicking in to its full-on frenetic brilliance.
Songs like Also Frightened and Lion In A Coma leaping off the page and being counted even more than they are on the album.
Brothersport, being an incomparable live experience.
met a man who was talking about government laws and saying "that's right yeah" every four mumbles on the tube, who seemed to know what he was talking about.
Read in 'The London Paper' (a free Tube-rag) that 'Josh Dibb and co.' were playing the Koko, Josh Dibb being Deakin who has been on hiatus since just before the release of Strawberry Jam.
It was a great gig. I'm sorry this review has no logic or structure, but it was quite a long time ago.
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