Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Review: BODY/HEAD

What a weird and disillusioning evening last Thursday was. BODY/HEAD, a new project by Sonic Youth' Kim Gordon and guitar player Bill Nace played the last show on their first European tour at Berghain. Only these facts set me in a crazy fan-boy mood when I first read the announcement. But let me start from the beginning.

I arrived pretty early and was surprised how quiet everything was. Entering Berghain's main hall gave me the creeps. Never seen that place so empty. Some people were drinking at the bar, some were just staring around. A little later Berlin dinoaurs Cobra Killer started their supposedly pumping DJ set by shaking on stage in high heels and ultrashort skirts playing a noisy mixture of dancy songs, weird Schlager and slowed hip hop. I've never understood their live shows and I was glad they didn't pour red wine on themselves this time. Kudos for playing some Silver Apples.

The floor filled a bit but it was still really roomy when Kim and Bill showed up on stage. The moment they started I thought, wow, this guitar sound, this voice, her moves, it's Sonic Youth all over again. I mean the more experimentel stuff, not the song-oriented material. Bill Nace, who is a quite famous guitarist in a certain Free Jazz / Noise scene built up a massive wall of noise and guitar drones while Kim played one chord or used her guitar as a drumset and sang her typical own way. They showed a slowed, old black & white Novelle Vague movie above them. 

After finishing the first song reality kicked you hard. What? That's it? There wasn't any interaction, any dialogue and felt very uninspired. The whole performance with some atonal chords felt so stressed artsy-fartsy, the movie, her moves like lying on stage and raise her guitar. There wasn't any atmosphere and Nace's guitar way too quiet. Don't get me wrong I usually like that stuff, but it has to be done well. They played around an hour and I stayed the whole set and even for the encore, but I was so disappointed afterwards. BODY/HEAD - the name is so ridiculous after this show.

This whole thing makes me really sad, the fact we will never see Sonic Youth live again. But hey, Thurston's new band Chelsea Light Moving sounds very promising and I cannot wait to hear their upcoming record and I think Bill Nace should return to Berlin soon for one of his famous solo shows.

P.S. I did not take any photos because of the Berghain rule, but I saw some from their Leipzig show the day before and it looked exactely the same. See some from Supersonic Festival here.

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