Live at Packhorse on Wednesday, 14th June 2006
Downstairs at the Packhorse, 11 German and Polish blokes are running their arses off in the setting sun. On a large screen, of course. Upstairs in the t-lighted glow of the venue, all is still and calm. Onstage, manipulating sound with hands and fingers is, erm, Hands & Fingers, our first act of the night. MIDI is sampled, looped through some laptop software, guitar is added David Thomas Broughton style, and sounds build up like the Flaming Lips and Napoleon IIIrd. Then the laptop breaks, stutters and drops over. Bill Gates has struck again. Comforting comments and non-heckles follow "how much RAM is in that machine?" is my favourite. Eventually all is well again and despite a bit more laptop mischief, the end of the set comes via glockenspiel, bits of drum and bass and ambience. Lovely start. Some sums for you - 5/6 of much missed Leeds band Bingo are here tonight and 1/2 of that band are in Sierpinski. This band has no real frontperson as such, but seems to be led along by grinning apparent nephew of Michael Ivins Lee on bass, Clare looks worried, concerned and still in control of keys, piano and mixing, Christian remains his unbothered get-on-with-the-job-self as per usual on cloud scouring guitar and Matt inhabits his own world of drums played with small, jerky movements and jazzy phrases. What sort of music is it? I know not, call it post rock, call it math rock, call it mathjazzpost rock if you prefer. It's rock and it indeed rocks and so far not at all in any way shite. After such gentle openings, headliners Airstrip One disturb the peace, the noisy sods. It's discordant, it's free jazzy, it's a great racket and nods towards Fugazi, Sonic Youth and Discharge - it's just like watching Snub TV on Beeb 2 in 1991, and that can't be bad. Ears whistle, smiles abound.