Friday, April 20, 2007

Barrett at Bordello...

The madcap spirit of Syd Barrett was alive and unwell at the swinging Bordello in downtown LA last night. Twenty bands performed a single song each from Barrett's significant oeuvre. The switch-over from band to band was a drag, but certainly faster than it would have been in 1969. The music spanned the spectrum from downright bad to transcendent. The highlight for me was a haunting performance of "Chapter 24" from Piper at the Gates of Dawn played on wine glasses filled with water. The Good Listeners, seen here, were great, but the crap sound mix did not do their chugging rethink of "See Emily Play" too much justice. Kennedy, perhaps the best live performer LA has at the moment (or at least the smarmiest), dedicated his band's psycho-pop version of "Octopus" to Sid Vicious and segued into a crunchy version of "Breathe" from Dark Side of the Moon, "for all the girls in the audience who have no idea who the fuck Syd Barrett is, but will remember your first boyfriend getting you stoned and taking your bra off to this one!" Most distracting of all were the two Russian (mafia) couples in the plush pillowed banquette right off the stage in various stages of undress and fornication throughout the evening. One suspects they took the name of the venue literally?

(photo "The Good Listeners" by Paul Gachot)


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