Throbbing Gristle - Rat Club
  Year :   1977
  Location :   England
  Worktype :   Performance
  Materials:   -
  Info :   Valentino Rooms, London

  Work Details  
  At Rat Club we arranged PA on lots of tables at all different levels, all tables covered in red cloth. So looked like electrical luxury goods on display in shop window. Jules Baker, a friend, made us a huge TESCO paper shopping bag, which we had standing near thee amps so it looked all out of proportion, like goods for sale, not like a rock PA. We always put all amps and equipment in centre of stage spotlighted. Thee heart of TG. We are placed, Cosey on one side of stage, she always sits down when playing guitar. Me on other side of stage. And Chris and Sleazy in centre stood with backs to audience manipulating machines. At Rat Club we had huge black polythene curtain behind red table sculpture to set it off. Then we always hang a 4 feet diameter wooden TG sign made by Monte Cazazza behind us. Like a big version of our TG Flash badges and stickers. Genesis P-Orridge letter in Anarki and Kaos 3, February 1978. THE RETURN of Tesco disco - another noise (industrial) in a different supermarket… Throbbing Gristle began with a mutated White Christmas (Bing Crosby of course); technically doctored/dissolving - the familiar into the unknown. The sonic assault begins. Its hard to describe precisely the elements of the sound, easier the effect… How about the story of the black kids that hung over the railings outside the Hackney Studio, digging the fact that Throbbing Gristle sounded just like the factories all around? (Factoid). No? How about a comparison: the electronic distortion of Sister Ray (where the Velvets cranked everything up and off the board) matched with the throbbing crescendos/all over wash of the most intense acid music? Sometimes they can be very friendly: tonight was one of their worst nights as they reflected the mood of the audience. Areas of doubt: no visuals - for sure uncompromisingly concentrating you on the music, but hard to attend to without. Little movement from the group. Also their intellectual/artistic rationale is clear and has been explained already, and to be respected: are serious, dedicated and talented. What remains unclear in their assumption of the power focus is the moral base: orientation hard to discover. Could say that doesn t (so strong) a reflection act as a reinforcement/endorsement? Contributing to the horror-show instead of combating it? I don t know - go and see for youself. Jon Savage, Sounds, 7 January 1978 Accessed 7.12.06 from