Throbbing Gristle - Film-Makers Co-Op
  Year :   1978
  Location :   England
  Worktype :   Performance
  Materials:   -
  Info :   London

  Work Details  
  PLAY GAMES with peoples minds and you risk having something very nasty on your hands, as Throbbing Gristle probably know only too well. I could be very cool and say theyre simply reiterating the blinding machine scream of early Kraftwerk (circa Stratovarius ), literally bombarding the audience with painful, frightening noise. But there s something else going on, something that isn t very nice. Coincidence or intent. They play beneath a red, black and white logo that is just one step removed from the sort of runic symbols used by various right wing organisations. Their PA is two H -shaped speakers on either side of the stage; HH, 88, Column 88 - the interpretation is tenuous, but it is there. And a young roadie dressed completely in black guards the stage. I could, of course, be wildly off course in this, or Genesis P-Orridge s infamously weird tastes could be leaning towards bizarre totalitarian chic. Having removed the audience s inhibitions with art-porn movies (I missed the one with the guy getting castrated with a pair of scissors), they might have expected something to happen. They managed to play half an hour or so (I lost all sense of time) before the gig was truncated by violence. (See Our Man On The Floor In A Pool Of Blood for account). Waves of stomach-churning noise, intestinal gurgles of oscillator and phased percussive synthesiser rhythm filled the room. It was a hurricane of loud, inhuman and disorientating noise roaring around the eye of the stage. Intimidating bassy growls vibrated the room and wild vocalese and spine-snapping guitar flailed out from the stage. It took on the atmosphere of some Fluxus happening rather than the usual passive musical recital. A sensory overload of awesome noise that places the audience in a very volatile situation. The fracas appears to have stemmed from a couple of stupid morons who couldn t handle Throbbing Gristle's provocative music. But even the group seemed loathe to accept the situation their music forced the audience into. As the room began to resemble a furniture warehouse being attacked by poltergeists, they stopped playing with one final disgusted scream of white noise. Stunning but dangerous music. John Gill, Sounds, 15 July 1978 Accessed 7.12.06 from