|The ISLAND EXPERIMENTAL 10: Bustin' Loose|
by Wills Morgan
It’s 3am in the morning: I’m awake.
Now is the time to start the tenth installment. Take a deep breath, say to self: PHEW! You have made it to ten. Now go buddy! Go-go go!
Where shall we go, my friends? First: I propose that we should look with fondness at what this column has helped to record. Second: we should update ourselves with what’s goin’ on right now…and what might happen next. Third: we will review an album that has been long overdue a review. All okay with y’all?
THE ISLAND EXPERIMENTAL was created by myself and ANDRIJA LEKIC (photographer extra-experimental!) in January 2010. The initial invitation to write came from the Editor of this here electronic magazine: I continue to be grateful for the opportunity to write this stuff…and to get it published.
My colleagues were very supportive. WADE BAYLISS takes his responsibilities as host and curator quite seriously, and cast his almost-all-seeing eye over various draftings of the first few columns. PATRICK LONG made a crucial contribution in that he presented me with a computer to write on. The time is now 4am, and I’m writing on that self-same computer.
The best way of enjoying the mid-week extravaganza known as THE ISLAND EXPERIMENT is to travel on a Wednesday to the small corner of College Road wherein the bar and restaurant called THE ISLAND (in case you weren’t sure) is contained. What you read here is just a script. It’s not possible to record all the joy which the Experiment provides to many people: whether they be artists, audiences…or alcoholics.
Here’s an example of what I mean. The closest I have come to writing about an actual band in ten articles was the piece I did on MONDESIR. This was a group that had two people: Josienne and Ben. I will promise to do better in this respect. I’m not quite sure how I’m going to do it…but I will try.
What the EXPERIMENTAL did do was go to its own place; go to other places: and cover some of its peoples and characters. There was also an account of the video shoot for ‘MR WHITE’ which managed to present both the Island and the various Experimentalists in a new and exciting light.
All of which leads us to the update which I promised earlier. It’s 4:30 now: another half hour closer to the DIAMOND JUBILEE. That means…an extra Bank Holiday. That means…music and passion will be very much in fashion. At the Island. And elsewhere.
FRIDAY JUNE 1: The Experiment will be holding its monthly meeting at the EARL OF PORTOBELLO, an establishment which is situated on the Golborne Road (not that far from the Trellick Tower: a must for fans of architecture.) Friday nights at the Earl are fast becoming an important part of the live music-making scene: it allows emerging acts and performers to develop their audience and their prowess at the same time. Oh! And we get more bands here. That sorts my blind spot out then.
FRIDAY JUNE 1: In addition to the monthly we do at the Earl, we have a weekly residency in the ATTIC of the BUMPKIN restaurant. The Attic is three floors up in a building where the roads of Ledbury and Westbourne Park meet. If you happen to be a smoker you will need to be fit: because the action at the Attic is not where the smoking is going to be.
The Attic is a late night thing. Get there at round about 9:30 and you should be all right for seats, sights and sounds. And on June 1 you’re in for a particularly special treat. PETER CONWAY, the cat in the hat will be doing the honours. If you’ve not read this magazine’s exclusive report on MUSIC IN THE RAW (of which Mr. Conway is co-creator)…where have you been these last couple of weeks? Finish reading this article first, then go and read that too. It’s worth it. And…I need the hits!
SUNDAY JUNE 3: The Experimental crew will be making a second late appearance in PARADISE. By Way Of Kensal Green. I think we have an hour-long spot and it will be a most decidedly happy one. It was WADE who got the booking...and it's so nice that he's bringing us all down there! The special guest will be Mr. JAYGUN. Jay is the Experiment’s raw rapper: he’s quick on the draw and his lyrics doth score! Not to be missed. I shall be there, and so should you…too.
MONDAY JUNE 4: It’s back to the Island. Yay! At this time of writing (5:30 in the am) I am not quite sure what we shall be doing or how shall be doing it. It doesn’t matter: we’ll just be doing it on a Monday, that’s all.
WEDNESDAY JUNE 6: It’s back to the Island. Back to life. Back to reality. Come with us. You know you want to.
That’s the update: not much room for the review. The editor asked me a long time ago to write about WHEN HE CAME AROUND, the debut solo release by the gent known as CUTHBERT 80. He we go…
CUTH’s album is an exploration of two aspects of his personality: the elemental, and the oriental. Elemental in that this recording is the foundation on which an important career can and should be built: oriental in that Cuth has a definite interest in ASIAN culture.
Those of us who know the 80 via his live performances at the ISLAND and elsewhere will not be shocked or greatly surprised at the luminosity that pours forth from this collection. But that thing he says that you should do with a donkey: well. That’s what has got the CD the Parental Advisory stickers it doesn’t deserve.
GO TO HELL is the hilarious (and offending) rap to which I refer. Equally hilarious is the way that Cuth deals with credits due to all sorts of folks at the album’s conclusion. The meat of the matter however is this: When He Came Around Is Not Dull At All. In fact it is genius.
Production values are of the highest quality. Sampling is kept to a minimum: when it is used the effect is stunning. On the opening track MY GOSH Cuth samples his own voice, which is a neat trick. Elsewhere cymbals sizzle, banjos jangle: and guitars make contrasting crashes, chordal clusters and solo slashes.
Best of all is the voice. TRY ME starts as a tender ballad and ends as a horror movie. WHAT DOES IT TAKE is extra-ordinarily soulful. HE WAS THE BEST combines the elemental with the soulful and the oriental. I’ve told you already…it’s genius. Now bloody well buy it.
It’s 7am. Time for bed. Goodnight people…see you soon I hope. Now that’s one donkey, two donkeys, three donkeys…
CUTHBERT 80 is your host for HAVE YOUR CAKE AND EAT IT, a happening that happens to be on this very FRIDAY, MAY 25 @ THE EARL OF PORTOBELLO, 36, Golborne Road, North Kensington. Entry is free. Live acts include LOLA KING & THE KICKSTARTS, RAP RAVEN and of course the great great 80 himself.
Chances are that Cuth will have a few copies of his album collection with him. If you don't buy one he will not be happy. Not at all.
See related listing HAVE YOUR CAKE & EAT IT!