interweave and disintegrate…

“Tonight’s line-up, as part of the Royal Festival Hall’s popular Meltdown series (now on its 11th year!), is a startling oddity. It’s hard to imagine this year’s guest curator, frazzled The Kinks frontman Ray Davies at home sipping on his cocoa and slipping on the latest CD by either a transgendered shoegaze chanteuse or a foul mouthed no wave temptress. However maybe he does, and kudos to him for doing go. This evening’s show is an absolute blinder and the definite highlight of the festival.

First on is Gordon Sharp AKA Cindytalk. Sadly somewhat obscure these days, his contribution to popular culture is already the stuff of legend, having appeared on various This Mortal Coil releases and a John Peel session with The Cocteau Twins. Quiet in presentation and frightfully polite, Sharp and band take to the stage with little fanfare, seeming to start their first number over the intro track being piped into the Purcell Room.

This modest beginning is a delightful ruse as the adept musicians find their groove and build up a dense slab of angular guitar noise and skittering improvised percussion. Sharp’s lyrical ennui and fragile vibrato work perfectly within such intimate surroundings. Melodies interweave and disintegrate just as you begin to feel safely esconced within them. The condensed nature of their performance is mesmeric, both loose and scholarly. When they leave the stage, the music hangs in the air and you want to inhale it, lest it decide to leave you again.”
(Matt Cosell,Music Ohm)

The music hangs in the air and you want to inhale it

“This is the only show I’m going to at this years Meltdown Festival curated by Ray Davies and it is probably the most unlikely of choices for Ray to have made. Or so I thought until I ran into my old friend Theo who I have been having a go at for many years as our musical tastes collide and he told me that this show was one of Ray’s Daughters picks! Either way these are two very unlikely acts to see playing at The Purcell Rooms in The Southbank Centre and long may my taxes help to put on shows like this.

First on are the legendary CINDYTALK who I first got into back in 1985 when their Playtime was one of the songs on the Abstract Fanzine issue 5′s free vinyl LP. They were a bit of a goth industrial enigma and have remained so ever since. The only other London show that I know of was the one I saw at the Luminaire a couple of years ago that was to promote the Silvershoalsoflight 10″ one sided single (

Tonight they are a 5 piece to bring us a trip into the dark atonal atmospherics and claustrophobia that comes as the drummer hits his cymbals with the padlock chains he is swinging before bowing a breezeblock type thing. Meanwhile,the guitarist is attacking his guitar with a baton, the noises are grinding and Cindy is at odds with the cacophony in a maxi dress howling the dark recesses of her mind. Towards us, the light is anything but silver shoals, more like splinters of dark in the gloom wrapping us all in this brew of noise as they crashed and launched explosions of noise from the synths or the guitars. It created a fantastic journey into whatever world Cindy and Gordon Sharpe are creating for us with this sonic stew that is enough to get a few of the less hardy souls heading for the bar to get away from it.”

(Soundcheck photo by Richie)