mon 21/08/2017

Psychic TV, Brixton Jamm | reviews, news & interviews

Psychic TV, Brixton Jamm

Psychic TV, Brixton Jamm

Rare return for the pandrogynous psych-pop pioneers

Genesis Breyer Orridge onstage at JammPaul Gresham

The last time Genesis Breyer P Orridge was in the UK, it was to touch down and talk about life, art, magic and strange encounters as part of COUM, Throbbing Gristle, Psychic TV and PTV3 at the October Gallery's William Burroughs centenary show back in 2015.

Since then, there has been a return to music – earlier this year, the entire catalogue of Psychic TV and PTV3 was reissued on Dias Records, much of it for the first time in digital format. Given that there was a campaign to release 23 live albums on the 23rd of each month (a Guinness World record), there's quite a lot of archive to reissue. At the same time, on his own new label, Angry Love Productions, there is a new extended EP, Alienist, featuring the kind of psych-pop covers that Orridge and his new PTV line-up revel in stalking, staking out and stoking up on stage until they break apart. 

Genesis and PTV are adept outsiders and pioneers of abberance

Here at Brixton Jamm, sold out on a freezing Monday night, and packed beyond capacity – it's a struggle even to get through the door – the latest incarnation of Psychic TV features drummer/laptop artist Edley ODowd (who has worked with Orridge since the early 2000s), ace psychedelic guitar shredder Jeff Berner, and the brilliant bass work of another PTV veteran, Alice Genese. Keyboards-cum-white noise from Jess Stewart stands at the back under a bolero hat, the unsettling, stylised visuals flashing and morphing behind him as Genesis takes to the stage, clad in a large white jacket and sporting a new bob haircut and a wild-eyed intensity that makes him resemble Klaus Kinski in Fitzcarraldo.

The first song is "Just Drifting", a gentle pop entry into a night that uses cut-up, invocation, audience participitation, krautrock, heavy techno, creepy voiceovers, call and response, and sheer, ear-shredding volume to deliver, deny and unsettle by turns. "Just Drifting" was the first song Orridge wrote for PTV, for his young daughter, now a mother ("We are a grandmother" he proclaims in imperial fashion). Further in, a female voiceover recounting what sounds like paternal incest elicits cries of "no!" from some in the audience, to which Orridge bares his chunky gold teeth and crows: "Yes! we like it..." before a very lengthy "After You're Dead, She Said", from 2014 album Snakes, a song-mantra that pounds, invokes and revokes incessantly.

It does go on, and after a lengthy passage of screeching white noise, harking back to Throbbing Gristle's Heathen Earth, the Sixties pop bounciness of the early part of the set gives way to a more throbbing, gristly and punishing series of workouts of PTV originals amid a few choice Sixties covers – The Creation's "How Does It Feel to Feel" the best of them. Genesis and PTV are adept outsiders and pioneers of abberance, sucking up Crowleyean magick, Burroughsian cut-ups, Sixties psych-pop, Seventies Krautrock and audacious gender play into one righteous wall-shaking maelstrom.

@CummingTim

The early part of the set gives way to a more throbbing, gristly and punishing series of workouts of PTV originals amid a few choice Sixties covers

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