04 June 2005

...and the ambulance died

...and the ambulance died in his arms, the 'new' Coil live CD came yesterday.

It's a recording of the All Tomorrow's Parties gig and generally finds Coil in quiet mode - with the music simmering gently rather than ever really catching fire. That said, it's probably my favourite live performance so far - though Balance is better when he's in wailing/tongulations mode as at the start of Snow Falls into Miltary Temples rather than narrator since then he's immersed within the music, bubbling up through the clouds and electro-insect buzzes to appear suspended... when he talks the subtlety of the music is too easily overwhelmed.

Still, Coil were one of the few bands who really explored the live setting in an alchemical way(i'm amazingly pissed off that Balance died and I only got to see them once); trying new things, making new connections, reacting to the environment rather than trying to force it to their will. And they never seemed to bow to the Greatest Hits lethargy - the only previously heard track here is a radically re-worked The Dreamer Is Still Asleep - using the live dynamic as a means of cycling through changes, missing beats or altering perspectives. You never knew exactly what you were going to get : pastoral folktronica mode, gushing whorls of sound mode, beatless ambience or percussion heavy electro elf-chatter pop and there are so few bands out there now who are capable of digging out those uncertainties from concert goers.

In fact, I can't think of any other bands I've seen (other than, though often including, improv artists) who have any sense of dynamic beyond their latest album plus some fruity selections from their mental folders marked 'Live Favourites'.

Wonder why?


Cloudboy said...

Yes Coil were a very exciting live experience - only got to see them three times myself - the last being the at the Ocean where they were touring the black antlers material. My favourite from 'and the ambulance died' CD must be
'Slip in the Marylebone Road'. Still coming to terms with the fact that my favorite band have infact ceased to exsit...

dan said...

And here was me feeling blessed that I got to see them once before Balance passed! It was the very same ATP performance, too.

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