Sunday, September 02, 2007
Bad Brains "House of Suffering" Daytona Beach 1988
"At the Movies", live in NYC in the early days
"House of Suffering", Daytona Beach, 1988
Yesterday I went to the Astoria Box Office to buy a ticket for the original Bad Brains who are doing a short 4 date Euro tour, also taking in Amsterdam (the Paradiso, no less!), Brussels and Cologne, exactly the kind of tour a lot fans wished GBV would have done on their final tour. I'm tempted to do the whole tour, as the distances between cities is manageable and I've already done the Amsterdam - Cologne - Brussels route following GBV once in '02 and it was, uknow, RAD! or fab, or whatever - the way the cities blend into each other is quite stunning, lets put it that way...
The ticket would have cost about nine pounds more with Ticketmaster, who would have insisted on posting it to me, so making the trip to Tottenham Court Road to get it without *any* surchage really was a good move, despite having to face the smoggy and touristy West End on a Saturday afternoon.
So the Brains...you see, I saw them once in 88, in the Graben club in St Gallen, Switzerland, and it was just one of these things, one of those show I'll never forget, the energy was just incredible (see the second video from the same time taken on a beach, the passion of the delivery is breathtaking!). A friend of mine at the time (I was living and studying at Constance Uni) was big into Reggae, and so was I and quite a few friends, it was a bit of a thing then, but he was also very much into the Bad Brains, a band of rastas playing speedy melodic hardcore punk and dub reggae . They were just extraordinary. I fell in love with their album "Quickness" which is somewhat overlooked these days but features some of their most complex and mysterious songs, and quickly also their back catalogue including the milestone album "I Against I" and the classic speedy hardcore anthemss of the ROIR cassette and Rock For Light. The energy shifted, became more refined, and closer to the blissout dub vibes that are very prominent on their tasty new album. What I will say is that their songs are super catchy, like two minute holy grails. Play them a few times and they will stick around, they are subtle and sweet even when they're full on fast and noisy, and you can see in these videos how the band themselves is fully *occupied* by the tremendous primal power of this music. Special vibes...