Tonight we went to see Drab Majesty here in Porto. There are only two band members, but they sound like a giant sonic tidal wave rushing toward you, pinning you to the back wall, not letting you go till the last roaring wall of sound finally releases you. It’s like a loud dream, melodic and metallic, whisking you away in an ancient iron ship, heavy and yet somehow floating. It’s only backlighting, the two mysterious figures hidden in the shadows, occasionally a beam of light strikes them to reveal a figure behind a keyboard, another behind a guitar, and then they are gone, swamped in effects pedals, up to their knees in chorus and sparkling arpeggios and pads.
In the afternoon I went down to the record store to pick up the Sisters of Mercy poster that they had saved for me, it’s Archive memorabilia. I picked up the PiL poster the day before, it’s even more relevant when you were actually at the gig. I came back for a sesh with NJ Brian as we work through the Valley of Salt project, finalising album 1 and working on the demos for album 2 – Brian is prolific.
Somehow we are fitting in all these events happening this week. We haven’t been to the local venue (Hard Club) in three years and this week we will be there four times – PiL, Drab Majesty, Sisters of Mercy, and Weyes Blood. I was working on the Brian mixes, and sessioneer John P in Brooklyn sent me a mix to listen to – but we had to eat, so we ate and watched Liverpool beat Toulouse 5-1 before we had to leave on the last kick for the venue.
As soon as we got outside, it began to rain, the further away we got from The Archive, the harder the rain came down. We both had umbrellas, mine an LFC umbrella, a gift from Olivia’s parents and Rihanna. It helped, but the water was soaking my jeans from the ankle up. We arrived at the venue just in time for the show to start. Around two hundred people were there. I found a seat…result.
After the show, we met Andrew and Alex from the band, Louis the merch man, and Kris the support act, and we invited them back to The Archive. Andrew had said nice things about me and my guitar playing in an interview, so Olivia got in touch and asked if they wanted to meet up. It was a great night, we talked and listened to Joemus (2008), a collaboration between Momus and Joe Howe, and Speed, Glue & Shinki – Eve (1971), mad experiments from deepest, darkest Scotland to an early seventies power trio from Japan.