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Olivier Manchion

2005-11-7 GB – London - Scala

JARBOE is without a doubt one of the most charismatic, innovative and most expressive musician I ever met. The Grande dame of extreme music already electrified the audience when she performed with Swans. After she had parted ways with them she most of all called attention to her solo work with her collaboration with Neurosis (I luckily could see her performing live with them last year in London too). Now she just released the double-CD The Men, the result of a 6-years collaboration with various remarkable contributors in its support JARBOE now crossed the pond for her very first European tour.
The final show of this one month lasting itinerary took place in London at the antique Scala, one of these wonderful old theatres that is now home for grandiose concerts. The Scala isn’t a big venue but quite comfortable, with stair benches to sit and stand on in the backside, giving a good view on the stage from the upper echelons. It was distinctly smelling of chlorine like at a hotel swimming pool but none did care. The crowd was sparse, around 100 people attended the show but they were all the more touched by what was offered and gave expression to that…

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:. OLIVIER MANCHION ~ in his capacity as a very talented guitarist, is always busy and on the go (Permanent Fatal Error, Faust, Ulan Bator, Bias) and slipped almost unnoticed onto stage – I guess everybody thought that’s another roadie for a guitar soundcheck – surprisingly offering one of his solo shows. That he supports Jarboe (for the very first time in UK) is not a total surprise since he and his band Permanent Fatal Error is working on a collaboration CD entitled Little Red Piano, where Jarboe will also contribute to. Olivier presented wonderful guitar post rock (reminding of the Chicago-scene and bands like Shellac and Tortoise) as sort of essence of PFE, just without the Jazz parts. OLIVIER MANCHION built up sampled loops, layer by layer, always adding new melodies on it, so that the listener was at the end captivated in dense guitar-soundscapes. Now and then Olivier also resorted to the micro. Musically a fantastic performance and again something new to me I want to get more of!

:. FINAL ~ is the „Ambient“ - (he probably hates this categorization) project of mastermind Justin K. Broadrick (ex-Godflesh, ex-Napalm Death). He actually should have performed with his band Jesu tonight; 4-stringer Diarmuid Dalton I saw hanging around but drummer Ted Parsons obviously couldn’t make the tonight’s show. So Justin was standing all alone on stage, crooked over his Apple notebook (visually not thrilling at all) introducing the audience to his own world of experimental music. Not too straight, but not too extreme either, wonderfully melodic, yet dark and sometimes harsh soundscapes were built up. Something to listen to back home, to drift away… I guess presented material can be found on the upcoming FINAL album simply titled Three, scheduled to be released in February 2006 via Neurot Recordings. By the way… it was the very first FINAL live performance in 20 years of existence!!!

:. THE LIVING JARBOE ~ warmly greeted with thunderous applause was accompanied by bass/violin player Paz Lenchantin (A Perfect Circle, Zwan), guitar hero Nic Le Ban and two drummers Phil Petrocelli and Mike Rollins. JARBOE opened the set with Feral, the only song from her just released album The Men. Right from the first tone she spread so much energy and transcendence. Every single note, every single tone and every single line got interpreted with such an emotion that it took me breath away, leaving me stunned. Crowd likewise was mesmerized, hanging on her lips and body. To see and even feel her emotionality, seeing she suffering and being happy was almost scaring me… while both drummer created such power and pure energy-thrusts with their dynamics and tribal-like rhythms. It was unbelievable! Surprisingly most songs came from her 2000 album Disburden Disciple. JARBOE herself was intensively interacting with the crowds (but men only, women were left ignored), likewise spreading and sucking in energy and spirits, jumping from the stage and performing one track within the audience.
After just one hour played the show came to an end and the band was called back on stage again with thunderous applause. Unfortunately they just did it for only one encore: Mother/Father, a Swans song (they also played Song For Dead Time and I Will Swallow You) JARBOE started with the dedication: “This is for Michael“. Afterwards JARBOE was deeply touched and breathless that she needed to read her acceptance speech right from the sheet. Then she symbolically tore out her heart, giving it to the fans, thankfully bowing and leaving the stage with cracking (stage-) doors.
Setlist: Feral, Pure War, Song For Dead Time, Scarification, Seduce And Destroy, Dear 666, Sinner, I Will Swallow You // Mother/Father

Unfortunately it really was the end of all things tonight. No aftershow party, no meet & greet and autograph signing sessions. Crowd was dispelling itself quickly, the bar already closed and remaining fans hauled out by the security. Tooooooooo bad… :( Well, a typical Monday evening in London… *grrr*
I also had set up an interview that didn’t take place. Could have been interesting to hear how the European tour turned out (will do that later as an email interview).
However, this show was definitely worthwhile to head over to London! With hindsight coz of FINAL and OLIVIER MANCHION too, but first of all coz of this wonderful, fascinating, impressing, breathtaking, unbelievable lady, that left a mark on me forevermore, making me aware of things from me inside… JARBOE… with utmost respect!


story & pics © Dajana