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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

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Headliner:KTL
Support: William Bennet
Venue:Nice'N'Sleazy, Glasgow, 27th May 2007


After 3 nights of performing the live soundtrack to the theatre piece Kindertotelieder at Glasgow's Tramway, the band KTL did a stand alone gig at Nice'N'Sleazy. A collaboration between Peter Rehberg (Pita) and Stephen O'Malley (Sunn O)))), combining laptop electronics and guitar noise. A curious idea to see a two piece band after seeing the whole shebang of performers, stage sets and all - especially when paying £7 to see the show compared to £11 to see the band.

The ticket says doors open 8.30, plus support. Aiming not to be too early, experienced with venues like this rarely opening on time, I still manage to get there for 8.40. Doors have opened, but other than staff, and the band, I am the first to arrive. Though fortunately people I know arrive not much after that. For the next hour and a half, the DJ plays a selection of noise/power electronic music - noise heavy, distorted rhythmic music, playing abrasively loud. Apparently the DJ is William Bennet from the notorious Scottish noise band Whitehouse, though I don't recognise him myself. The volume of the DJ is always a guide to how loud the band is going to be, because the DJ is always going to be a degree quieter.

On the door into the basement of the pub where the venue put on bands there is a sign that warns that a smoke machine will be in use. The machine chokes out smoke the entire night, so that pre-band the stage is barely visible for the most part. After 10 the band go on stage, climbing in to the fog. The 20 or so people for the most part get up from where they have been sitting and form a line a row or two deep in front of the stage. For the next 40ish minutes we are assaulted by O'Malley's guitar - a wall of noise, overwhelmingly loud. Too often the guitar overshadows everything, becoming a bank of sound that probably cancels out even itself. At times we can discern the texture of the sound, the drones and waves of it, mixing in with the laptop sounds which fight their way through to provide atmospheric bass and soundscapes. At the points where the sound achieves a balance it all makes sense and is enjoyable to listen to. The set is brought to a close on a high point, O'Malley disappearing off the stage and upstairs, Rehberg setting up a nice loop before following. Sound continues to play for another couple of minutes, before stopping. The audience stands there, with no sign of the band, a tentative round of applause, and the night is done.

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