Swans closed the festival and I confess I didn’t see the entire set due to be being completely knackered from the day’s proceedings. They opened with “No Words / No Thoughts” from the new album (which is superb), except they extended the chimes at the beginning for a good twenty minutes. Gira prowled around looking sour and determined. He made a crack “Good evening ladies…you English guys are so damn effeminate” which was a slightly inaccurate observation based on the proportion of Brian Blessed impersonators in the venue. At times Gira was genuinally sphincter clenchingly scary – “JESUS!JESUS CHRIST! SAY HIS NAME! SAY IT!” he roared at one point. Swans were as expected, brutal, powerful, ugly, beautiful, dirty and pure. I would have liked Jarboe to have been part of the reformation (she performed Supersonic last year and was mesmerising) just to temper some of the hypermasculinity but that is only a small niggle.
If you haven’t listened to the album I’ve linked some tasters below. If you like Gira’s unforgiving worldview try and get hold of a copy of his collection of short stories “The Consumer”, highly recommended.
All in all, this years Supersonic was the best as far as varied acts were concerned, minor quibbles was The Old Library venue, timetable clashes (to be expected really) and the bitter cold (the Stage 2 venue was actually colder inside than outside during the Master Musicians of Bukkake. Personal faves – Nisennenmondai, Factory Floor, Hallogallo, King Midas Sound, and Pika Pika Supercurry . Not so fave experiences – aching calves, tinnitus (it was hard getting to sleep on Sunday with an improvised noise jam going on in my brain pan) and accidently crashing a skin head night at a local pub inbetween acts. Next stop ATP in Minehead to see Throbbing Gristle, Godspeed!You Black Emperor and Nomeansno 🙂 😉 🙂

Little Mouth

Reeling the Liars in

You Fucking People Make Me SIck