claws of saurtopia
a report from second festival claws of saurtopia in leipzig
After i went through the dark forest, that separates me from the ugly part of town where all the young people with the interesting hair cuts live (next to the aged pensioners, that recently settled very close to them) Connewitz did not welcome me with the usual rain, but with surprisingly good weather. I had brought a whole backpack full of cheap beer, because financial crisis had hit me, which i instantly found a good hiding-place for.
Being late as usual I already had missed the first band, Duflan Duflan from Belgium (I regretted later, because they were good). But just came right for the second one, named Monnocle (from France) which appeared sympathetic for not playing on stage but amidst the audience. They resembled the typical noise math core outfits from france, but had also some tuneful songs that somehow reminded me of mission of burma (pure instrumental, no singing). I frequently went out to my hiding-place, which was so good, but also so very gloomily dark, i had problems to get hold of the beers. It was not so crowded as last year inside, what i found very pleasant, and there were lots of my friends there. Monnocle just had been on a tour through eastern europe, together with fast arbeit babies, and they worked very well together in their songs. I saw that they had played at Reclaim underground festival in Timisoara, which seemed to have a very interesting line-up this year, also in Klub Zica in Belgrade, where I never was, but all the good bands seem to be playing there.
Next played Le Singe Blanc (from Metz, France) which I only knew from their tour video, that showed them in China three years ago. For me was enlightening to see them playing their “ZombieNoise Punkzoukrock”, a bit like Uz jsme doma in parts, but more “never quite tamed…like a puzzled panther” (Darby Crash). The way to that dark barn, where i had hidden my beers was becoming ever more difficult, but still I managed quite well. Next were Fast Arbeit Babies from Strassbourg, who were also “never quite tamed“. Very intense surf noise, combined with very charming singers alternating in singing, screaming and passing the ball on to each other…
fast arbeit babies – Be Careful
Very Well, they also just came back from a tour through eastern europe, together with monnocle.
Now my memories of the evening were beginning to fade, i just could remember that there was another band, which i missed (ben et bene from paris, electric disco punk). I went out and someone accompanied me part of my way, back through the dark forest… The bicycle, which i had borrowed to carry me home, at a sudden bend of the path in the forest, was trying to lead me into the dark underwoods and bushes down a small hill, but i could rescue the beer and neither me nor the bicycle had suffered any damage whatsoever.
The next day i was recovering fast from the eleven beers, which the crown caps of beers in my throusers gave account of. I passed by an obscure street fest in Connewitz (rock am kreuz) and was even earlier than the day before. My friend convinced me to start this day with coffee, that could be obtained backstage by acclaiming to be part of some obscure noise project, hi hi. But later he also convinced me, that it would be best to continue with a “medical” beer (he is working in one of the medical professions…). I followed his suggestions. There were even less people there today, at least in the beginning.
First band was a nice fellow from copenhague, who is known as Nasa Dude, who, with a certain dilettantic approach, instantly awakened my affection. It resembled the lo-fi stars of the past (Sebadoh, Chris Knox, Daniel Johnston) and as I always was very fond of this genre, i liked this too. I talked to him a bit afterwards and found out he is also part of the band no god, which were to play later. They are obsessed by the idea to never rehearse, but play covers of 80s no wave hits out of pure momentarily inspiration. Next came another one-man-band, Mr. Marcaille from France… This now excited me even more, again the same dilettantic, anarchic spirit, but this time with a cello as main instrument. And the singer had a deep voice, like that of the singers of Leatherface/Motörhead, sometimes departing into something that sounded like mongolian throat singing but also transporting the energy of a mixture of english anarcho punk of the eighties and freestyle wrestling (which he sometimes referred to, didnt understand if he really earned his money as a wrestler). Exemplary noise.
Mr Marcaille – It’s time to freak
Then then after taking more medical beers, next band were No god from Copenhague, which I mentioned before. They had an even more dilettantic approach and covered mostly (or entirely?) no wave from the no new york scene of the 80s. I recognized some DNA or Teenage JEsus and the Jerks songs. I liked them, though parts of the audience didnt get that jerky, dilettantic concept, most of the audience just thought they were drunk, what perhaps they actually and in fact really were.
After them (or before them? Oh my memory suffered again) played Anti-Hairball, which played an incredibly cold sounding instrumental noise, it reminded me of my last visit to my dentist, the guitar especially. This was also the first german band i saw at the festival. My friend said it reminded him of early Swans in terms of coldness, what might be right. It was further improved by the absolute immobility of the band on stage.
Afterwards I started to get less and less concentrated, which might have to do with to many medical beers. I somehow missed Noisy Pig from Berlin and his electro trash (another one-man-band. sounds nice) and Anie et le programmateur (again electro trash from Berlin and France). The people willing to dance enjoyed them. But I slowly departed again into a certain unconsciousness but again found my way around the forest, where my dog already awaited me…
This time the forms of noise were more diverse than last year. There weren’t that many instrumental-only bands. By definition, noise is something that mostly might have a tendency towards nonconventional, personal lyrics, yet still I sometimes miss or don’t get the point that attracted me to bands like the Ex, which for me are also quite important for my idea of noise. But after the very community-based 90s, I am glad about the development of more individualist musical styles.