Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Breathless in Bruxelles (Wild, Wild Rumpus!)

Had a really great, tremendously exhilarating gig in Brussels last Saturday night as Wild Rumpus hit the boards live with myself, DJ Cosmo, and Video Artist Rob Rainbow in tow, playing a set at the Klinkende Munt Festival at the fabulous Beurrschouwburg, an ancient art establissement belgique I had played 2 or 3 times before in the 90's...I've always loved playing there (and in Belgium in general) and this was the best yet--despite some cosmetic alterations a couple years ago the Shu-burg was the same imposing stone edifice/townhouse of high/low art hijinx (with an amazing new terraced dining facility on the top floor) and was rocking rocking rocking with lots of fascinating artists playing and overflow crowds running up and down the stairs as the action was taking place on multiple levels/performance spaces...

Visual artist Rob Rainbow with Wild Rumpus (Cosmo and Gary), roof of the Beursschouwburg, Klinkende Munt Festival, Bruxelles, 7/7/7

Gary with Wild Rumpus, Bruxelles, 7/7/7

photos by Kris Mouchaers | Click to enlarge

Jetted in Friday morning, Brussels was enjoying an early fall apparently but hey it was okay by me as it's been sweltering here in NYC so it was a lovely change-up weather-wise, crashed for a few then had an excellent Italian style lunch with scintillating Sinta Wibowo who was one of the very very helpful festival crew, and we were later joined by Beurrschouwburg artistic director Cis Bierinckx, whom I had last encountered at the Walker Art Center when he was working alongside director Philip Bither when I played there with Fast 'n Bulbous a couple years ago...that night had dinner with our Live Nation booking agent Peter Boonen, a very sweet and funny guy guy who took me out for a real Flemish homestyle treat of flamande and frites washed down with a couple of Maes (great hops de Belge), then partook of 2 excellent sets first by Dez Mona, a cool local band with a singer possessed of an extraordinary counter-tenorish voice and poetic jazz noir sensibility, w/ acoustic bass percussion and keys behind him, very Jacques Brel-ish/Bowie-ish in places, check them out here--I liked them very very much. Later downstairs another treat new to me...Portugese one-man band sensation The Legendary Tigerman (a/k/a Paulo Furtado, check him here), who did a hopped-up variant on low down roadhouse grind ala The Cramps/Alan Vega but with his own thing in place, had some great black and white home made films going on behind him which he keyed in on at critical junctures, replete with half naked models, moody lighting and visual content that referenced the original "Honeymoon Killers" film, the work of Coffin Joe (Jose Mojica Marins), and other seminal cinematic touchstones...he ended with a wild rendition of Hasil Adkins' "The Hunch"--yeah!! Super nice guy too, chatted with him in the dressing room afterwards--knows his stuff, very conversant too with historical precedents Dr. Ross and Joe Hill Louis (forgot to ask him about One String Sam...)

Friday Cosmo showed up from London mid afternoon with Rob Rainbow, super nice guy and a live visuals whiz who last worked with us at the ICA London Wild Rumpus gig a year ago, we grooved around central Brussels hitting the beignets kiosks and chocolaterias for an hour or so, then had a long long sound check set-up...later that night checked out Jeremy Warmsley who preceded us ( an amazing UK singer with another great high voice and a very charming/whimsical songbook, full of left-field hooks--excellent band also! Then Wild Rumpus hit at midnight, first up me solo with some of my silent film clips, then the full-on group experience and WHAMMO! Had 'em up and at 'em and dancing nonstop, Colleen Murphy and I have reached a new level of telepathic rapport viz. improvising off each other's energies with Rob Rainbow's throbbing retinal assault going on behind us, I was burning the blisters off my fingers guitar howling insane with a double amped set-up and we were really going for it and really really in synch at this show...whew!!

3am and we couldn't play no more, and I managed to get about 2 and a half hours sleep before it was time to split for the airport...bye bye sweet Belgium...another fast 'n furious gig that left me breathless and lit our improvisational creative lights... can't wait for the next one with Colleen, which we hope to announce shortly--stay tuned!




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