MERMAID CHUNKY (NIGHT OF THE RAMPANT SAX PT1) – THE OLD E BRISTOL – MAY 2018
are to children’s toys what LCD Soundsystem is for the cowbell! I thoroughly enjoyed their set at the bonkers-jazz night we attended. The entire night was an earblind experience and until I had got there (under the mindful eye of Arbiter Titan) I had no idea who or what was going to be played.
You can imagine my sheer joy when this delightful duo took to the stage with a plethora of keyboads, things with buttons, things with dials and knobs and a small collection of windup and noisemaking toys. (Oh and a saxophone, as predicted by The Shonk Oracle this is the year of the saxophone)…
What followed was a fanstatic, trailing journey incorporating beats and loops with the sounds produced by various toys, our favourite being the chattering teeth which would be wound up one at a time and allowed to run across a mic’ed-up table in perfect time to the beats. We’ve never seen anything like this and we’ve seen many interesting and unusual things on stage.
The pulsing, rising and falling sounds of keyboads, drum pads and other, more mysterious devices reminded me of the deep sea and the vocals, which followed the rhytmns but also deviated somewhat reminded me of the boat that I decided we were all in, on top of the aforementioned sea. We were on an electro-ocean boat journey with toys! And as the thick synthy sea ebbed and flowed, up and down taking us closer to land or rocks there would be a sudden syrupy cascade of rich saxaphone, like a lighthouse or warning beacon, but warm and rich, so you knew you were in danger but still choose to ride out the journey in the hope of seeing an actual mermaid.
They’re certainly worthy of laudation and I’d love to know the history that led them to create the music that they’re creating. I know we will be keeping an eye out for them and looking to see them again, as so you should! I’ve had a synthesiser for nearly four years now and I can’t make any sense of it, so when someone stands on stage (prepare for a breach of our aestetics clause) in check-trousers (love) and build a track from nothing and look really chill doing it I enter that strange feeling of ‘awedenvy’ where one is blown away by what is happening and also kicking oneself that I can’t do it! So, thanks Mermaid Chunky, but also THANKS!
But seriously, you are the best.