Having been thrown out of almost several art exhibitions for brawling, inebriation and flatulence, old R T's now been shuffled sideways to become Pangolin's music reviewer! What-ho!
Well, my first assignation was to deliver a piece on a 'freeform audio visual collective' by the name of Bladder Lanes, whose performance was taking place at Stubbs End Community College. They had insisted on setting up their equipment in the gentlemen's lavatories - to 'explore the role of chance in the creation of the work of art', while the college groundsman instructed agitated gentlemen to relieve themselves anywhere along the perimeter of the college sports field. He reckons it deters badgers.
Bladder Lanes aim 'to punch a hole in the timewaste continuum'. The last person to review them 'loved their vibe', but was unfortunately unable to follow them further. Nobody's quite sure why, but he was last spotted sitting comfortably up a plane tree in the Piccadilly area, blowing peas at passers by.
The act comprises two hooded musicians, Selwyn Buttock and Piper Nobbs (he sports a shower cap with small buttercups). Buttock sings at a laptop at sixty second intervals in the manner of a funeral dirge, the words culled from James Thurber's version of 'Little Red Riding Hood'; meanwhile, Nobbs takes a bow saw to a double bass, and the sound is collected and magically transformed into a video display where small sausages appear to battle it out with a pair of sugar tongs and a sachet of mayonnaise. The pace quickens as the sounds become 'a moment of introspection, of reflectivity and reflection, where music interrupts itself to give way to research and theoretical questioning.'
There were some unusual rhythmic devices, too, but these turned out to be from gentlemen who had availed themselves of the facilities.The funeral dirge then reaches a crescendo with the words 'Even in a nightdress, a wolf looks no more like your grandmother than Basil Brush looks like George Osbourne!'.
The tragic dénouement of Thurber's tale arises, of course, when Little Red Riding Hood takes an automatic out of her picnic basket and shoots the wolf dead.
Unfortunately that's almost what happened at the performance, in a Pirandellesque reenactment of an alternative reality. A local farmer, Todger Postlethwaite, is helping police with their enquiries; meanwhile his neighbours have had a whip-round and bought him a large gold medal and a full barrel of the local ale, 'Old Dogbreath'.
Buttock assures me he'll be replacing his late musical partner once he's discharged from hospital. Not to be missed!