Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Warp vs Tate Britain

Warp Records have been doing their electronic thing for years and have (some times) been a wee bit more studious than the boshier end of the bleepy spectrum. So with this in mind, it wasn't that surprising for the label to announce a collaboration with art bad boy Jeremy Deller and co-host a night of aural terror in the Tate Britain. Deller's History of the World shows off the interconnections between acid house and brass bands so makes for a natural fit with Warp. Excitingly there was a brass band billed to perform the acid brass classics that Deller had worked on some years ago as well as installations from Warp artists such as Hudson Mohawke and Rustie. All for free.

With no price tag attached, it was always going to be busy but the amount of hype and worry which went into getting in was something else. We hot footed it down after work to be confronted by a queue, but, despite what the internet was saying, not an unmanageable one. Inside though it was all very confusing with rooms full of art and music seemingly unrelated to each other. This lack of focus and a bamboozling map resulted in shed load of trendies wandering around looking even more vague and bewildered than usual. 

As is the way with these things, we spent a fair amount of time outside in the smoking and drinking section. We saw the new set of stairs everyone's been banging on about (nice stairs), then entered the main hall for the live music. This was a real spectacle with cavernous ceiling, neon lights and good noises. We caught the ambient, electronic noodlings of Dark Star which sounded suitably portentous/pretentious in that setting. Then the brass band were next up and as exciting as it initially was to witness brass instruments bashing through the KLF's What Time is Love, the lack of vibe and volume of bodies in the room had us heading to the door and to the boozer. It's amazing that this sort of thing goes down and is free for all but at the same time, a wee bit more focus and it could have been something more than the minor disappointment it was...

What's going on?

It was very, very busy

Checking the brass band

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