I finally get to see Lydia Lunch & Marc Hurtado's show paying homage to the work and music of Alan Vega and Suicide having missed last year's show while in hospital with my last Shoulder operation. If any artist is qualified to pay fitting tribute to Alan Vega and Suicide then Lydia Lunch is that artist.
First on were Tina Kit the band I had assumed would be female, but were in fact 5 blokes, one of whom only played on a couple of songs, right from the start they were quite no wave noise as the opening number had a cornet and trumpet wailing against the guitars, bass and Drums as the vocals were shouted indistinctly, the only words to jump our were Your Fucking.
The trumpet player then disappeared, the cornet guy switched to guitar at which point they became far less interesting, as they played The Ripper or whatever the noise monster of a tune was called, with guitars distorting.
The Bassist then took a turn grunting the vocals while the wall of noise took me back to the late 80's early 90's, they did a Blues Fudger of a tune, that was monumentally off kilter, they got Stranger Yet as notes cascaded into one another and the drummer wasn't going to let up.
They got suitably Butthole Surfer style manic, on a song I guess could be called In My Bongs Sometimes, it was obnoxious, at the same time a little nondescript. They gave us a down tuned guitar assault to Give Us An Abscess. Before they brought the trumpeter back on to close with what I guess was called Colostomy Jazz that was enough to make you glad you don't have a bag with you.
After the break on came Marc Hurtado and Lydia Lunch, Marc was playing a large array of synths and Pioneer gadgets, samplers and noise machines, that came to life sounding a lot like Suicide circa the late 80's, a drumbeat that was never going to let go as Lydia started to bark the lyrics that I guess come from the album Marc made with Alan Vega.
As the music got darker, more in our faces, Lydia was yelling about how it should Make You Feel Alive, well of course we did, this is a life affirming noise, which is more than can be said for my notes.
The version they did of Ghostrider was at the more frightening end of interpretations, as it made clear the distain for our current miasma, with the feeling that the Ghostriders will never leave us.
War was coruscating as the never-ending pointless cycle of despair was ripped apart, both musically and lyrically as Lydia riffed off Alan's original lyrics, to update it commenting on the current disastrous conflicts in Ukraine and Palestine.
The next song sounded like Crucified but with elements of Rain Of Ruin the pulsating beat, dark shards of noise twisting our brains, as Lydia took us through all the things that Bored Her In The Streets the groove in the beats helping to keep that music's laser focus going, as the backdrop showed films of Alan Vega's artworks and sculptures.
I think the song about Johnny coming home broken from war was Sniper it was vituperative dark and made clear that no veteran of war ever comes home in better shape than they left.
Harlem was dark and nasty, full to the brim with the dark energy that always made this the most propulsive of Suicide songs. They closed with a miasmic take on Frankie Teardrop as this terrible tale unfolds leaving us to all chant that we are in fact All Frankies, any one of us could fall off the edge like Frankie did.
They had done more than enough to get an encore, my only criticism of the set was that it wasn't 40 minutes longer, but of course Suicide rarely played for more than 45 minutes live, so this brief assault was perfectly in keeping with Suicides shows always leaving us wanting more.