Oxbow orchestra tour diary 2 – Supersonic Sunday

Supersonic Festival, 21.10.2012

An exhausting day.

Oxbow Orchestra soundchecking at Supersonic

With a 2-hour soundcheck scheduled to start at 11, performing at the subscribers’ “Tea Party”, and then sets with KK Null and Oxbow, we are anticipating premature exhaustion. We arrive reasonably fresh for the soundcheck and Tea Party, but after that we wander around trying to find somewhere comfy for a snooze.

Playing with Kazuyuki Kishino is challenging because of the sheer volume he employs. The composition he plays before we join in is trouser-flappingly loud, even observing from backstage, well out of harm’s way. The bass vibrations through the stage cause my chair to turn through nearly 360 degrees, while one of Sam’s tuning slides is rattled free from the instrument to land on the floor beneath. He only discovers this at the beginning of our performance as his tuba fails to make any sound and a friendly punter in the audience helpfully points at the hapless piece of dislodged tubing.

We get going and play “Waltzing into the Doldrums”. Kazuyuki joins us towards the end, and through the ensuing 20 minutes we play more loudly than we have ever done before. I throw caution and good sense to the wind, crank both my distortion pedals up full and indulge in a little feedback solo.

KK Null with ORE

Kazuyuki K. Null, Sam, and Stuart on stage in the Old Library

The set finishes. We are sweaty, and elated.

We have a few hours before Oxbow Orchestra takes the stage for the first time, and we use it to do very little, apart from generally shuffling about, catching up with a few people, and watching bits of Tim Hecker and Goat’s sets.

Then it’s time. Estell’s first law of Mikrophonie is that given a microphone and a cable, and an opportunity to fall over said cable presenting itself when swapping between instruments, I will do so with gay abandon. I nearly manage to destroy my microphone twice, with hilarious results. Thankfully Eugene and Niko cover for me pratting about in the background by having a nice chat with the audience.

The set hangs together remarkably well given the limited rehearsal time we’ve had; the audience response – as always for a Supersonic Festival – is warm and attentive, and we finish the evening as shattered as we expected, but happy.

Tomorrow: London.

<–Back to part one (rehearsals)             Part two: London –>

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