Sunday, 6 June 2010

Fripp and Travis play Burlesque Cathedral

Fripp and Travis Play Burlesque Cathedral
Robert Fripp And Theo Travis Bath Speigeltent June 5th 2010

View; front row table  on Travis side, directly opposite Fripp

Having been involved in writing a song called ‘Cirkus’ it was always going to be a poser as to what experience seeing Smiling Bobby Wilcox perform in a tent. Would the duo react and adapt their music to these unusual surroundings? For a duo and their music more suited to sacred spaces large and small would this evening have more of an element of the profane?
And what a tent it was! Abundant wood panelling and mirrors, a stained- glass rotunda. It had the form of a church, but aligning with far more bawdy concerns, a cathedral of the Burlesque, perhaps. Plush red velvet curtains draped seductively to cover the  circular ceiling, a crimson ring, if you will (ahem).

The duo seemed in good spirits as they stepped onto the stage. Beginning with a slightly angular dissonant shortish piece, one felt they were feeling their way in the venue and exploring where it could take them. The attentive and respectful audience were almost too polite to clap, but eventually settled in too. A longer second piece allowed the music to breathe, and the soundscape-based  music, in waves of somewhat circular motion, began to mirror the shape of the room.

After a very short musical interlude, which seemed to surprise performers and audience alike, to their delight, a very aquatic sounding soundscape began. It was at this point a presence seemed to want to flit in and around the performance, taking interest in the music, or vice versa, and the piece erupted (making at least one audience member jump) into something very reminiscent of a band we all know and love. It was a truly back of neck hair erection moment, and bodes very well for the imminent ProjeKct featuring these two. The presence flitted around the room, visiting two or three times; not just in the form of angular rifferama, but in more delicate reflective moments.

Further pieces explored the potential of the venue; Travis sending flute trills to flutter around the stained glass rotunda to settle where they would; A piece that so wanted to be a slanted version of the standard ‘Summertime’ apt considering the perfect summer eveneing; a percussive finale full of beautiful menace; and finally channelling the bawd that had threatened for so long, with slinky sax moments form Travis.

An unexpected encore finally began after a few glance between the two with a Fripp utterance ‘alright then’, and was a series of swapped solos, venous initially but slowly sending the night into calm as it progressed, ending with faltering staccatos to the amusement of all.

 The duo seemed to have enjoyed this one, producing a playful performance that searched for and found its place eventually; at times venomous, playful joyous and reflective, it was a tremendous sensuous feast for the soul.

Fleshpots of Bath indeed.


TheScourge said...

Er, ProjeKct? What ProjeKct?

StumpyBunker said...

Fripp and travis have formed a new group, that some say may be named King Crimson- an album is due fairly soon

StumpyBunker said...

Fripp and travis have formed a new group, that some say may be named King Crimson- an album is due fairly soon