dea Lesson No.1: April 2009

Sunday, April 19


And now, as people often witter, for something completely different. Well, sort of. Get your educated selves down to Chapter Arts Centre's Y Llofft space next Monday (27 April) for talk of fighting, but with a gentleman twist...

Eugene S Robinson is probably best known as the lead singer of San Francisco heavy blues-rock noisemakers Oxbow - you know the dude, the one often semi-naked, jostling in his jocks as if wrestling some kind of mythical snake. Well forget all that, because on this tour he presents his critically-acclaimed book Fight: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Ass–Kicking But Were Afraid You’d Get Your Ass Kicked For Asking. A spoken word performance with Eugene talking freely about the world of fight culture, expect a no-holds-barred chat with one of combat's most eloquent analysts. Don't just believe us; take it from somebody who knows a little more about this literature lark:

"Sort of a unified theory of unarmed combat, Fight pulls off the nifty trick of being thorough to the point of compendiousness while maintaining a core of bristling idiosyncrasy. Robinson is Bouncer Lit’s Norman Mailer. And occasionally in the time–warped, Finnegan’s Wake seconds before someone chokes him out, its James Joyce." James Parker, The Phoenix.

Plenty of examples of ESR's writing this way, please.

DC Gates delves into the world of solo spoken wordage in support. What will the Gindrinker frontman do? It's going to be a surprise to us, a surprise to you. Hear his words of wisdom, albeit put to Gindrinker's distinctive music, right here.

It all starts at Chapter from 8pm (Y Llofft is up a little staircase at the front right of the Arts Centre and you pretty much have to walk across the stage from the entrance so please arrive on time to avoid possible physical challenges from Mr Robinson). Tickets are £5, on sale now from this unwieldy URL. The capacity for this show is tiny (40-50 people) so advance tickets are definitely advised...

The necessary footnote: Y Llofft is a temporary performance space being used throughout the redevelopment of Chapter's facilities. Unfortunately, it is not accessible to wheelchair users and access is via a steep external staircase. Please call the Chapter box office on 029 2030 4400 for further details.

Thursday, April 9


After the minor disaster that was our Shitmat show (proving once and for all, in case of any doubt, that Facebook-based confirmations of attendance aren't worth the cyberspace they're written on) and the splendid but stressful Nadja show, allow Lesson No.1 to ease you from your Easter stupors with this rare treat on Monday 13 April (that's Easter Monday).

Matt Elliott first emerged as Third Eye Foundation from the mid 90s post-rock scene in Bristol, which also included names like Flying Saucer Attack and Movietone – bands that he was either in at one point, or remixed, or just generally kicked it with. Taking the then-still-pretty-new drum’n’bass template and mixing it with shoegazing fuzz and pure, invigorating noise, he released a bunch of albums and singles on the Domino label in the late 90s/early 00s before moving to France (and now Spain) and venturing further into the territory of dark, nervous breakdown folksong with walls of effects-laded gloom. And now he’s playing live in Cardiff for the first time since 2001, maybe 2002. Hear what he's been crafting.

Trembling Bells are a late but vital addition to the bill. They come from Glasgow and have some fine past form. Probably the best-known of the quartet is Alex Neilson, a fantastic drummer who’s played backing Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, Alisdair Roberts, Six Organs Of Admittance and a ton of others, as well as having several other projects. Other members have been in, or still are in, Directing Hand, Scatter, Lucky Luke and Motorghost among others. Their debut album ‘Carbeth’, on the really ace label Honest Jon's, is a sideways look at 70s British folk-rock, with chewy jazz parts and the occasional freaky jam session. Take a listen.

Ratatosk is the moving ambient multi-instrumentalist project of Rhodri Viney (who also performs as, or as part of, Right Hand Left Hand, Vito, Broken Leaf and too many more to mention in full). He’s influenced by post-post-rock types and experimental pioneers, the likes of Eluvium, Tarentel, Steve Reich, Do Make Say Think, and is probably the person in Cardiff most excited by this Matt Elliott show, even more than the people putting it on. And we’re excited so y’know. Get excited too.

John Barnes is otherwise known as Sam Arnold, currently found hurting a guitar in instrumental power duo Zail (featuring former members of Mountain Men Anonymous). He plays a very rare show under his football-inspired pseudonym, for which he will no doubt put breakcore, avant-classical and prime IDM in his old kit bag, which is actually a laptop bag probably. Releases can be found on the Fire, Boobytrap, Machine and No Ground Processes labels. Might be a bit of a treasure hunt finding them these days, but still, have an aural butchers here.

All of this is at Buffalo, Windsor Place, Cardiff - 8pm doors, just £5.

Thanks to Lesson No.1's man in Eire, Mr Keith Tormey, for the fine poster above. He's also lining up a beauty for Eugene Robinson's spoken word show - more info on that here shortly. But for now, guarantee you can get in by buying your ticket for this super-limited capacity gig from the link right here. Thanking you...