A Peek Into The Esoteric Underground: Parrot Music Bar – Event ReviewEarlier today we ran a review of the new Throbbing Gristle album (albeit sans Peter ‘Sleazy’ Christopherson) ‘X-Tg: Desertshore/The Final Report’ written by Simon Tucker. Simon also recently attended a night dedicated to the band which turned into a great chance to reminisce about just how great the band were with some like minded souls.

On a cold, dark, wet night in the middle of South West Wales, something unique is occurring. A venue called The Parrot Music Bar in Carmarthen is hosting a night dedicated to the group Throbbing Gristle and the various off-shoots of each member. This is not your pound-a-shot, clubbing shenanigans. This is an event to shock, educate, laugh, and admire. Much like the group themselves.

The evening starts with the owner, Matt Davies (more of whom later) presenting a DVD showing of The Threshold House Boys Choir. Peter ‘Sleazy’ Christophersons’ last project, the hypnotic and trance-like music plays over footage of the Gin Jae Festival in Thailand. A religious ceremony which takes place on the 9th full moon of the year, the event lasts for 10 days and the participants abstain from alcohol, meat, and sex. A series of rituals take place with the intention of keeping the world spinning properly on its axis, and free the village from malign spirits. After obtaining trance like states, the young men then start inserting various sharp objects through various parts of their body to prove their strength and that the trance had warded off the evil spirits. The incredible images and, as always with Sleazy, incredible sounds, turn the room of people into a load of open-mouthed admirers. A couple of people, including Colin of Powersteppers and Zion Train fame, start discussing the late Sleazy. This night is fast becoming a beautiful tribute.

An exceptional opener to a night that could take us anywhere..

Up next comes the first DJ for the night, Matt (well it is his venue after all  ). Starting with TG’s Weapon Training, the set various between Gristle rarities, Coil (whose track Something gets a big response), Current 93, Psychic TV, and Cyclobe.
I must confess that I am only a couple of years into my TG listening (obsession) and the new (for me) tracks I hear completely amaze me. Acoustic tracks are followed by white noise, techno followed by atmospheric musings on murder and death. All of this is accompanied by footage of an extremely early TG gig.

I realise there are a lot of beards in the building…

Up next, Ian Holloway, owner of Swansea based label Quiet World and magazine Wonderful Wooden Reasons, presents us with an hour long pre-recorded mix. The mix ranges from Industrial Samba (trust me, if you think you’ve not heard of the genre you soon will), dark skiffle, deep deep country, ambient beauty (courtesy of my personal favourite artist Aphex Twin), piano balladry, the amazing version of Candy Says by Antony, and even the Rhubarb and Custard theme tune. This mix is one of the finest I’ve ever heard. If Fabriclive or Trysor are reading this, YOU NEED TO LICENSE THIS MIX!

Conversation in the room is full of people recommending artists to each other, friendly banter regarding peoples’ likes and dislikes and networking. The room is alive with networking and sheer appreciation of music as art.

The night draws to a close with Matt (him again) back on the decks. White noise and more Cyclobe are the order of the day.

All in all, this is one of the finest events I have attended all year. When a group of like-minded individuals embark on a night together, discussing music, cinema, and past gig experiences, there is nothing better. I come away with more knowledge and an even bigger “want list”. This is why I got into music in the first place. Considering this is the third ‘themed’ night the venue has run this year (other events include nights dedicated to Nurse With Wound and the Sublime Frequencies label), the future is bright for this venue.

In Memory of Peter ‘Sleazy’ Christopherson

Please follow the below links for more info on any of the above:


All words by Simon Tucker. More of Simon’s writing on Louder Than War can be found here.

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Next articleRecollections of The Kray Twins.
Raised by music obsessive parents on a diet of Ska, Bowie, Queen… and the Bay City Rollers. Discovered dance music and heavy metal at the same time making for a strange brew of taste. I do this for the love of an art form which welcomes all types and speaks to us all. Find me on twitter @simontucker1979.


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