Mahakali 2009 European Tour poster

Mahakali 2009 European Tour poster

FEATURING :  CEDRIC VICTOR, ERIK WUNDER, JOSH LOZANO, FADE KAINER

May 22 09
Muziekcentrum
Antwerp
Belgium
May 23 09
Kill The Trend Festival
Paris
France
May 24 09
Little Devil
Tilburg
Netherlands
May 25 09
Batschkapp
Frankfurt
Germany
May 26 09
Turock
Essen
Germany
May 27 09
Kato
Berlin
Germany
May 28 09
Markthalle
Hamburg
Germany
May 30 09
Betong
Oslo
Norway
June 4 09
Уточняется
Moscow
Russia
June 5 09
No Mercy
Warsaw
Poland
June 6 09
Firlej
Wroclaw
Poland
June 7 09
Hudební Klub Nová
Prague
Czech Republic
June 8 09
Vörös Yuk
Budapest
Hungary

June 9

June 10

The Underworld
Channel Zero
London
Ljubljana
England
Slovenia
June 11 09
Unwound
Piacenza
Italy
June 12 09
L’Embobineuse
Marseille
France
June 13 09
Barcelona
Barcelona
Spain
June 14 09
Ritmo y Compás
Madrid
Spain
June 15 09
Santiago Alquimista
Lisbon
Portugal
June 16 09
Passos Manuel
Porto
Portugal
June 17 09
Sala Edaska
Barakaldo
Spain
June 18 09
Plateruena
Durango
Spain
June 19 09
HELLFEST
Clisson
France

Jarboe, Budapest Vörös Yuk, 8 June 2009

Since Jarboe’s planned concert in Vienna was cancelled in murky circumstances, it was a no-brainer for me to make the trip to the nearest place she was playing, which turned out to be Budapest. This is no trainspotters’ blog, but I do feel obliged to mention the excellent ÖBB Railjet service which whisked me from Westbahnhof to Budapest in exactly three hours, in remarkable comfort and to-the-minute punctuality. British trains, I do not miss you at all.

I wrote a short reminiscence of Swans under the guise of a review of Michael Gira’s concert in Vienna last November, which touched on the kindness and generosity Jarboe showed me in the early days of my friendship with her. Ironically, while Gira has for the most part opened up his muse to softer and more acoustic elements since ending Swans, Jarboe’s own post-Swans work has recently been heading in the other direction, towards the theatricality and brute force of black metal. But this really shouldn’t be seen as too much of a surprise. Intensely aware of gods, demons and other spectral presences, Jarboe’s music has always revolved around the kind of incantatory invocations that the BM scene also relishes.

What makes Jarboe extraordinary, though, is the sense of humility and abasement that she brings to her on-stage persona. For at least half of this concert, she came down from the stage and sang while standing amongst the (almost exclusively male) audience, her long blonde hair shrouding her face, her voice howling and trembling in supplication. This was no mere theatrical diversion, but a deliberate strategy on Jarboe’s part to place herself in a position of utter abjection. The resulting cauldron of lamentation was both sexually charged and unbearably moving.

Jarboe’s songs are protean; they refuse to take on the properties of songs, sounding instead like hectoring blasts of black energy. The guitar, bass and drums pulsate menacingly, as though calling up apparitions given voice by Jarboe’s sepulchral keening. The performance resonates with an elegiac, mystical beauty.

Michael Gira has indicated that he may resurrect the Swans name for a new album and tour, a move which (needless to say) I would wholeheartedly welcome. Jarboe, sadly, is unlikely to be a part of any such endeavour; but on the evidence of this show, Gira will have to go some to match the level of draining intensity reached by his erstwhile bandmate.

– viennesewaltz.wordpress.com

Words On Music by Richard Rees Jones