Asva & Red Sparrowes @ Liverpool Barfly, 9th July 2008
I haven't seen much drone in action this year - before this show there was just EARTH, GRUEL and CRAWE on the 2008 Claw Tour list.
London based GUAPO were due to be playing a set as part of tonight's bill (at least that's the way I'd heard it), however they were a no show, so local boys ZANGIEF were given a last minute call-up as a noble replacement. Well in lads, a short set but much appreciated nonetheless.
Next up on stage were ASVA from California. I've heard so much about these guys lately and their lastest album ("What You Don't Know Is Frontier") is a fine, yet slow motion, slab of ambient doom. On this occasion they seem to have garnered a lot of attention from the small pocket of Liverpool drone officiandos; it was almost as though they were the headline act. By the way, for this show both ASVA and RED SPARROWES played instrumental sets. ASVA's set was a *very* drone doom affair. Double speed SunnO))) with drums and obligatory Moog incorporated into their sound for extra atmospheric quality. I stood watching them alongside my buddy Paul (guitarist from THEY ARE COWARDS) and afterwards he described the ASVA set as "like taking a bath in warm buddhist marmalade". Hmm, nicely put.
I have wanted to see RED SPARROWES for over a year now, ever since me and Patchie missed out on watching them by 1 day over in Dublin (we were in town to see BRUTAL TRUTH and RED SPARROWES were due to play the next night, after our flight back home). The nearest that I got to them on that occassion was stealing a flyer for their show and taking it home to put on the wall in my bedroom, which is where it still hangs. So tonight I got to scratch their name off the "Claws Most Wanted" list that I carry around with me inside my head. Only MANOWAR, AC/DC and DARKTHRONE to go then! Whereas ASVA were very drone, R.S. are very Post-Rock and their music has more of a tempo to it. Part of the post-rock live experience seems to be the using of an art video as an onstage lighting source (I'm thinking of PELICAN and ISIS when I say that)... although maybe that's just something that I have conjured up in my head, haha. Their set included use of a pedal steel (a horizontal slide guitar-machine-thing fixed to a stand) - didn't expect that!Yet another positive review on Thee Claw... I'm probably not going to win any awards for my reviews on this page, am I? They're almost always positive. I don't know whether that's because I pay to get myself into the gigs that we go to (well usually I pay anyway!). Perhaps more to the point it's probably because nobody pays us to go and pass judgement on bands in concert. That's not what we're about. We go to gigs to check out bands we admire. So if I am at a gig it's because I *want* to be there. In which case, don't expect me to report back say much bad stuff about bands that I am into.Unless, of course, we get to the venue and the guys in the band turn out to be complete prima donna wankers. That's when we finally get to get our claws out and talk some shit on here for a change! Thankfully that doesn't happen that often, but from time to time we do find out that rock stars and their road crew feel that they can afford to be complete assholes towards their long-term fanbase sometimes. Blackie Lawless... I'm looking at you.