Sunn O))) at the ((Hi-Fi))

We popped over to Melbourne again last week to see the Sunn O))) gig at the Hi-Fi bar.
A flying visit – over on Wednesday-coffee with Nick and Delta-super-quick nibbles and drinks with Jenny and Ted-gig-cheap hotel-ACMI-fly home Thursday.

I’d heard albums and a bit of talk about what their gigs were like but I was pretty stunned. But I jump ahead… first-things-first – they were supported by Japanese droners, Boris, who were FANTASTIC fun and worth the trip alone.

Sunn O))) then came on with the hooded cloaks with the dry ice and the lasers and what-not and quite simply MADE NOISES THAT CRAWLED UP MY LEGS AND SHOOK MY UTERUS TO BILLIO!!!

This is not a euphamistic exaggeration. This is physically, exactly what happened.

It’s really hard to describe… maybe a gig format is actually not the best place for what they do (I would like to see them ‘installed’ somewhere, to be able to come and go and experience at least an illusion that they are in that place, making that noise forever. Yes, it’s that primal.) but I was pretty impressed by the sheer power of it all.

Three (arguably) interesting notes about the gig that I list here are connected directly to their love of collaboration.

1) the Boris drummer is (enjoyably) as silly as a hatful of puppies in an ‘i-am-the-embodied-spirit-of-rock’ kind of way and joined them for a few gong solos and some extensive crowd surfing.

2) their primary vocalist (was it Atilla from Mayhem? Correct me anyone…)was a bit lame… moaning and head-butting the aforementioned gong and falling over a bit. I think he was a bit shit-faced… or he may just be a bit lame… the sound was so intense and awesome (in the original sense of the word) that he really needed to get with the program and keep up, which he didn’t do.

3) there is a good fella down here in Tas (he lives at Snug, in the country, outside Hobart), Russell, who we know vaguely from the music scene down here. He’s always looked a little lord-of-the-rings, sometimes with beard, sometimes without and he used to get up at Matt’s old band’s gigs and breakdance to any Syd Barret covers. I used to hear from friends who knew him that he was a really triff drummer. He has carried on with solo music projects of his own down in Snug. There are a few different ones but Striborg is the one that has stretched across the globe, worshipped by Scandanavian Black Metallers and also adored by Steven O’Malley of Sunn O))). I quite like what I’ve heard too, which is suprising as that stuff usually just makes me titter. Russel hadn’t heard of them until he was made aware of a track of theirs named for his Striborg pseudonym – Sin Nanna. Anyhoo – once they hit Australian shores they asked him to come to Melbourne and play a couple of gigs with them so there he is – crouching down the front in the velvety cape. I thought he showed Atilla up pretty much. Russel’s vocals were much more striking.

It’s great to see little stick-to-it folk in inaccessible places find some kind of success. Not that he’s rich or anything but I imagine theres a few more sales through the Sunn-fan promoting and we reckon he gets a hella lot of swap offers which I think would make him quite happy. We had a quick chat at the gig with him and also at the airport waiting for the flight back (same one) and he just seems to be doing what he do-do and enjoying life.

Hmmm… I’d like that life…


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