Maggie Nicols was next up - a stalwart of the jazz and improv scenes doing her storytelling, piano accompaniments and repertoire of vocal tics to the general amusement but hopefully enjoyment of everyone. Transcendent moments glide seamlessly into bathetic punctuation. Great how she fits in stories of life and death over such an ostensibly deranged format. Yet over 25 minutes or so it is all probably much tighter than you would imagine.
Thurston’s Q&A with Brix Smith-Start (she has a new book out The Rise, The Fall, and The Rise, about her time with Mark E Smith and The Fall) was also entertaining and enlightening. Once Thurston had set it up with some introductory rambles, he allowed Smith-Start to offer an engaging take on the period. A Hollywood native, she talked of the culture shock of arriving into bleak mid-80s post-industrial manchester, and other key moments such as the I Am Curious Oranj ballet with Michael Clark. Good to see this repromotion of her prominent role in this bright period for The Fall.
Of course around this time Sonic Youth did a Peel Session covering Fall tracks, but this wasn't mentioned even though it went on to be called 4 Tunna Brix after the American. In typical ageing indie-rocker fashion, the pair were often scratching their heads about when they had met - and whether they had talked to each other. She finished this segment with a rendition of one of her own numbers on acoustic guitar.
The Thurston Moore band - including Googe on bass - finished the night off in fine style. i don't now the solo artist or the band well enough to discern whether these were new tunes or oldies but a few digressed from the base of standard alt-rock stylings into pleasingly intense noise-outs. With imaginative and diverse line-ups like these, i’d certainly come again Thurston.
(Pictures by Tommy)