Whose punk rock? Don't think it's mine!

On Saturday night Paul and I went to This Is Our Punk Rock. If I had to describe it in one word, I would say: disappointing.

We missed the beginning bit (Kicking off at 4pm early arrivers will be treated to an exclusive series of screenings by MANGA, WARP FILMS, ONEDOTZERO, HALLOWEEN and BBC FILM NETWORK featuring films by MAMORU OSHII, CHRIS CUNNINGHAM plus many more) but hoped to take part in the latter (Then from 6pm the Audio/Visual dance floor carnage will begin with an unprecedented line up of tech-noir visionaries) but there wasn’t much dance floor carnage at all.

Paul and I arrived at 8pm to find the venue (The Coronet Theatre) was an interesting old theatre with no chairs or seats at all – could be a worry with a long show ahead of us. We joined the crowds of people sitting on the concrete floor and listened to average electronic music accompanied by an anime DVD (Perfect Blue). It wasn’t even edited! It didn’t really match the music being played and it was pretty boring. Since when was putting in a DVD and pressing play, good enough visuals to accompany a DJ? 20 years ago maybe? When English-speakers thought anime was exotic? Talk about unimaginative, lame and boring! I could have done better visuals. It was an insult to video artists.

Zan Lyons was quite good. He played a violin and used a sampler and his laptop to produce interesting electronic music accompanied by visuals (samples from Blade Runner and other footage) which actually complemented and related to the music he played.

I had been very excited about seeing Alec Empire. I really like what he did in Atari Teenage Riot and I also like his solo music but when he came on with blonde hair I didn’t recognise him (I’ve only ever seen him with black hair) and there was no announcement, no excitement from the crowd (maybe they didn’t recognise him either) and again, they played another anime DVD! I didn’t think it could have been Alec Empire DJing to such crap visuals! It took me a while before I realised it was him. He played a mixture of hard, fast, pumping beats which some of the crowd (including myself) got into and a bit of glitchey, noisey interludes that didn’t go down too well. I usually hate DJ’s that completely ignore the crowd and don’t change what they’re playing if the crowd seems bored but Alec Empire didn’t even seem to notice the crowd which was a shame. Paul left during his set because he thought it sucked.

I missed the final act, Venetian Snares because I left to get the last tube home. I wonder if it was any better.

I had thought about taking the camera but decided it was too big and I didn’t want to be lugging it about if I wanted to dance. The show’s Myspace site had said:

Remember, this is ‘our’ punk rock. We want the crowd to have something more than a passive gig-going experience.
Audiences are invited to bring a camera phone, minidisk, dv camera etc and record the show – be it by photograph, audio or video. The highlights can then be uploaded to the gallery page on the This is Our Punk Rock website.

But two days after the gig and there still hasn’t been anything added. I’m kinda inclined to think that maybe the organisers aren’t so DIY after all!

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