Tim Hodgkinson: flat guitar, clarinet, alto sax, electronics
Thomas Lehn: analogue synth
Roger Turner: drums, percussion
Konk Pack are funded by the Arts Council of England.
In an upstairs room in a dingy pub in east London is not perhaps where you expect to find an avant-garde improv trio, but as a big fan of Hodgkinson's composed work, this is where I had come to hear Konk Pack on their 6-date UK tour.
I was unimpressed. The band were noisy and very energetic, like film of the early punks, but sadly with even less decent music. The trio were restless: just as soon as any idea emerged from the mêlée, they would move on, always eager to play with their toys, trying out every effect and objet to hand. They overplayed horrendously—Lehn especially—with the drums and synth swamping Hodgkinson's guitar or woodwind. The players showed little conception of silence, with the whole just repeatedly degenerating into a racket as everyone played as loudly as they could.
Yet, within all this, moments would tantalisingly emerge, often in the codas to pieces, when the trio found a—if I can use such a word—groove and left space for each other. However, such times were few and far between. I didn't even stay for the second set.
The rest of the audience seemed more appreciative, although few in number. It was like a football (soccer) match. Well, there were 22 of us... and that's including the performers! With latecomers, the audience approached 30, but I am conscious that the band must gross little more than £100 for an evening like this. If not the more successful evening in my opinion, I do admire the commitment to go out and perform.
If you want to judge for yourselves, the band were recording the evening, so a release may follow. [It didn't, although earlier live work was released as Big Deep (1999) while a studio album, Warp Out, followed in 2001.]
Henry Potts, 6 Feb 00; revised 25 Oct 2005
Originally posted to rec.music.progressive.
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