Six Organs of Admittance - Captains Rest, Glasgow, Wed 8 Jun 2011
Ben Chasny's return to solo performance playful but unenthralling
Alec Cheer’s delicate acoustic loops and tape reel hiss has become a kitemark for lush DIY drone work within the Scottish underground scene, and despite some minor tech hitches, tonight was another strong example of him hitting his stride. Next, with a sound indebted to the likes of Leonard Cohen, Coil and Current 93’s more visceral material, Fabrizio Palumbo's set (as duo of acoustic guitar and synth) is curiously over-long and far too cabaret for tonight’s stripped down nature.
It’s strange to think that Ben Chasny’s last Six Organs solo outing in Scotland was at the Instal Festival back in 2004, with his subsequent tours conforming to a more conventional ‘rock’ band set-up, with some variable results in the live setting; ranging from stupendous to dirged-out sloppiness. Tonight marks a return to being on his lonesome, with a far more melancholy and retrospective set.
Opening with the extended version of the title track from album Shelter From The Ash - there’s a playfulness in his guitar work when effortlessly blending live favourites ‘Words for Two’ and ‘Home’ together. It's proof that Chasny’s more delicate material sounds far more alluring when it’s not hidden behind volume and feedback, but there’s also an over-reliance on his ‘hits’ tonight. Apart from an intense rendition of ‘Spirits Abandoned’ and a small number of free flowing rituals - the rest of the performance seems somewhat removed from the tantric improvisations which made his earlier body of work so enthralling first time around. A skilfully executed demonstration in how to run through the numbers.