January 21 2016 – Walthamstow.
Yep, Walthamstow. The town/suburb/area where I live. Inside a 10 minute walk from home, legendary alt-rock/noise guitarist Thurston Moore played a gig. It never happened in Green Bay – my home suburb in Auckland. Living in London is very cool sometimes.
Thurston Moore was the one of the guitarist / singer / songwriters in US alt-rock act Sonic Youth. I was a big fan of Sonic Youth and they sit easily in my top ten bands of all time list. Sonic Youth were highly influential, mashing a range of ‘rock’ based genres with no-wave/noise and free jazz anarchy into complex guitar based compositions, there was no-one who sounded anything like them. Most, if not all, the bands I like in 2016 would site Sonic Youth as an influence.
They split in 2011 after a 30 year career and Thurston Moore moved over to London. He has released a couple of pretty good LPs since. Last year to my surprise he performed a show at Wild Card Brewery, a very small independent brewer, (who make great beer!) and are under 10 minutes walk from home. It sold out before we got tickets unfortunately, so when another show was announced El quickly grabbed us a couple of tickets.
El saw Thurston Moore with his band last summer in Hackney and really enjoyed it so we were both looking forward to this gig.
Tonight’s show was not a band performance, just Thurston and drummer Steve Noble. I know nothing about Steve Noble, just he is a drummer, a very very good drummer.
Due to me being a bit of an idiot about the timing we got there about half way through the set, the gig was a sell out and the small bar area was pretty full. I took my camera as I wanted to take a couple of photos but there was no way I could get close the front, so I snapped all I could of Thurston Moore – who is very tall and missed Steve Noble completely. I only got the occasional glimpse of his head!
The set was interesting, sort of half free noise/jazzy sort of thing and half Sonic Youth influenced rock. They are both fabulous musicians and I would loved to have been able to see them up close, watching them play would have made the whole experience much better, good as it was.
Like any good TV chef, I managed to prepare a couple of images of Thurston Moore earlier. Much, much earlier, from when I first saw Sonic Youth play the Powerstation in Auckland in 1989. These are just crude photos taken of the prints from that show.