July 15th, 2011 | Published in Blog
There’s been some interesting chatter this week about the upcoming Supernormal Festival, mainly centred around this post on the festival’s live music line-up:
“The A Band return to Supernormal after their unforgettable performance at last year’s festival for what is said to be their final ever performance! Not to be missed.”
While admittedly the A Band went into hibernation between 1996 and 2006, and they tend to play every show as though it were their last (or, more accurately, as though no one in their right mind would ever book them again), these days it’s a cat herding enterprise on a national scale. Anyone can stage an A Band performance at any time, with any personell; you become an ‘official’ A Band member if you play at least two shows as part of the band; and given the irreverent nature of proceedings any band whose name begins with ‘A’ may well be just another unwitting manifestation of its anarchic hydra-headed musical utopianism (someone should tell Morton Harket, Angus Young and Eddie Prévost).
How do you go about stopping all these slippery organisations whose names begin with ‘A?’ The A Band, Anonymous, Al-Qaeda… if the letter ‘A’ originated as pictogram of an ox head in Egyptian hieroglyphs or the Proto-Sinaitic alphabet, then perhaps the wisdom of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite can shed a little light on the matter: “The image of the ox denotes… turning up the spiritual furrows for the reception of the heavenly and productive powers… the horns (symbolise) the guarding and the indomitable.” It seems that nothing can stop the A Band… it is the Spirit of the Age, the manifestation of the ruling Aeon, Anarchy Anthropomorphised.
Still, even if the A Band can’t be stopped (and believe me, many venues have tried), we can make this a lovely semi-farewell to Stewart Keith, who has been the Good Shepherd to our flock for the last few years and who deserves a good send off (if indeed this is his last, or last for a while, or last until he gets tired of it being his last, or if he even turns up).
And Christ, if you’re not already going to Supernormal then you should be. Look at the line up! And if none of that appeals to you then come along to see me, Clive Henry and Kev Nickells (three quarters of the BtB janitorial staff) destroy ourselves as part of the Hákarl Communion, six musicians playing for thirty-six hours from 6pm on Friday night to 6am on Sunday morning, casting dubious numerological magic spells charged by our collective Gnostic abnegation of the self/Dionysian orgiastic self-indulgence. You’d be dumb not to come.