Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Pussy Riot Freedom compilation

As the year winds down, spare a thought for the two members of Pussy Riot still detained in Russia. While there are noises that they may be released before year's end, there are still legal fees to be paid, as well as costs for the young children separated from their mothers.

The electronic music music producers female:pressure are releasing a compilation. Here's what they have to say:
 [The] electronic music producers of female:pressure offer their music in solidarity with Pussy Riot  calling for freedom for imprisoned Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina. We have heard that they may be set free, and hope that this effort increases exposure for their cause and celebrates their liberation.
All money raised from this compilation will be donated directly to the Voice Project who is managing the International Support Fund for Pussy Riot. 

Let's hope the remaining members of Pussy Riot are free soon.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Factory Acts in London

Factory Acts at Surya, London; photo by Val Phoenix
A rare gig outing for me  last night, and even then I had to leave early in order to be up for my IT class this morning. Ah, times have changed since those long-gone days, when I could go out to two or three gigs in one evening, stop off for some donut holes on the way home, go to sleep at 4 and be up again at 9 (or 10 or, more likely, 11).

Anyway, this rare live music venture was to see the London debut of electronic duo Factory Acts from Way Up North (or Salford, as the kids call it) at a venue new to me, Surya. I've heard a few of their songs (they were featured on one of my podcasts last year, along with an interview with keyboardist/vocalist Susan O'Shea), but was keen to check out how they sound in a live arena.

It was a short but satisfying set, running only six numbers, but seemed quite full, actually. With only two people on-stage, multi-tasking Susan and bassist Matt, one might think the sound would be thin or the presentation lacking, but they created quite a racket and were also backed up by some arty visuals flickering on the screen at the back of the stage.

Matt's bass was very reminiscent of early '80s post-punk, and Susan handled the complex keyboard set-up with aplomb (I especially liked her elaborate hand flourishes while triggering some kind of effect) while also delivering a Siouxsie-esque wail that rendered the speakers redundant.

The final song, "Americans With Guns", featured snippets of NRA nutjob Charlton Heston in all his pomp. That gave me a chuckle.

So far, their recorded output is limited to a few singles, but they are hoping to rectify that soon.