Sunday, January 04, 2009

Live & On Record: Nurse With Wound

Nurse With Wound were playing in the Dublin Electronic Arts Festival, supported by Stephen O'Malley of Sunn-O)))). I was there to check out the action. Stephen O'Malley did stuff not unlike what he would do with Sunn-O))), only without the capes or dry ice. He then joined Nurse With Wound, who seem to be a bunch of musicians, one of whom may be Mr Nurse With Wound. The music was hard to describe, but it was load and discordant and not the kind of thing your ma would like. They also had a nice picture show, and on some of the songs someone from Nurse With Wound would sing, usually in a somewhat challenging manner. One of the sung tracks went from being a dialogue between God and the Devil (sung by one guy switching between a low and a high voice) to a disturbed version of Sheena Easton's 'Nine To Five'. Another was a cover of 'My Lovely Horse' from Father Ted, a rendition unlikely to win the Eurovision. All deadly stuff.

I liked it all so much I bought TWO Nurse With Wound albums. Resisting the urge to buy the limited edition €50 double albums the merchandiser kept trying to foist on me, I instead went for two random records on the strength of their cover. One of them is called Salt Marie Celeste, and is one single repetitive track. It is long and doomy, and I like listening to it when I am in that kind of mood. I suspect it might be good for the Call of Cthulhu games. The other is called Huffin' Rag Blues, and I bought it because of its "Hello sailor!" cover. It is kind of like mutant swing music – or like music from between the world wars but played by a bunch of weirdos trying to make it sound as disturbed as possible. And it features the God-Devil and 'Nine To Five' song, which is here scrunched together and called 'Black Teeth'. Result.

I should also mention the free double CD they were giving away with the programme to the Dublin Electronic Arts Festival. I think it includes acts who played at festival events, plus some local chancers. It is good stuff, but essentially the kind of thing you listen to by the yard, so I cannot recommend any individual tracks.

DEAF is famous for its programmes, which are typically so over-designed as to be completely illegible, or else are so big and/or oddly shaped as to be near useless as a handy guide to what's on. This time round, the programme could be read, but it was both huge and oddly shaped and so impossible to carry around. But the CD it came with made it well worth picking up. Away draw.

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