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A Quietus Interview

'Everything Is Choreography': The Knife Interviewed
Alex Macpherson , May 14th, 2013 07:37

The Knife's new live show has baffled, irritated and delighted audiences in equal measure. After their show at London's Roundhouse last week, Alex Macpherson sat down with the group to discuss communication, the politics of movement and reconfiguring peoples' expectations

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Photographs taken at the Roundhouse by Howard Melnyczuk

The Knife's Shaking The Habitual show has been one of the most divisive live performances of the year. It's one that seeks to confound expectations of what a live show should be - but while the unpredictable visual pandemonium and dynamic movement on stage thrilled some fans, others have been turned off by the way in which the band eschew a traditional live set-up, with musicians visibly at their instruments, for large portions of the concert.

The day after their first show at London's Roundhouse (to read an in-depth report of the performance, click here), the Quietus sat down with The Knife to talk about the show's issues and aims - and the responses they've received.

At their behest, The Knife consisted of Karin Dreijer Andersson and Olof Dreijer - the public face of the band to date - as well as five dancers: Halla Ólafsdóttir, Marcus Baldemar, Adena Asovic, Rami Jawhari Jansson and Maryam Nikandish.

Throughout the show, there seemed to be a deliberate displacement of attention away from Karin and Olof. At one point, six figures lip-synced in unison into microphones; it was often impossible to tell who was who on stage due to the costumes (and, if you weren't right at the front, the distance). And even during the one moment the spotlight was on an individual figure - a woman seated at a piano - this was undercut when you realised there was no piano in the song. Was this all intentional?

Karin Dreijer Andersson: Yes, it was. It's the idea of doing things together with other people - creating this collective that we have been working on for a year now. (This show process has been going on for a year.) So it's showing or acting the collective in practice.

To me, it fit in with some of the ideas you explore on the album about privilege - it was as if you and Olof were trying to lose your privilege as performers, to erase it.

KDA: In this process, everyone on the stage is doing the show together. Everybody dances, everybody plays instruments. All of us. It's the most logical way of doing it. [Laughs.]

Halla Ólafsdóttir: And it's not only about The Knife specifically. It's a proposal of the transformation of roles and playing with hierarchies. Not just hierarchies between people and their identities, but between the art forms - between dance and sound.

Olof Dreijer: Each person in the whole crew - it's their show. The light people, it's their show. The sound crew, it's their show. It's a big collective, a big group having fun together. We want to communicate that to the audience.

Was it the aim to bring the audience in as members of that collective? During 'Full Of Fire' this was particularly noticeable: for the first half of the song, you stood stock still while the audience danced. It felt as though you were watching us. And, of course, the stage was left empty during 'Networking'.

HO: Yeah. We work a lot with this idea of transformation: Where is the show, where does it happen, if you want to engage where do you do that? It's the transformation of the stage. We've talked a lot about the idea of generosity and how to work with that.

I'm getting the impression that while most people think of The Knife as Karin and Olof, you think of The Knife as a collective that includes everyone here today - and others…

OD: The Knife at the moment is this project.

So you don't consider The Knife a duo?

KDA: Not now. Now we're on tour and now we look this way, this is what we are now.

And you were on stage for the entire show?

KDA: We're all there, all the time, from beginning to end. Nobody ever goes, apart from during 'Networking', when we all leave.

How long have you all known each other?

KDA: It's all different...

Marcus Baldemar: Everyone's connected somehow. I've known most of the performers from before - but the whole team only since January.

KDA: Some of the collective we started to work with one year ago - the artistic directors, set designer, choreographer, light designer - and since then it's developed and grown. Now, when we are on tour, we are up to 10 performers on stage and about seven technicians with us. We are really trying putting effort into how we organise ourselves and how we choose who we work with - we look at the norms of music industry, for example. On this tour we have only female technicians. There are so many stituations where you can put theory into practice.

Choreography and dance were very much at the centre of the show. Can you talk about choreography and what its importance is to you?

HO: For me, choreography and dance are different. Choreography can totally exist without dance, so I would see the whole project as movement, as choreography, and we decide within that choreography to use music and dance and objects.

MB: The dance we're using in this project does come from somewhere… it's an extension of the politics and the things we've been talking about.

The dancing at the show was almost amateur in quality - it seemed loose and free-flowing, rather than tightly rehearsed.

HO: There's a certain notion of quality often connected to dance - such as that you would have to have certain kinds of training to execute it in a well-done way. Our interest was to use dance as a tool for empowerment, as something that generates joy - sure, we dance in unison, in ensemble, but not in order to reach perfection or talk about skill, but… for joy. Because it's fucking fun!

OD: One thing we've been talking about is not to use dance as a decoration. That's why we studied different collective dances, like folk dance and techno dancing and jumpstyle - these are dances that are normally done in a group. It might be a dance crew from Holland doing jumpstyle or it might be a cossack dance group in Ukraine, we are interested in the similarities between them - the way they all lead to the feeling that together, we are strong.

Of course, dance is inherently political. The club has historically been a site of escapism - particularly for minorities.

Adena Asovic: Me, I started to dance to house about five years ago. I have a background in ballet, but when I started to go out in clubs, I discovered house music and the whole culture - where people just have their hands in the air and are just feeling it. To me, that is dance - it's a feeling. OK, it's a visual movement as well, but how can we show you that feeling? Can we show you the sound in our movement? What I love about this show is that we are really bringing the club culture of just being into it. We are dancing without doing power moves, without doing extraordinary flips. We are all unique - even if Olof and Karin are not professional dancers, they are still dancing, they are dancers now.

Whose face was in the picture frame during 'Got 2 Let U'?

OD: Haha! Who do you think?

I thought it looked like Karin in drag…

KDA: Ta-da!

I found it interesting because it brought to mind personality cults - which the rest of the show seemed to be deliberately deflecting and erasing, contra the usual live set-up which is designed to enhance that almost devotional position to the artists.

OD: It was actually about patriarchy…

KDA: We didn't want a dude like that on stage. So we put him in a frame and just had him there for a few minutes to play with. And then he was off again.

OD: Also, the content of the song deals with an abusive man. We tried to impersonate this by thinking of a certain right-wing journalist in Sweden…

[Everyone laughs]

OD: …I don't know how much detail we should go into, haha. It's the patriarchy.

So you're not going to say his name…

OD: Oh, they all look like that. [Laughter]

KDA: You can see it from many perspectives. But it was also… fun, an interesting way of looking at the format of video. We have talked so much about what kind of conventions there are to put on an electronic music show that usually use a lot of video projections - which we did last time. It was really fun to see what happens if we just use a very little part of it.

What are your expectations of what a live music show should be? What live experiences were formative for you, growing up or recently?

OD: For me, the inspiration for this show comes from the boredom of going to concerts. It can be really inspiring to see a boring concert: you can think of how you would do it instead. You're supposed to be passive and stand and listen, but I'd rather dance in clubs and be active on the dancefloor together.

An interesting counterpoint would be your Silent Shout tour - where it was much more conventional in that Karin stood on stage and sung into a microphone and Olof was behind a computer. But the Shaking The Habitual show was so much more unpredictable and visually dynamic.

KDA: We have tried to create something we would enjoy - that has been really important during the whole process of making the album and the show. It must be a fun, meaningful process. For us, there was a lot of studying involved, going deeper into what we're interested in, like political and gender theory - and going into the element of dance, which was a completely new thing for us. I think it's insane that it's still unconventional in our field to work with dance in a specific way. Everything is choreography. When a band is on stage, they choose how they perform. Some choose to stand still for 90 minutes in a corner. Now, after doing this show, my body screams when I see a person stand still, press a computer - whatever they do. To move is the best thing you can do - politically, also. Be active; spend your time on dancing and politics.

HO: Every time we dance and fuck, we win!

Dance has often cropped up as a mode of protest; I'm thinking particularly about the historical Japanese practice of ee ja nai ka, and just last month protesters against a Washington state tax on dance venues used the art form to make their point.

OD: Dancing is communication. Between us; or in a club, between the DJ and the dancefloor. And we don't only have to talk about what we do in relation to concerts. We do perform in concert venues, but all of us are interested in breaking norms in our different fields. We play a lot with the norms of contemporary dance, scenography, costume designs...

I thought the most explicit link between politics, movement and sound came during 'Stay Out Here': the rhythm, intensity and multiple voices of the song reminded me of being on a street march. Would I be on the right track in thinking it was inspired by Occupy Wall Street? Several of the lyrical references seem to indicate so…

OD: Yes.

KDA: Emily Roysdon wrote the lyrics for that and yes, she was in the middle of Occupy in New York when she wrote it.

Why do you think people are so obsessed with the idea of authentic musical performance? It's as though seeing Olof prodding a laptop on stage would have justified it all to some fans.

HO: There are very many different angles that bother people, but I think it's super-interesting that what comes up so often is this idea about live-ness and authenticity when you have an electronic concert. You would never authentically play every sound! That would be amazing if we could manage that! But for us, because the idea of playing with authenticity is very much present in the show, I think it's super-exciting that it's being discussed. And if I think of the show as a dance performance - how the hell would I do a dance performance that isn't live? In my head, there are a lot of things the show and the dialogues around it are generating: the idea of live-ness, how we perceive information...

I totally agree. It's obvious that hours were spent painstakingly creating the sounds and textures on record. Why expect you to recreate them on stage by pressing a button, and why is dance as an art form not given the same respect? Not everyone agrees, though: it was one of the most divisive shows I can remember attending. I was scanning Twitter after the show and have been looking on your Facebook page - and if you don't mind, I'd like to read out a few of the negative ones...

KDA: OK…

MB: Do it!

"How can you call that a concert, you didn't even sing." "The worst rip-off I have ever witnessed." "The worst trappings of postmodern pigshit." "Was that a joke?"

OD: We are on stage like this - if people don't like that, it's fine.

HO: It's quite luxurious, coming from the world of dance and choreography, where you have to constantly fight for the art form itself, for people even to know it exists - you have to drag people to it. Here, there's a possibility of making art and reaching out to the extent that people are fucking fighting about the shows! I love that.

RJJ: You could make it simple: if you took all the performers, put them on stage, and filled the room with a lot of people, and then say: Entertain everybody! Everybody has to feel joy or happiness in their body when they leave! That would be a very hard task…

OD: It's also important to say that many of the things we do on stage have previously been done within the comfort zone of the queer community. We have years of drag, voguing and miming behind us - but they have been done within a group that wants that and reconfirms it. Whereas now The Knife have ended up in a bit more of a mainstream situation where there are people outside this comfort zone, who might not be socialist or feminist or queer. It's not so strange for us.

In a strange way, the complaints are almost like a critique of capitalism in themselves. I think it's a pretty recent development, this sense of entitlement among fans to what artists should or should not do on stage: which songs they should perform, the manner in which they should present them. It's almost like ticket-holders imagine themselves to be stakeholders in the band.

KDA: I think we have been pretty clear about what we do in the show. Maybe we could be more clear? We have been writing texts about our process and what we do on stage, and that it's not a conventional concert. Maybe when you buy your ticket you could look it up and check out what you're buying?

HO: If you always get what you expect, nothing would ever change.

MB: For my part - it's going to sound like such a cliché - the goal is not necessarily to change things, but to plant a seed in people, to maybe make them question themselves a bit, to shake the habitual. It can only be a good thing.

KDA: We have a very, very privileged position. We can put our ideas in practice, so we have to take responsibility and do that.

The Knife's Shaking The Habitual album is out now. They return to the UK for a live performance at Bestival on the Isle Of Wight on 7th September, and are touring throughout the summer. For a full list of dates click here.

AndrewGMooney
May 14, 2013 12:53pm

The only point of a mass gathering/ mass communication / mass consciousness event like a 'concert' is to exchange energy and information. I found the event stimulating as I was very energised and amused by the goalposts being moved in terms of audience 'call and response'. Most of the people nearby seemed annoyed at not being served a conventional menu of 'live music' to experience and react to as conventional consumers. I am generally more interested in my organism's reaction to the stimuli than to any pre-fabricated notion that any artist/performer might have intended to communicate. The transition to the club without any mechanical histrionics of applause and encore was particularly gratifying. The only thing missing was that The Knife did not erase the false dichotomy of 'the stage' by joining in the club section after 'the gig'. But I guess that would have opened them up to some 'physical feedback' from certain disgruntled patrons who seemed to feel short-changed by the event. I hope The Knife continue experimenting with dance directions as the visual co-efficient to music and the audience-co-creation of events is a fruitful area for further enquiry.

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Steve
May 14, 2013 1:02pm

What utterly hideous wank. The clue to 'live music' is in the words...'live music'. If they wanted to put on an art installation they could have done so and advertised it as such. If they'd just wanted people to dance to a playback of their music they could have put on a night at a big club and advertised it as a dj set. They very explicitly advertised it as a gig by The Knife and put it on at a famous gig venue. It's both arrogant and pretentious in the extreme to even begin to imply that fans who felt short-changed by the 'we're 18-year old art students BLOWING YOUR MIND' fuckery that ensued are too narrow-minded/stupid/conservative to 'get it'. Mind you, the fact that they seem to think that their amateur dramatics might 'make people question themselves a bit' sorta underlines how little regard they have for their audience. FWIW, Knife, I'm a socialist and a queer and your gig was embarrassing shite.

And the interviewer should be embarrassed - rather than forcefully challenging them to explain a gig he acknowledges was 'divisive', he just agrees with every bit of gibberish they spout. It's less an interview and more a circle jerk.

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aaron.
May 14, 2013 1:13pm

I don't like how you subtly draw a distinction between the positive/negative response to the show: those who enjoyed it were "delighted"; those who didn't like it were "baffled", i.e. 'you just didn't get it, sorry'. Is it possible people just aren't interested in paying exorbitant amounts to witness faux-political naive bollocks?

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aaron.
May 14, 2013 1:19pm

In reply to AndrewGMooney:

How fortunate you are one of the artistic covenant chosen to enjoy the refined and cerebral pleasures of The Knife, in spite of all those pesky "conventional consumers". Please. If you think you are transcending the concept of "conventional consumer" with your foamy-mouthed review of a £40-quid Camberwell-dropout installation, soundtracked by one of the noughties most pervasive pop groups... you need to re-check your forward-flanks. That shit is après-, not avant- garde.

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May 14, 2013 1:55pm

This is further proof of how much disregard they have for their fans. Is it too much to ask that Karin actually sings on each song? I quite enjoyed the displacement / confusion, can accept the lack of live music, but to have her vocals pre-recorded for whole songs was too much. Many of us travelled down to Glasgow for this, and having seen (and loved) Fever Ray a couple of times and Tomorrow In A Year, I know full well they're capable of a visually stimulating experience as well as some live musicianship (there was still alot of mime and pre-recorded music on those shows).
I've also been to some other electronic gigs recently like Death Grips and Orphx which were largely knob-twiddling, but the experience of hearing your favourite music sonically fucked with in a way that feels spontaneous (even if it's not) trumps being condescended with all this bullshit performance art.

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Jamie
May 14, 2013 2:25pm

"I think it's super-interesting that what comes up so often is this idea about live-ness and authenticity when you have an electronic concert. You would never authentically play every sound! That would be amazing if we could manage that!"

You could manage that. Your studiocraft is generally overstated. People I know personally could have managed that. The fact that you didn't even try is lazy.

"Some of the collective we started to work with one year ago - the artistic directors, set designer, choreographer, light designer - and since then it's developed and grown"

I find that very difficult to believe. If you started work on that show a year ago, you haven't been working very hard.

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May 14, 2013 3:45pm

In reply to AndrewGMooney:

Did you actually refer to yourself as "my organism?"

I really hope you're taking the piss. Otherwise, you're basically a Steve Coogan character.

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Pavel
May 14, 2013 4:33pm

Neon twee, fuck this shit. The Knife can do better.

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AndrewGMooney
May 14, 2013 5:07pm

In reply to :

Of course I refer to myself as a feedback loop called "my organism"! Other than some kind of Singularity event where I download myself into my laptop I have no other choice. "aaron": I'm sorry you feel so upset. All experiental data is just software for me to play with. I'm not interested in whether a 'group' has autotuned or quantized themselves, I'm interested in whether or not they can overcome the oppressive intertias of 'the gig', 'the audience', the 'London showcase' and all that detritus and actually amuse/move me. The Knife did that, whether by accident or design: I could care less. If I want 'live' music I'll either sing in the bath or listen to some of the wonderful street musicians using natural reverb in the urban underpass. I'm WAAAY! beyond being taken in by any spurious 'authenticity dialogue' with some poseurs earnestly twiddling knobs on laptops or twanging away on guitars perfectly constrained by limiters to cut through the live Loudness War mix. I suspect that the rage directed towards The Knife's 'non-compliant' performance is much more to do with championing non-expert dance above cerebral "musicianship". Kraftwerk do not face this opprobrium when they present their business plan/Powerpoint presentation or whatever it is that they do whilst standing behind their podiums looking terribly intellectual and Germanic. Mind you, they do tap their toes now and again which is almost too much excitement. Now, if Kraftwerk were to do some spontaneous improvised dancing, that would be hilarious too..

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aaron.
May 14, 2013 6:09pm

In reply to AndrewGMooney:

You are definitely some sort of high-concept troll or agent provocateur.

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Tyrone
May 14, 2013 9:47pm

Really fascinating interview, thank you. What I love most about this band is that they give you something to think about - that's what I value most about their music, their lyrics, the opera and now this show. I found it a fascinating show, AND had an absolute ball. The music was brilliant, and so much fun to dance to, and their performance (yes, it was a performance) great fun to watch. Can't wait to see what they do next time! Can guarantee we won't be bored.

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May 15, 2013 10:40am

In reply to aaron.:

Given the reaction to their harmless fun soiree, I'm sure some folk think The Knife are "high concept agent-provocateur trolls" as well.

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AndrewGMooney
May 15, 2013 10:47am

In reply to :

aaron, that reply was from me. actually, it would have been a good question to ask The Knife themselves, whether they are 4 Real or just 'avin a larf. For me, it doesn't matter, as it's my reaction that is important, not their intention. Finally, here's a couple of links that justify The Knife's oblique strategies, showing both how 'fake' pitch and fake recording authenticity are holdouts of a certain type of nostalgia for when boys needed to spend hours playing with their toys to be taken seriously as communicators. thankfully those days are gone now that club culture rules:

http://www.theverge.com/2013/2/27/3964406/seduced-by-perfect-pitch-how-auto-tune-conquered-pop-music

http://www.avclub.com/articles/steve-albini-hates-music-fads-cher,88812/

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H U S H !
May 15, 2013 10:54am

In reply to :

'the experience of hearing your favourite music sonically fucked with in a way that feels spontaneous (even if it's not) trumps being condescended with all this bullshit performance art' – AMEN. The Knife are being totally self-indulgent, and they know they can do so much better

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Daveid P
May 15, 2013 12:12pm

In reply to Steve:

you need to get more.

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aaron.
May 15, 2013 1:25pm

In reply to AndrewGMooney:

I'm not going to get embroiled in some facile argument about 'artistic authenticity', either - not in 2013, nor even in 1910 - and those aren't really the criticisms I'm making, here. I'm not a a proponent of the 'conventional gig scenario' or any other abstruse theoretico-wank binaries or constructions you want to phrase it as. My problem is more simply a rockband having a bit of an art-student laff at the (large) expense of a crowd who were, in the main, clearly expecting something different. Laugh at them for being 'conventional' all you want, but your contempt for ordinary fans wanting to hear music they are (perhaps) passionate about is telling. This is the The Knife we're talking about here, after all: chart-topping, twee-indie covered, advert-soundtracking The Knife - Bertolt Brecht they fuckin' ain't. It reeks of posturing... and not the intended on-stage sort, either. Intellectual posturing. A half-assed art-school project, with a corporate-gig price-tag.

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Amy
May 15, 2013 5:39pm

In reply to Steve:

My mother fucking thoughts exactly! Well said and how they imply that the "new" fans didn't get it because they aren't familiar with gender reversal/queer/art lifestyle is fucking insulting to say the least and full blown stinky bullshit.

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Amy
May 15, 2013 5:41pm

In reply to aaron.:

Exactly! Faux bullshit politics.

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eva barry
May 15, 2013 6:33pm

All I want to say is it was one of the best shows I've ever been too and I was dancing my socks off! I loved the format of the show and the dancing on stage was beautiful to watch. Thank you!

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Tom
May 15, 2013 9:27pm

That interview would have been so much better if it had been Paxman asking the questions.

Overall I enjoyed the 'gig' but I felt that they were having a laugh at my expense and that made me feel uncomfortable, but not in a 'challenging my perceptions' way, it felt like I had made the mistake of not reading the small print before buying the tickets. I'm not about to go all anal and check what it said but I'm pretty convinced it said "Performing their new album" and not "Performing to their new album". Remember that we had to buy the tickets (and book trains, hotels etc.) before we'd heard anything from the album so they'd already had my leap of faith. As much as I love the Knife and Fever Ray they have been known to produce some work which really does not hold my attention.

"Olof Dreijer: Each person in the whole crew - it's their show. The light people, it's their show. The sound crew, it's their show. It's a big collective, a big group having fun together. We want to communicate that to the audience." By all means bring the sound crew, light guys, drivers, technicians on stage at the start and the end to educate me that it's a 'collective' but just think how the show would go if the sound guys spent all day and evening line dancing instead of doing their jobs. Ditto the bus driver. When it's time to work you need to do your job. Don't like that the audience expect you to make sounds? Then don't tour. Have a problem with capitalism? Erm, don't tour, or at least, don't ask folk to pay for your tour.

And, given that we're all a collective, remember that you should never discuss politics with your friends unless you want to fall out with them. I'm still listening to the album but it's tainted.

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Philippa
May 15, 2013 9:40pm

Interestingly, you quoted Tweets by myself and my friend. We are two of the queerest feminists you will ever meet, and we thought it was one of the worst things we've ever seen. You have utterly misunderstood Judith Butler. I've never been so disappointed by one of my favourite bands, and I'm sickened that you think that an explanation for my disappointment is that I just 'don't get it'.

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L
May 15, 2013 10:00pm

The Knife and the interviewer attack the assumed 'capitalist' sensibilities of those who did not enjoy the show, yet if it wasn't for capitalism they would not be able to make a living making music and performing shows. Seems a little bit hypocritical.

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yep
May 16, 2013 12:12am

Terrible interview. Is this a professional journalist or someone doing it for a hobby? I'll assume it's the latter. I'd recommend some objectivity, playing devil's advocate and showing some disinterest somewhere in the piece.

The criticisms of the show are presented as a few angry outbursts. Why not pick some of the many (and there are many) erudite and articulate questions posed all over the web about the show? No, instead it's much easier to pass everyone who didn't like the show off as foul mouthed idiots...

-In terms of their attitude to capitalism, ask them why the latest cd was on sale for £25 in Milan.

-Ask them whether the profits are being divided equally amongst everyone working on the tour.

-Ask them whether as anti-capitalists restricting this important message to those who can afford tickets and attend the show is appropriate or ethical- why not do the show once for free, film it, upload it, commentate upon it and disseminate it to more people.

-Ask them whether as anti-capitalists they feel they have an obligation to make their money ethically and trade fairly, do they believe they are doing so, and what kind of questions did they ask themselves of the current tour in this respect.

-Ask them how as two anti-capitalists who prefer anonymity and don't like playing live, they've created a product that results in a transfer of wealth from other people to themselves based upon live appearances. Do they feel the money that will move around (in terms of tickets, merchandising, cost of travel for fans, hotel costs and days off work for fans, profiteering from ticket touts etc.) is consistent with their widely publicised beliefs on needless consumerism and capitalism? Does what they want to say justify what follows?

-What efforts are being made to offset the environmental impact of the existence of this tour?

-Ask them whether given the show was marketed, advertised, and sold conventionally, whether it's potentially unethical that the only bit that is subverted (the performance) is the one that's not financially inconvenient to them.

-Ask them how they feel about the decision to play Silent Shout as the final track being described as cowardly...

And so on, there are hundreds more out there...

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James
May 16, 2013 7:58am

The whiff of snobbery is excruciating here. Was it the groups intention to leave a large section of the audience feeling lied to and ripped off because regardless of their actual intention that's what they've done. If they wanted to play to an audience that got it perhaps the Roundhouse wasn't the right venue & perhaps £35 was a bit steep.

Some of the responses here remind me a bit of when Stewart Lee (ironically) berates his own audience for not getting jokes, whilst simulataneously mocking those that do for their "snobbery." Except there's no irony here.

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May 16, 2013 9:13am

Two things that haven't been touched upon much:

The bloody joke to get tickets in the first place. Putting them on pre-sale through their FB page rather than their site as they advertised (many friends lost out because of this). Then the queue system was a farce - waiting three hours to be told no luck? THEN tickets going onto ViaGoGo simultaneously at exorbitant inflated prices. THEN tickets being released again nearer the time (obviously because the ViaGoGo allotment didn't shift). Fucking scumbags, it's a managment issue but The Knife have to take their share of the blame.

2. I loved the live CD for Silent Shout: An Audiovisual Experience. Can't wait to see if they try to squeeze one out of this! Even a DVD would only expose it as a sham, but I'm sure they'll attempt one, no doubt packaged with more impenetrable political mumbo-jumbo. More fool me, I'll probably still buy it out of love for the music and the few aspects of the show I did appreciate . . .

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Nat
May 16, 2013 6:26pm

I really enjoyed the show and all the confusion in it! My only dissapointment was not to hear some of the Knife's greatest songs. But thanx for a great gig anyway! :)

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May 16, 2013 10:49pm

In reply to Steve:

I AGREE

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David
May 17, 2013 11:14am

The show tells me more about the audience and the modern music dicourse than The Knife. I saw them yesterday and I enjoyed it, I mean, it's not hat weird? But all the confusion among the audience, people not knowing if they should chose to just let go of everything and enjoy or if they should leave - it sad people even think that way. When I entered subtopia yesterday, I felt like "I love you, take me wherever you want".

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doctor cox
May 17, 2013 2:10pm

In reply to Steve:

you could have put all this much shorter, just saying 'hello world, i'm a totally ignorant jerk!'

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doctor cox
May 17, 2013 2:41pm

In reply to David :

this pretty much nails it.

saw them in bremen and berlin, and crowd reactions, especially in berlin, were overall nothing short of euphoric. count all the people on the web lamenting and complaining about the knife's return to the stage, and it might add up to one or two percent of the overall crowd they played to on this tour.

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May 17, 2013 3:44pm

In reply to doctor cox:

Were you all on drugs? The crowd was at least 60/40 in London pissed off with the show. I kinda appreciate what they were trying to do, but it didn't work for me or most of the people around me. Might have been better in a smaller venue.

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Wayne Fahy
May 17, 2013 11:29pm

I'm from Dublin and caught the show in Hamburg (in a club on a Saturday night) I really enjoyed it but thats as the audience bought into it as a group, created a euphoria that spread to you whether you liked it or not. Not too many sulky faces that night, I'm just glad I didnt see it in London sounds like the atmosphere was poison :-/

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steve
May 21, 2013 3:55pm

In which we learn that The Knife have a lot of dumb fans who will swallow any old shit as long as you make it sound 'creative' enough.

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Jun 3, 2013 2:39am

Come to New York

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doctor cox
Jun 4, 2013 1:44pm

In reply to steve:

if throwing shit at people who were a little more receptive towards the artists' intentions and actually enjoyed themselves makes you feel better: fine, i couldn't care any less, since i had a ton of fun... based on that sheer fact, i just can't help having a mighty larf at the pathetic as well as laughable troll you appear to be, according to your ramblings in this thread...

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AndrewGMooney
Sep 17, 2013 11:28am

In reply to yep:

@yep...you raised some important points which I've been pondering for a few months. I'm going to the all-night club event in Manchester, but wouldn't go to the Brighton Dome conventional concert.

I certainly agree that a more radical approach would have been to invite donations after the performance rather than demand an entrance price, but I guess if the overheads and venue fees weren't forthcoming, or the crew's wages, then there would be a huge problem.

Yes, why even release CDs if consumerism is a cancer? And why a merchandising stall?

Is live music dead and any attempt to 'subvert' it just posturing?

yes, carbon-neutral and ethical policies count, do they check the employment conditions at venues? is there profit-share for all, or do the 'non-star stars' still have privilege in the pay packet area. Is it inappropriate to end with a radio-friendly unit shifting crowd-pleaser? Or just a bangin way to get to Hannah's dj toons?

Sigur Ros have done a collaborative audience OCD youtube collage which is exactly what I'd have expected The Knife to do, rather than the anodyne collage of the Raging Lung promo vid for the Shaking The Habitual tour. Iceland 1. Sweden 0.

Thank you for stimulating my thinking further. regards.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DbExTln48Go

http://stormur.sigur-ros.co.uk/

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