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Cyclobe Talk Meltdown Performance
The Quietus , May 1st, 2012 08:12

Ex-Coil members Stephen Thrower and Ossian Brown discuss their UK debut show as Cyclobe, which will take place at the Antony Hegarty-curated Meltdown Festival on 4th August

As we previously reported, Cyclobe, the duo consisting of ex-Coil members Stephen Thrower and Ossian Brown, are to play their debut UK show on 4th August at Antony Hegarty's Meltdown Festival. The festival, which takes place from 1st-12th August at London's Southbank Centre, is also set to feature performances from Diamanda Galas, William Basinski, Elizabeth Fraser, Laurie Anderson and CocoRosie, among others.

Thrower and Brown recently spoke to the Quietus' Russell Cuzner for an in-depth interview, due to be published tomorrow. In it, they discuss their musical histories, their latest album Wounded Galaxies Tap At The Window and their time as members of Coil alongside Peter 'Sleazy' Christopherson and Jhonn Balance.

They also reveal some details as to the nature of their performance at Meltdown, their first show in the UK and only their second ever. Cyclobe will be joined for the performance by their friends Michael J York on duduk and border pipes, Cliff Stapleton on hurdy-gurdy, Ivan Pavlov and Dave Smith.

"We were so thrilled that Antony asked us to perform at Meltdown, really flattered," says Brown. "There's a very queer, very pagan current running throughout the evening, threading everything together, which is important to us and to Antony." The evening of will be called Albion - Hypnagogue - Ghost: Hallucinatory Queer British Paganism, a theme which was "also an integral part of Coil, so that same spirit is there. We're drawing our water from the same well, there's a strong feeling of shared ancestry, of our heritage."

They will be playing music from Wounded Galaxies..., and will also be premiering some brand new tracks from Cyclobe, including, in Brown's words, "a beautiful, mesmeric piece with a very special guest - but our lips are sealed on that one!"

The night will also feature a performance by David Tibet of Current 93's new project Myrninerest, and a screening of four Super-8 films by Derek Jarman, with new pre-recorded soundtracks by Cyclobe and Tibet.

"We'll also be screening some rarely seen films by Derek Jarman," says Brown, "showing four of his magical and hallucinatory short super-8 films made in the early 1970s. Hugely inspiring and evocative work. Myrninerest are recording a new soundtrack for Derek’s haunting short film A Journey to Avebury, a meditation on one of England’s most important pagan monuments - it was Jhonn Balance’s favourite Jarman film."

Cyclobe will be writing three new scores for Jarman's films Sulphur, Tarot and Garden Of Luxor, which will be pre-recorded to accompany the screening.

"Derek would just play records when screening them, so they've never had specially composed ‘soundtracks’ as such," says Thrower. "We’re so happy to be working on them for this event. For me it’s the first time I’ve put sound to Derek’s images since my Coil days, working on The Angelic Conversation back in 1985. I knew Derek very well in the 1980s and spent a lot of time with him, he was one of the first people I bonded with when I started to come to London and visit Geff [Jhonn] and Sleazy. I grew so much and so rapidly thanks to his influence. Derek had that spark about him, he was one of life’s great energisers. There was never any wasted time in his company, he was alive in the fullest sense and a massive inspiration to me.

"Being able to present some of his amazing short films is very meaningful to me; Derek was one of the vital forces in my younger life, so screening these beautiful films is a way for me to reconnect with that vitality, and share it with an audience who perhaps have never seen his Super-8 work projected before."

Albion - Hypnagogue - Ghost: Hallucinatory Queer British Paganism, featuring Cyclobe, Myrninerest and films by Derek Jarman, takes place at Queen Elizabeth Hall on 4th August.

Photo by Ruth Bayer