2002 – Il Violino e la Selce

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At Il Violino e la Selce

26th July 2002 – Il Violino e la Selce, Corte Malatestiana, Fano, Italy

Set List

  1. The Last Rites of Spring
  2. Amethyst Deceivers (Version 2)
  3. Are You Shivering?
  4. Ostia
  5. An Unearthly Red
  6. A.Y.O.R.
  7. Backwards

Touring Background

This gig was first announced on June 14th 2002.

Until video footage of this gig surfaced, I just assumed Thighpaulsandra played with Coil, but as it turns out, he didn’t; I don’t know why. John, Peter, and Ossian all stepped up their game in their performances as a result, since their sound had never been so stripped down before. Peter played the piano parts on “Amethyst Deceivers” and John handled his own vocal loops (this is of note, because once Thighpaulsandra returned to the band at the next gig, he would handle mixing most of John’s loops).

Personal Background – Enter Fred Mann

It was around this gig that John left Sleazy for a man named Fred Mann. Contrary to popular belief, even that which I have purported over the years, John did not leave Peter in between the Greece and Megalithomania shows in October 2002, rather sometime during the summer of 2002. Reliable sources have corroborated Fred’s side of the story. Here are some of Fred’s recollections he kindly shared with Live Coil Archive, which we’ve edited for clarity:

“Geff was my boyfriend. He left Sleazy for me…way before the [European/Scandinavian] tour…They were working together, yes, and Geff still had his room in Weston, but they were not together.”

Regarding what it was like to date John while he abused alcohol: “Yes, he had to be babysat all the time. I did my fair share too. We used to give him anti-abuse implants into his leg. They lasted about 2-3 months at a time, during which he could tour or make a record. However, when it started to wear off, then it got tricky. First cheap vodka hidden around the house, and it went downhill from there.” From what we can gather, it’s possible John had at least two such implants to get him through April-June and July-September respectively, since by all accounts, he was relatively sober during these months and only really fell off the bandwagon in October.

Regarding when all this happened and how John and Peter broke up their four-way relationship with Massimo and Pierce: “[T]he timelines at the end get blurred. Pierce and Massimo were around when Geff and Sleazy were still together. Geff and I never included those boys in our relationship and as far as I know, Geff didn’t continue to have an ongoing sexual relationship with Sleazy, Pierce, or Massimo once we got together. At that time, Pierce and Massimo were starting their Anarcocks thing, and only wanted to have sex with each other (which annoyed Geff)…[T]hey were just very wrapped up in each other…They went around Europe doing plaster casts of people’s cocks to make some kind of artwork before they became Black Sun Productions. [Geff and Sleazy] were of course polyamorous, but way before [the European/Scandinavian] tour, Geff had ended his polyamorous relationship with Sleazy, and I think Sleazy was relieved, to be honest.”

Fred has further recollections to share, which LCA will add onto their relevant concert pages.

Concert Background Part 1

Feeling: Reflective

Transitional gig. Some sources mislabel this gig as taking place on July 28th, but according to posters and Massimo himself, the correct date is July 26th 2002.

Debut performances of “The Last Rites of Spring,” “Are You Shivering?” and “Ostia,” final live performances of “Amethyst Deceivers (Version 2),” “A.Y.O.R.,” and “Backwards”.

Francesco Battisti organized the event in conjunction with Il Violino e La Selce, a festival dedicated to contemporary music. He is the one who shouts, “The White Cliffs of Dover!” when John is announcing “Ostia.”

A female audience member dances throughout the concert. PRO #2 prominently shows her during “Are You Shivering?” and AMT #1 during “A.Y.O.R.”

The Last Rites of Spring

Audience member: “Hi, Peter!”
Audience member: “Go, Sleazy!”
John: “Tonight we get the chance to worship at an original pagan temple, which is the star-studded sky. Because we’re children of the black sun. We’re born under a black sun, we’re children of the black sun. Children of the black sun.”

This version of the song is quite nascent, lacking the “We’re feral” and “William Burroughs is hallucinating in space” lyrics featured in later versions. Towards the end, John struggles to get a vocal loop going, but after an attempt or two, he succeeds.

The backing video projections shows the black sun and the white fog, but does not contain the lemur chewing centipedes either. Instead, the original Coil black sun design flashes onscreen at the very end.

John (after the song): “There’s a strange wind blowing, tonight. I think it’s the precursor wind to this meteorite that some of you have read about that’s gonna hit the earth in the year 2017, I think it’s the first of February. It’s as large as a continent and I think that’s the end of us all. So, if you’re thinking of asking someone to do something nice to you tonight, I advise you start now. Well, you have got about 20, 30 years, still, but you may as well start now.” Over the years, there have been numerous such warning reports on meteorites like the one John mentions here. The meteorite did not hit and destroy the Earth, obviously. Find further information about here (thank you for the link, Davide Gostoli!).

Amethyst Deceivers

Peter mixes out the spacey-sounding synth in the backing audio track to “Amethyst Deceivers.” The primary three sounds are the two bass arpeggios and the hurdy-gurdy riff, a sample possibly recorded by Cliff Stapleton in the studio for use on the song by Peter in his absence. Peter plays the piano part but you can only really hear it the first time he plays it – he must have turned down the volume on his synth after that.

They have failed to release us
Failed to release us
Failed to release us
Of the amethyst deceivers
Of the amethyst deceivers

Are You Shivering?

John: “Please excuse me reading the lyrics for this one. It’s, uh, the first time we’ve played it live at all. In fact, it’s the first time we’ve done it all since we recorded it, uh, live practically in the studio, so please excuse it.”
Audience member: “Don’t give a fuck!”
Audience member: “That’s fine!”
John (smiling): “Thank you. It’s ‘Are You Shivering?’”
(Audience cheers)

Peter doubles the backing audio track and Ossian plays a nascent synth tone he would later prominently play on “I Am Angie Bowie (Sine Waves).”

“Ostia” – Pasolini, 120 Days of Sodom, and Massimo’s Poem Reading

“Ostia (The Death of Pasolini),” the fourth track off of Horse Rotorvator, remains one of the most beloved and enduring classic Coil songs they ever recorded. It’s no wonder they wanted to play it live at some point, especially for this particular occasion, as the track honors Pier Palo Pasolini, a homosexual Italian poet, intellectual, social activist, and film director, who adapted Marquis de Sade’s 1785 novel, 120 Days of Sodom, into a 1975 art film titled Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom. This adaptation set the events of the novel within the context of 1940s Italian fascism. Pasolini was allegedly murdered by Giuseppe Pelosi, a 17-year-old hustler whom he tried to seduce the day of his death, on November 2nd, 1975.

According to Massimo, “Peter and Geff asked me to choose a Pasolini poem to open the live version of Ostia for a Coil performance in Italy. The audience loved it and since that first time we called it Massimo’s Version. I suggested slowing down the song, as to suggest a funeral march.” The song was thus forever altered to fit this mold.

Ostia

John: “We’re going to do, in a minute, a song about a, an Italian film director who’s a favorite of ours.”
Francesco Battisti: “The white cliffs of Dover!”
John: “Yes, yes, maybe. Heh. It could be that one. It could be about Argento, but it’s not. Heh.”

I assume John meant Dario Argento, as his is a big name in the Italian horror genre, but then, Dario Argento didn’t direct 1944’s The White Cliffs of Dover. That honor belongs to Clarence Brown and Sidney Franklin. Perhaps Dario Argento just has a popular film which depicts the actual white cliffs of Dover, a location on the English coastline which John referred to as “the number one suicide spot in the world” in his Radio Inferno interview on June 20, 2001 and which he referenced in the original version of the song.

Massimo slowly walks over to the mic. John stands and kneels to his side in prayer. The Pasolini poem is as follows: Quanto al futuro, ascolti: i suoi figli fascisti veleggeranno verso i mondi della Nuova Preistoria. Io me ne staro la, come colui che sta sulle rive del mare in cui ricomincia la vita. Solo, o quasi, sul vecchio litorale fra ruderi di antiche civilta, Ravenna Ostia o Bombay — e uguale — con Dei che si scrostano, problemi vecchi — quale la lotta di classe — che si dissolvono… Come un partigiano morto prima del maggio del ’45, comincero piano piano a decompormi, nella luce straziante di quel mare, poeta e cittadino dimenticato.

Roughly translated (thanks to Brainwashed), it means something like: As to the future, listen: your fascist sons will sail to the worlds of New Prehistory. I will stay there, one who stays on the seashore where life begins again; alone, or almost, on the old coast among the ruins of ancient civilization: Ravenna, Ostia, or Bombay, it makes no difference; with gods that lose its crust [?], old problems — like the class struggle — that dissolve away. Like a partisan killed before May ’45, I shall begin to decompose, slowly, slowly, in the agonizing light of that sea, a poet and a forgotten citizen.

This particular reading earns an applause from the audience.

John: “The next time you go to a sacred place, whether that be a church, or a pagan site, or somewhere in your own home, or in your own heart, please say a prayer for Pier Paolo Pasolini.”

There’s honey in the hollows
And the contours of the body
A sickly golden trickle
A sluggish golden river

You can hear his bones humming
You can hear his bones humming
Singing like a puncture

And the car reverses over
The body in the basin
The shallow seaplane basin
And the car reverses over
And crushed from the shoulder
Crushed from the shoulder

Throw his bones over
Oh, throw his bones over
The white cliffs of Dover

Out of the strong came forth sweetness
Out of the strong came forth sweetness
Came forth sweetness
Sweetness, sweetness, sweetness, sweetness, sweetness

Throw his bones over
The white cliffs of Dover
And into the sea, and into the sea
And into the sea, the sea of Rome
On the bloodstained coast of Ostia
Of Ostia, of Ostia

Leon like a lion
Sleeping in the sunshine
This lion lies down
This lion lies down
Then out of the strong
Then out of the strong
Then out of the strong came forth sweetness
Came forth sweetness

So throw his bones over the white cliffs of Dover
Then murder me
Then murder me in Ostia
Then throw my bones over
Then throw my bones over the white cliffs of Dover
Then murder me [repeated]

Giuseppe Pelosi, where are you now?
Giuseppe Pelosi, oh, where are you now?
Giuseppe Pelosi, where are you now?

Killed to keep the world turning
Killed to keep the world turning
The world turning, the world turning
Killed to keep the world turning

This is the only live version I know of where John mentions Pelosi in the lyrics.

John (after the song): “Thank you. Where is Giuseppe Pelosi, now, really? Does anyone know? Is he out of prison? This is the guy who killed – apparently is supposed to have killed – Pasolini, and in England knows about these things, so if anyone can tell me afterwards, please say.”
Audience member: “Nobody knows!”
John: “Nobody knows! Okay. Well, let’s find him.”
(Audience laughter)

When it came time for Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom to be rereleased on Blu-Ray in 2008, Peter was asked if the Coil song “Ostia” had a music video which they could include in the bonus features of the movie. The following is his review, which you could originally find here:

Without doubt, the two film-makers who influenced me the most as a teenager were Fellini and Pasolini. I saw Fellini-Satyricon at the age of about 15 in a cinema we used to call the “flea-pit” in Newcastle in the North of England, even though I was not technically old enough to get in. The combination of a kind of almost Buddhist Existentialism, with Decadence, Gay Desire and Sexuality, provided an irresistable romantic counterpoint to William Burrough’s rather gitty and “hard-boiled” vision of the world, that had recently set me free of any inherited middle class assumptions about my own sexuality and about the the world and reality itself.

I think mostly because of his eye for the kind of boys I like best – small dark-eyed ruffians – I soon started to pay attention to Pasolini’s films also. At first he seemed kind of hung up in a Catholic way, and obsessed with Catholic imagery, but with the Arabian Nights, he suddenly revealed himself and his interests more nakedly, more honestly, it felt to me. This craving for honesty in any creative endevor remains at the centre of my work to this day. Certainly it was part of what TG, Coil and all my more recent work has been all about.

I already was quite familiar with the book of 120 Says of Sodom, when I heard it was to be Pasolini’s next (and final, as it turned out) film project. The paperback copy I owned was not very well bound and so already fell open at the pages featuring particularly gay (or “exclusively masculine” as de Sade called them) murders or tortures, as a consequence of my frequent re-readings – The pages didn’t actually stick together – I had too much respect for books in general to “spill my seed” onto the volume itself…

I feel weird to have the name of a genre of music named after my first label – Industrial – How weird must it be to have a whole category of Sexual Deviance from the “bell curve” , named after one, as de Sade did?

Obviously when I heard of Pasolini’s murder at the hands of a rent boy, just before the film came out, it became a poignant and confusing event, that made a big impression on my adolescent self.

When Salo finally did come out I saw it several times, with varying levels of cuts imposed. At first I was shocked to find the film so flagrantly un-pornographic, and emotionally involving in a genuinely GOOD way (unlike the Saw’s and Hostel’s of these days, despite the almost complete absence of close-up shots.

It was clearly a work of brilliance, unlike anything made before or since.

When Balance and I finally had free reign to explore all our obsessions as public works in Coil, it seemed natural to make the song “Ostia – The Death of Pasolini” about the murder…

This year when the British Film Institute asked me if there was a video for Osia they could include with the new Blu-Ray, Hi-def, fully uncensored edition of Salo, I was thrilled and said there wasn’t, “but I’ll make you one…”
– To be on the same disc as Pasolini’s last & greatest work is a great honour for me.

Concert Background Part 2

An Unearthly Red

God told me to do it [repeated]
That’s why God told me to do it
An unearthly red, an unearthly red

I had a vision of a burning bush [repeated]
Of a burning bush, of a burning George Bush
I had a vision of a burning George Bush
He said, “God told me to do it” [repeated]

I had a vision [repeated]
I had a vision and a mission
I had a mission
The inner-vision
Of a vision of a burning bush
Of a burning, of a burning bush
Well, he said, “God told me to do it”
He said his father said, “God told him to do it”

I had a vision of a burning bush and he, he said, “Oh, my father told me to do it”
He said, “My father TOLD ME that God told me to do it”
He said, “Just my father said God told me to do it”
He said, “God, my father, told me to do it
So I thought I would do it
I thought I’d bring it all down”
I said, “I bring it all down”
I said, “I’d bring it all down”
I said, “I bring it all down”
I said, “God told me to bring it all down!”
Bring it all down
He said, “Bring it all down” [repeated]

(gibberish)
GOD TOLD ME TO DO IT, GOD, GOD, GOD
GOD TOLD ME TO DO IT
HE SAID, “GOD TOLD ME TO DO IT, GOD, GOD, GOD…”

Pierce and Massimo stand before the video projection with their backs to the audience. The duo slowly return to their positions standing in front of the distorted mirrors and the DVD Player standby screen briefly plays on the projector.

John (after the song): “I wonder who that song was about. I think I’m gonna become a Muslim anyway – join the other side. Then again, they’re just a religion based on goats and water holes as well, so I better not. You know, one thing I read recently about what George Bush has just, uh, agreed again to completely ignore the opinions of any well-thinking, well-meaning, good-hearted person in the world again, as is his want, as is his father’s want, you know, they have a plan to bring about Armageddon. This is pretty obvious and it’s pretty close, uh, but the weird little thing that really has fucked me up, uh, is this thing they have called, uh, ‘Elf.’ It’s ‘extremely low frequencies’ which they use to, uh, navigate submarines, nuclear submarines through the world’s oceans, and it uses an extremely low pulse, and this pulse, what it does, one of the effects it has is it disrupts the normal, uh, navigational skills and the communication skills of the seatons [sic] – you know, the whales and the dolphins. Basically, they’re gonna be destroyed by this, uh, and against, you know, the wishes of those in the know, the Americans have completely just said ‘Fuck you’ and gone ahead with this, so it’s a fucking tragic situation, actually.”
(Audience cheers and applause)
John: “I don’t, I don’t understand why animals haven’t worked out how stupid some human beings are and just attacked them en masse, you know? Like you might be out in the forest in America somewhere and be attacked and eaten by squirrels or gored to death by moose or reindeer, you know. I don’t get it. Why don’t, why don’t animals just do this? Tear them to fucking pieces.”
(Audience cheers)

Probably his most politically charged speech at any concert ever. Indeed, George Bush really did allow the U.S. Navy to use sonar and radar equipment that proved harmful to sea life (though there is some contention as to HOW harmful it was). This was officially the point where “An Unearthly Red” became a political statement against George W. Bush, which got all the more emphatic once Bush claimed that God told him to “end the tyranny” in Iraq.

A.Y.O.R.

John: “This next song is uh, is uh, recommended to you at your own risk. ‘A.Y.O.R.’”

Knowing this version would last longer than normal, Peter decided to use the “Sick Mirrors” video projection instead of the usual one for the song. Strangely enough, the DVDr he’s using is apparently the same one used at 2002-06-07 Den Haag, because for a brief moment, the text saying the city and the selectable list of the four songs (disregarding “The Gimp (Sometimes)”) they played at that show pop up on the projection screen. He incorporates hurdy-gurdy and/or Breton bagpipe samples into the backing audio track, as well as samples from “The Last Rites of Spring” – the only time he does either. Additionally, Peter mixes John’s yelping samples quite low, and there’s a small glitch in the backing audio track midway through.

I went to a Doctor
He said it’s in my blood
It’s circulating around my bloodstream
It’s inside of my heart, it’s in my bloodstream

It’s in my insides
It’s in my heart
Pump, pump, pump, pump

It’s in the oceans of blood
It’s in the streams of blood
It’s in the rivers of blood
It’s in the rain of blood
It’s in the bloody bloodstream

It’s in our own blood
It’s in my nosebleed
It’s in my bloodiest dream(s)
It’s in my blood dreams

And when the rain of blood comes down
It’s in the rain of (our) blood
The rain of blood comes down
It’s in the rain of my, the rain of my blood

But everything going
I’m riddled
I’m diseased
I’m riddled with disease
A disease, disease, disease, disease
Diesel, disease
A riddle disease
I am a little disease
I am a riddle
I’m in my bloodstream

While John is singing “Your blood is my blood” etc., Pierce sticks out a shaky, accusatory finger at various audience members and band mates, then back at himself.

John (after the song): “I am very, very hot. I must drink more water.”

Backwards

John: “There’s something coming. There is something coming. Something coming, something coming.”
Taper of AMT #1: “Here we go.”
John: “Here we go.”

The DVDr menu again pops up onscreen, but strangely, even though it wasn’t played at Den Haag, the projection for “A.Y.O.R.” briefly plays – Peter must have switched from one DVD player to another on the fly. He soon plays the “Backwards” projection proper.

Oh, and it’s coming backwards
I can see it’s coming backwards [repeated]

Everything’s backwards in this world, now

All the cogs run backwards
All the animals bark backwards
All the dogs bark backwards
All the trains go backwards
The computers go backwards

We die before we’re born,
We’re born before we die
Everything is backwards, everything is backwards
In the black woods
I live in fear
Oh yes, I live in fear
You dope my brain, ‘cuz false evidence appearing real
So everything’s backwards

What’s left to do?
Fuck me ‘til I’m blind

We worship at the church of the hairy mother of God [repeated]
I see Christ on a bike with carpet burns keeps falling to his knees
Keeps falling to his knees
And he whispers to me, “I want it backwards”
I want it backwards
He says, “I feel loved”
He says, “I feel loved
Even though it’s backwards, you know, I feel loved”
“Oh yes, I feel loved” [repeated]
‘Cuz everything is backwards

Midway through the song, Pierce and Massimo retreat towards backstage; they return during the climax and approach John to spray an anal enema of fake blood onto his pant legs. Once the “Backwards” video projection finishes, Peter returns to the “Sick Mirrors” one in the last few minutes of the song.

John (after the song): “Thank you very much, Fano. Thank you for coming to see us. We did feel love; thank you, goodnight.”

Backstage, the band members kiss each other and wish Massimo a happy birthday.

Peter: “A lot of things don’t work, but I didn’t think it was that bad.”
John: “What didn’t work?”
Ossian: “Some, I thought some things worked really well.”
John: “God, I got bored of ‘A.Y.O.R.’ ‘A.Y.O.R.’”
Peter: “Are you telling me it took too long?”
Someone scoffs.

Line-up

John Balance – vocals, Electro-Harmonix (with 16-second delay, modified by Kanwal Dulay), cymbals on “The Last Rites of Spring”
Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson – Ableton sequence, video projections, Clavia Nord Modular Synthesizer
Simon Norris (Ossian Brown) – Clavia Nord Modular Lead Synthesizer, sleigh bells on “The Last Rites of Spring”
Massimo Villani – Pasolini poem reading on “Ostia,” Black Sun Productions’ “Ghost Boy” performance art
Pierce Wyss – Black Sun Productions’ “Ghost Boy” performance art

Andy Ray – live engineer

Advertisements, Backstage or Related Promo Material

Ticket Stubs

Please contact us if you have any ticket stubs from this event: info@live-coil-archive.com

Venue

Il Violino e la Selce Festival site
Corte Malatestiana
Fano (PU)
Italy

Gallery

AMT #1b

PRO #1 & PRO #2

Attendee Recollections

Robin Rimbaud attended this show and remembers: “We took the same [Game On] show to Fano in Italy and I remember how delayed my flight was, such that I drew up at the side of the stage whilst Coil were still performing, and had to set up my equipment whilst they continued to play. At one point I look around the side of the table filled with my gear, only to stare like a rabbit in the headlights, into the eyes of one of their naked male dancers, covered in white body paint, on all fours at the back of the stage. Not an image I’ll ever readily forget. The next day we all ate dinner together and I remember Geff challenging me to eat an entire clover of garlic and we mutually agreed to do this at the same time, thereby alienating friends and loved ones for the days following with the stench permeating from our bodies!”

Known Recordings

Tapes owners/taper:

PRO #1 – Barbara Fantini for Mediaweb.tv.it
PRO #2 – Sara Ristori for Mediaweb.tv.it

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