At Feelee, Tochka
26th September 2002 – Feelee, Tochka, Moscow, Russia
- I Am Angie Bowie (Sine Waves)
- The Last Rites of Spring
- Are You Shivering?
- Amethyst Deceivers (Version 3)
- A Warning from the Sun
- Lake View
- I Don’t Want to Be the One
- Bang Bang (Sonny Bono Cover)
- An Unearthly Red
[UNSURFACED concert] – In attendance at the time, photographer and audience member Denis Chashchin claims that the setlist
was the same as the Vagonka Club (September 29th, 2002) gig. If that’s true, then the above would be the setlist.
Brainwashed reported the following on August 12th 2002: “Coil have been announced as being the support act at the London date on the upcoming tour by Icelandic group Sigur Rós. It will be taking place on Tuesday, October 1st at Royal Festival Hall. Tickets are available online via this link. It’s not known at this time if Coil will be appearing on any other dates of the tour, but as soon as we find out, it’ll be posted here.”
On August 14th 2002: “Russian promoters and record label Feelee will be welcoming Coil back to their country for two concerts this autumn. The shows will be taking place in Moscow (Sept 26th at DK Gorbunova) and Kaliningrad (Sept 29th at a venue t.b.a.). Opening both shows will be CoH.”
In 2009, Zvuki published a “declaration of intent” Coil sent Feelee regarding the upcoming 2002-09-26 Tochka show, to be shared with fans. Roughly translated: “This next Coil appearance will be more lyrical, poetic, and more mindful than our previous ones, featuring brand new Coil songs as well as classics such as ‘Ostia (The Death of Pasolini)’ and ‘Are You Shivering?’ The past year has been a year of change and revolution for us, for our friends and for the entire planet. Our upcoming concerts will be our response to the dangerous and frightening state of the world today. Our concerts are a fragile, magically directed display of our anger: we will use a synchronized combination of video and music, which is our poetic response to personal pain and more general woe, in the hope of generating and inspiring a positive response to the situation around us. In addition, we will, for the first time, be presenting songs from our new album The World Ended A Long Time Ago. As always, we look forward to seeing the wonderful Russian people.”
On August 23rd 2002, John accompanied Pierce and Massimo in their performance of “Plastic Spider Thing 11”, which took place on the stairs of their home, ‘The North Tower’, Weston-super-Mare, UK. The performance detailed “a highly moral yet sexually explicit exploration into the relationship between the spider and the fly,” wherein nude Pierce and Massimo wrapped a naked John up in a plastic web and kissed and performed fellatio on him. Peter took numerous photographs which Danny McKernan edited together with the BSP track “A Well Hung Monk” in 2008 and released privately onto Vimeo [a password is needed to view] in 2012. John’s then-boyfriend Fred Mann recalls: “I remember that staircase banister thing. It was bloody hilarious, and let’s face it, he loved being tied up…Well, Geff liked to be the centre of attention, so being tied up placed him where he liked to be.”
On September 25th 2002: “Plans are being finalized for a European tour in late October and early November. These shows are in addition to previously announced late September/early October dates in Russia, Greece and the UK.”
Oct 16: Copenhagen, Denmark – Amager Bio
Oct 17: Oslo, Norway – Betong
Oct 21: Helsinki, Finland – Tavastia Klubi
Oct 24-25: Gdansk, Poland – St John’s Church
Oct 26: Lódz, Poland – Centrum Filmowe
Oct 27: Prague, Czech Republic – Akropolis
Oct 29: Vienna, Austria – Flex
Nov 01: Italy (TBA)
Nov 02: Italy (TBA)
Coil will be joined at all dates by draZen, Massimo & Pierce of Black Sun Productions, who will also be performing their 12th Plastic Spider Thing ritual at Teatro I’ in Milano, Italy on Novermber 4th. Black Sun Productions promises “special guests” at this performance…”
According to Massimo, “The local promoter put a veto on Pierce and I performing with Coil in Russia. They were adamant our performance being “pornographic” hence outlaw. The two of us stayed in London preparing the show we did opening for Sigur Ros at the Royal Albert Hall, 10 1 2002…We didn’t want to compromise, have to obey to a Russian diktat. When the guys came back from there and told us how it all went, we knew we did right things. Russia is a strange place when it comes to money. You get paid cash, there are big guys offering you protection, wanting to take you to places to spend your money on booze and chicks or cocks. We knew we could have been, or get in, trouble joining the band for those two gigs.”
“Live Four” phase. Debut performances of “I Am Angie Bowie (Sine Waves),” “Amethyst Deceivers (Version 3),” “A Warning from the Sun,” “Lake View,” “I Don’t Want to Be the One,” and “Bang Bang.”
The set, which comprises most of the “Live Four” phase, until “Drip Drop” replaced “Lake View,” is easily the most exclusively live setlist Coil ever organized. It was a setlist slated to combine older songs with new songs from the proposed album The World Ended a Long Time Ago, though it’s unclear which tracks Coil had in mind for the doomed-never-to-be-released album. We do know that “I Am Angie Bowie (Sine Waves),” “Lake View,” “Drip Drop,” “Bang Bang,” and “An Unearthly Red” never received proper studio versions, while the live versions of “Ostia” and “I Don’t Want to Be the One” do not resemble their studio counterparts whatsoever. Version 3 of “Amethyst Deceivers,” where John truly began to actively improvise lyrics, saw a further modified release as “The Last Amethyst Deceiver” on The Ape of Naples in 2005, and even then, it replaces the hurdy-gurdy-esque synth riff with marimba on that version. John introduces “I Don’t Want to Be the One” with monologues of various lengths and subjects, though he lamented personal issues in most of them. “Bang Bang” is played entirely live, i.e. using no backing audio tracks – a first for Coil – and Thighpaulsandra would occasionally play real piano, depending on whether or not the venue had one. Only “Are You Shivering?” and “A Warning from the Sun” stick pretty closely to their studio counterparts, with Thighpaulsandra and Ossian switching synthesizers on the former. A loose remix of “An Unearthly Red” was released as “An Unhealthy Red” on Aural Rage’s album A Nature of Nonsense in 2005.
Looking at photos of the gig itself, the backing video projections suggest that “I Am Angie Bowie (Sine Waves),” “The Last Rites of Spring,” “Are You Shivering?” “Lake View,” and “I Don’t Want to Be the One” were definitely played. According to Greg Reason, the version of “Amethyst Deceivers” played at this gig was the standard 3rd version.
Regarding the poem reading that introduced “Ostia,” without Massimo and Pierce at any given show, Massimo obviously could not do the reading live. So, according to Massimo, “We did record the poem reading in the studio. We did a few studio takes of me reading Pasolini’s writings and Geff performing some humming and howling comments to them and suggesting Sleazy what samples should come in, thunders – sea waves – dogs barking – crickets. We’ve been recording over a very stormy weekend at Threshold House, the worst English weather you can think of.” No studio version of this “Slow Ostia,” or “Ostia (Massimo’s Version),” has ever surfaced, unfortunately. The poem reading wasn’t even included on the Coil Reconstruction Kit. Even with Massimo’s presence, Peter would sometimes remix the pre-recorded poem reading into the backing audio track.
John Balance – vocals
Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson – Ableton sequence, video projections, Clavia Nord Modular Synthesizer
Thighpaulsandra – Clavia Nord Modular Synthesizer, Kurzweil Synthesizer, Electro-Harmonix on John’s vocals (with 16-second delay, modified by Kanwal Dulay)
Simon Norris (Ossian Brown) – Clavia Nord Modular Lead Synthesizer, Kurzweil Synthesizer on “Are You Shivering?”
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6 Leninsky Prospekt
Денис Чащин (Denis Chashchin) Photo Shoot – YouTube Upload April 23, 2015
IN SEARCH OF LOST PSYCHEDELICS
[an interview conducted in Moscow at the time of the gig]
For the second time the legendary Coil comes to Moscow. Real psychedelic warriors without fear and reproach, the last of the pioneers-experimenters of electronic culture, are still afloat.
Of course, in 2002, it’s hard to objectively perceive Coil’s music. Too much time (about 10 years) has passed since the release of their famous album “Music for playing in the Dark”, which has become for the generation of today’s 25-30-year-olds the starting point of acquaintance with psychedelic culture. But the past tense had no effect on their music. It seems that people all this time lived somewhere far away in their ivory tower, staying aloof from the current musical trends and maintaining unswerving fidelity to the ideals of youth. And they still have those ideals… These strong guys, who at the beginning of the 70s tasted the most diverse magic potions, for the rest of their lives have preserved the acidic romanticism of discoverers of new horizons of consciousness. Now almost grotesquely looks, as already completely not young and slightly puffy John Balance still, as well as in 80th years, accompanied of paranoid noise sounds, screams different infantile nonsenses like “William Burrows is hallucinating in space” or “The universe is a haunted place”. But even in spite of this, Coil is primarily interesting as charismatic characters and bearers of ideas. Therefore, we talked with this miracle – the surviving veterans of the psychedelic wars. The target for our communication, we chose the people that make up the backbone of Coil – the generator of ideas and the founder of the project of Peter Christopherson and the vocalist & showman John Balance.
You were almost the first electronic musicians in the world. The first project in which you took part, Throbbing Gristle, appeared in the early 70’s. How could you, at that time, have an idea to make such music, and what instruments and technologies did you use then?
John Balance: Well, I was not a member of Throbbing Gristle, I was among their fan-groupies, who went for a band and dreamed to fucked with someone from band. What I managed to do – Peter is my boyfriend for 22 years. Now we do not live together, we communicate simply as friends and companions. I started playing music later, when Psychic TV was formed. Therefore this question is more likely to Peter.
Peter Christopherson: In general, the music I always did was an expression of certain ideas and views on life. It’s main goal is to change oneself through one’s consciousness. Technology for me has never stood in the first place. For me, maybe it will be a problem to write the same perfect track on its technical sophistication, how could Kraftwerk or now, maybe, Autechre – I do not know electronic devices so well. But I do not need it, I have other tasks. In general, I had to work with a variety of technologies. I remember in 1979 I had the first Apple computer, then I came up with different know-how, taking software, designed for completely different purposes, and I used it to write music. Also back in the early 70’s I had to work with the 8-track – remember, there were such, maybe you saw them in childhood, – large cassettes the size of VHS. They had a lot more read/write heads, which allowed to change and adjust the speed during recording.
Who inspired you in the beginning of your career?
PC: Well, basically we inspired ourselves. In general, when Genesis P-Orridge and I created Throbbing Gristle in 1974, it was originally conceived not as a purely musical project, but as an art performance by a troupe. In many respects we were influenced by ‘the beat generation’ writers – William Burroughs and Hunter Thompson. About the music… A great influence on me then was from Stockhausen and, of course, I was the hero of my youth, Captain Beefheart – I loved him because he don’t look like no other.
JB: As for me, the heroes who determined my attitude were Aleister Crowley and the great wizard Austin Osman Spare. I, in general, are a mystic in my heart. With Spare I even had a spiritual contact. I feel that his inner emanations are so aligned with ours that if this man didn’t die in 1956, he could well become a member of Coil. Terence McKenna, the guru of the psychedelic revolution, also had a great influence on me. We even did a joint project with him, he read his works to our music – such a kind of propaganda of psychedelic ideas. It is unfortunate that this man died a few years ago from a brain tumor.
Don’t you think that modern electronic music is going through a crisis of ideas? This is evidenced by the constant use of retro sounding for the past five years – first was a lounge of the 60’s, now a return to the early synthpop and electro of the 80’s…
PC: Perhaps someone is experiencing this crisis. People are in crisis of ideas, if they have no such ideas at all. If you are engaged in music for fashion and put yourself in the framework of the current style, then, of course, you will face this problem. We have never had this problem. We were always independent of fashion and engaged in what we were interested in and what we believed.
JB: Yes, now many people really talk about returning to the early electro sound of Soft Cell and Human League … All this new electroclash… But that’s not quite true – the appearance of a lot of such music suggests that the young musicians of steel listen carefully to the old records of their parents and take some ideas from there. But these ideas mutate and undergo a series of changes in the hands of a new generation. We have always been a phenomenon outside of time and space. We were once and on a wave of fashion, were and outside it. But it never bothered us. We just made our music.
What modern electronic music are you listening to?
Peter and John (almost in chorus): Autechre and Boards of Canada.
Do you go to clubs now?
JB: Almost not, if compared with what was before. I, for example, left from London to a small seaside town near Bristol. Too much energy and health was given in due time to club culture… It is completely unclear how we survived… We started actively hanging out around the clubs somewhere in 1981 together with Mark Almond, when Soft Cell came out “Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret”. Then we were overwhelmed by ‘the acid house’ revolution, which started somewhere in 1988. That’s why Coil almost nothing released in the late 80’s. We were too keen on clubs and drugs.
Do drugs play an important role in your music? And how do you think, is it possible to write music like yours without having psychedelic experiences?
PC: I think that if a person can make his life more interesting, no matter how – having arranged a psychedelic trip, or having rested in a new place, or simply having had dinner in a new restaurant, still unknown to him – he should use this opportunity. I don’t want to go on vacation 20 times in a row to the same place, it’s boring. The same boring I think the daily use of LSD. It is enough to try it 2-3 times to take from this substance everything that it can give you. Therefore, I believe that if people use psychedelic substances to study themselves and discover some new abilities in themselves, then it’s good. We did this, and, of course, our music was written largely under their influence.
JB: Drugs occupy the same important place in our music as in the life of many people. As for me, I can say that I always had a psychedelic consciousness, long before I tried drugs. They only helped me to expand and develop it.
Do you agree that Coil is a project in many respects ideologized, and its main task is to be speaker of psychedelic ideas?
PC: It really is. As I said, the music we play has a very definite task. We want to show people that their minds are much deeper and more multifaceted than they think. Most people are total assholes, but not because they are forced to choose this path under the pressure of the environment. A big role in this ubiquitous fooling is played by large record companies that produce music that disaccustoms people to think. We, as far as possible, try to resist this and show that there is another alternative way of development.
Сергей Некрасов attended this gig and remembers: “Two gigs COIL did in MOSCOW – at DK GORBUNOVA (well documented by now in different formats – from VHS to vinyl bootleg to official CD) and at TOCHKA clubs. I think both times the opening set was done by COH (well, first time for sure), and then COIL had their time…
The TOCHKA gig I have more vague recollections of. As far as I remember it reminds a lot of something like SELVAGGINA (but I might be a bit wrong here). Afeyr the concert some crazy Russian collectors exhausted Jhonn, Sleazy and Thighpaulsandra with signing their vinyls. Which the artists politely endured. Guess now those records cost a fortune… I could barely shake hands with Jhonn and Sleazy (whom I also saw as SOISONG with COH several years later) and had a brief chat with Ossian Brown. Recollections of both concerts I treasure still.”
Unknown and unsurfaced.