At St. John’s Church (Night #2)
25th October 2002 – St. John’s Church, Gdansk, Poland
- I Am Angie Bowie (Sine Waves)
- The Last Rites of Spring
- Amethyst Deceivers (Version 3)
- A Warning from the Sun
- Drip Drop
- I Don’t Want to Be the One
- Bang Bang (Sonny Bono Cover)
- Are You Shivering?
“Live Four” phase.
According to Massimo, “Only in Gedansk [sic] we had to wrap ourselves in cling film and behave. The people running the church made us very clear, they’d cut off the power if we would have done anything against the Catholic’s moral. During rehearsals, we’ve been approached by a local Coil fan who confirmed they did that before to other acts, so we took them for granted and did nothing that could jeopardize the show.” Thus, “An Unearthly Red” was not played and Massimo and Pierce did nothing sexual (although a photo shoot backstage reveals that after the show, they removed the plastic from their crotches and posed suggestively, biting into ceremonial candles).
Massimo and Pierce’s choreography differed somewhat from the norm at this show, in that during “Amethyst Deceivers,” they spun in their circles with the costume heads still on and were fully uncovered at the start of “A Warning from the Sun.”
Peter has some problems with the backing video tracks throughout, struggling to keep the footage going.
SBD #1 possibly incorporates multitracks not heard on live sources or post-production overdubs, especially on John’s vocal.
I Am Angie Bowie (Sine Waves)
John: I am Angie Bowie, no!
Audience member: No!
John: I am Angie Bowie, no!
Audience member: No!
Peter replayed the backing audio tracks midway through the song, making this one of, if not the longest performances of the track, clocking in around 7 minutes. No one claps after the song.
The Last Rites of Spring
And I cannot be seen drinking water
Just let the lemurs live
Just let the lemurs live in their trees
John screams out to the audience at the end of the song and Peter can be seen adjusting one of the stage lights midway through.
…Of the Hammersmith deceivers
So put your trust in the black birds
Put your trust in the black birds
Put your trust in the crows and the ravens
In the rooks and the ravens
But pay your respects to the vultures
So pay your respects to the vultures
And the black birds, the crows, the ravens, the rooks
The magpies, the jackdaws, the rooks, the crows, the ravens
The magpies, the drooks [sic]
The rooks [repeated] and the ravens
Pay your respects, please
Place your trust in the animal
Put your trust in the animals
For we are all animals
Place your trust in the animals
For we are all animals
For we are all ravens
We are rooks, crows
Magpies in the sky
These tiny little mushrooms
That make your head go strong and long
These tiny little mushrooms
We have to make room for the mushrooms
Have a room for the mushrooms
Have a room for your mushrooms
This performance commences with the melody synth audio track, the only version to do so. Thighpaulsandra and Ossian also make unique use of alternate synth timbres they’d normally reserve for “Broccoli” and “Drip Drop” during the latter half.
John (after the song): “Thank you. We feel very special to be here tonight. Thank you for coming to see us. Incidental or accidental, thank you for coming. Oh, my goodness.”
Audience member: (Polish)
A Warning from the Sun/Drip Drop
John: “Beware of solar flares. Beware, beware, solar!”
The song segways right into “Drip Drop.”
Censorship is in command, here
So whistle, and I’ll come to you, my lad
I will cut you with my knife
I will cut you with my knife’s
I’ll give you a Leonard Cohen afterlife
Listen, whistle, and I’ll come to you, my lad
I’ll cover your face with sperm
I’m willing to bet that John was not happy about St. John’s Church putting limitations on the band.
John: “This is dedicated to Pier Palo Pasolini. ‘Ostia.’ And it’s dedicated to all the poets and the queers.”
John (after the song): “Thank you. Thank you, thank you.”
I Don’t Want to Be the One
Excremental horses. Elementary divorces, excremental horses. That combines the divine with the excremental. I’m in a church and I didn’t want to, do not want to blaspheme, but Jesus was a carpenter, and now he’s a gardener. Ask him to cut your lawn for you. And there’s some things that I don’t want to be he didn’t want to be either. An impaled Nazarene, and now he cuts the garden green. Impaled Nazarene. That’s for my friend Russell. And there’s some times when people, like, push things onto you, like a mirror maybe reflecting lights. Or the day reflects the nights, whatever, and I really don’t want to be where I’m in the position of being. Sometimes, sometimes, only, there’s sometimes. In fact, now, today, I don’t feel so ashamed about being. In fact, I’m pleased about giving. There’s positions put upon you, and it’s cold up there, it’s cold up there, it’s cold up there.
John (after the song): “But then again, sometimes, I have to be, so.”
John (after the song): “Nancy Sinatra, we love her. Written by Sonny Bono, who died; in fact, he skied into a tree, which is strange.”
John’s closing words: “Again, I’d really like to thank all of you for coming to see us. It’s been very special, actually, and that’s it for tonight. Thank you.”
Dave: “Okay, okay, hallelujah…More, more, more!”
John: “Thank you very much. Thank you, Dave.”
At the end of AUD #2, Piotr Jachi says something in Polish.
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?”
Massimo Villani – Pasolini poem reading on “Ostia,” Black Sun Productions’ “Ghost Boy” performance art
Pierce Wyss – Black Sun Productions’ “Ghost Boy” performance art
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St. John’s Church
Kosciól swietego Jana
Soundcheck and BTS
AMT #1 + AMT #2 + AUD #1 + AUD #2b Matrix Mix
The following is a transcription of an interview with Coil translated by Google Translate from Polish to English (the original of which you can find here):
Here is the transcription and translation of the interview I had the privilege of conducting with the Coil band after their concert in St. John in Gdansk on October 25, 2002. The delay in the publication of this interview was that I had not received an answer or that the team authorized the interview. Then it turned out that the authorization of interviews in a civilized world is not an indispensable thing, but a nice addition if one wants to be polite … Anyway, better late than never.
PI: What is your impression after today’s concert?
John Balance: I thought about it as something happening in a unique place, with unique people, and I got lost in the music, which I just love! I did not pretend to be myself, just something broke. Was well.
PI: The concert versions of your songs are different from the album versions, Where do you get ideas for these changes?
JB: They just happen. We work hard and with talented people, so we can relax and give birth to this version.
PI: How did you get in touch with Massim and Black Sun Productions?
JB: With Massim? Massimo contacted us!
PI: Have you seen their show, Plastic Spider Thing?
JB: I even participated in him! It was very, very interesting. They have been living with us for three months now near Bristol. I encourage people to participate in Plastic Spider Thing because it is an incredibly powerful ritual of chaos magic. When you read about it, it may seem a bit ridiculous, but when it comes to it, it turns out to be a very, very powerful ritual.
PI: How do you get along with Genesis P-Orridge right now?
JB: Not bad. Looks like he decided to be a nice guy (laughs) and that’s good. I still have some objections to his person when I meet him remind him that he did it or that. Throbbing Gristle is just releasing a set of memoirs to commemorate their activities, as well as a couple of reissues too, so mostly Peter talks to him about legal issues. But there is no longer any hate between us.
PI: What equipment do you use in the studio?
ThighPaulSandra: We use a lot of stuff. For example, we used two Nord Modulators, one Nordlead 1 …
JB: We won the subsidy from Nord! [Laughs]
TPS: We also have Kurzweil K-2000, special delay effect, It was built by a man from England specially for us, and we also use Macintosh and a lot of different software, and even more stuff in the studio, too much to replace.
PI: ThighPaulSandra, you seem to prefer analog sounds …
TPS: Yes, of course!
(ThighPaulSandra raises Anxious magazine number and shows him the first article about Coil, then about ThighPaulSandra solo)
TPS: Look. Wonderful!
JB: No, rather awful. You should not be encouraged! (Laughs)
PI: John, you’ve worked with such artists as Current 93, Nurse With Wound, and Death in June. What was the experience of working with bands whose style is so different from Coil’s?
JB: Well, they are just friends. So in a sense they do not differ … I will do what some people ask me. You know how David Tibet asks me something that I just do it. It is not a favor, only a privilege. Also, I will always be willing to work with Steve (Stapleton – M_Alex). It was good to work with them sometime, but now I do not know Doug Pierce …
PI: How do you work with World Serpent Distribution?
JB: All right, but we also work with Warp Records.
PI: Really? Frankly speaking when listening to LSD albums, some of the sounds strike me with their characteristic sound that could have inspired or even been sampled by such artists as Aphex Twin and Autechre …
JB: They certainly did not inspire Aphex Twins, Richard James just does what it does. does. Autechre like our music and remixed it. We have about three remixes that they have done for us and they are amazing. They are our good friends, like Boards of Canada and Haswell. We know a lot of people associated with Warp and appear to be rather a group of friends than a record company, even though they are a record company.
PI: Steven Stapleton designed a couple of album covers for you. Was it a privilege for you or did he give you a favor?
JB: Well, Steve’s graphics are beautiful, and fit into those albums. I would buy them, steal, whatever. He is a genius. I am admirable to him, and there are not many such people. Leonard Cohen. Nina Simone and Steven Stapleton are the people for whom I am full of admiration.
PI: Speaking of Cohen, your Bang Bang version sounded very “Cohenowato”
JB: Really? It’s not Cohen’s song, but it’s still a good version of our performance anyway. Normally, we dedicate it to Courtney Love.
PI: You played a fantastic version of Ostia, but the text was changed …
JB: Yes, I improvise while performing songs on concerts.
PI: How does Pier Paollo Pasolini inspire you? As a poet, filmmaker, or because of who he was privately?
JB: First of all because of who he was. There were so many trials against him, something around 139, maybe 149, and all won. All of them wanted to bargain in the courts: Communists, fascists, for offenses of religious feelings, for heresies, and so on … But he was clean. He was a pure person. How can I see a pure person … (John breaks, turns and sees the figure of Jesus Christ) Christ stands over my shoulder … I’d rather have Pasolini there. He said “Kill me in Ostia” before that happened. He predicted his own death.
PI: What is art for you?
JB: What is art? Art is life. I do not consider her, I live it. That is the artist: someone who does not distinguish between what he creates and who he is.
PI: For you, the inspiration is, for example, Aleister Crowley’s magical works, for example, so sometimes you are misunderstood by people …
JB: Oh, fuck them. I can not go out with people who do not understand me. If they do not understand this they do not understand. We do what we do and if someone understands it understands it. How does that not?
PI: A lot of people have been in Coil since the group was formed: Stephen Thrower, Crew McDowell, Thighpaulsandra, Simon Norris, Danny Hyde, Otto Avery … But were you and Peter the creative core of the band, or did other members influence what you do?
JB: It’s just me and Peter, but for example Thighpualsandra is a big and important part of the team, and Simon Norris … We choose our friends very carefully, and everyone can gently do something, somehow affect us. For example, Thighpaulsandra often claims to drink alcohol (John is an alcoholic) or for improper behavior, like Simon. But Coil is me. Just me.
PI: Because you originally founded the band in 1983 and Peter came to you, yes?
JB: Yes. I stole him from Psychic TV! (Laughs)
PI: Have you ever eaten a hot dog for religious reasons?
JB: What ?!
PI: Have you ever read Principia Discordia?
JB: Yes …
PI: In the Principia Discordia there are five commandments, the other saying that the Discordant should eat hotdog every Friday to negate other religions.
JB: I do other things to negate other religions. But we are now in this beautiful place and I can not completely deny it. I am not a Christian, but I will not be hostile towards such a wonderful place with such exceptional people with such beautiful objects. How could i How dare i I just do not do it. I would not dare. It is too beautiful.
PI: You have evolved to a great extent throughout your years of business …
JB: We had to. We have been doing it for 20 years, and if we did not evolve we would die. Just like a dolphin.
PI: What causes evolutions in Coil?
JB: We’re just looking for something new, we want to do something new.
PI: Peter, are you still steaming (music video and commercials – M. Alexander)?
Peter Christopherson: No … Although yes, myself.
PI: And how was it, to lead other people with such productions?
PC: Directing was fine, but the trouble is that when you try to please other people it is difficult to stay with your original vision. When you work for money you have to make compromises.
PI: Yes, and since you’ve worked with artists from Nine Inch Nails to Hanson ….
PC: Well, Hanson was fine, but the bands are not troublesome. The trouble was the record company. Record companies are always in trouble.
PI: And your record company?
PC: It’s perfect. I am my boss!
PI: We talk about Threshold House?
PI: A World Serpent?
PC: They are rather a company that distributes us than produces, but they are fine.
PI: And like to remix other artists?
PC: Yes, I like doing remixes, but it’s always a hassle because we are so busy with Coil’s business that it’s hard to find some free time. You know to make a decent remix take about a week to sit in the studio, but we are always asking for you.
PI: And what’s the remix being locked in a drawer, like your version of Depeche Mode’s Rush?
PC: Such a thing is just boring.
PI: Thank you very much for the interview.
Tomasz Śliwiński attended this gig and mentioned that he recorded AUD #1, while his mate recorded AMT #1.
AUD #1 – Tomasz Śliwiński
AUD #2 – Piotr Jachi
AMT #2 – Ash Neuro