2004 – Ocean

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At Ocean, London

25th July 2004 – Ocean Club, London, England

Set List

  1. The Gimp (Sometimes)
  2. Sex With Sun Ra (Part One – Saturnalia)
  3. Broccoli (Version 2)
  4. All the Pretty Little Horses
  5. Tattooed Man (The Dark Age of Love)
  6. Teenage Lightning (10th Birthday Version)
  7. (I Can’t Get a Word in) Edgeways
  8. Wraiths and Strays
  9. Black Antlers (Where’s Your Child?) (Bam Bam Cover)

Background

Feeling: Shrouded

“Even an Evil Fatigue” tour, “Black Antlers” phase. The last “major” tour of Coil’s existence.

Supporting act(s): Githead

Estimated attendance: 500.

Merchandise sold at the gig: “Selvaggina, Go Back into the Woods” (2004)

Final live performances of all songs.

Tom employs the effect on his marimba he normally reserves just for “Broccoli” on all songs. Thighpaulsandra implements the Electro-Harmonix vocal looper on John’s vocals the band previously used at various gigs in 2002.

Music played over the P.A. is by The Necks.

The Gimp (Sometimes)

John (after the song): “Oh my goodness, thank you guys very much. Permit me to pursue the spastic position, this evening.”

Sex With Sun Ra (Part One – Saturnalia)

John: “This next song is about someone I had in my pantheon, in my, uh, special solar system, and I never had him of an evening. It’s called ‘Sex With Sun Ra.’”

Sun Ra was here in his element
He invited me back for a ride
I smiled, agreed, and we left for the place
That is full of the reasons for time and space
He said he was leaving last tide

Sun Ra was here in his element
He invited me back for a ride
I smiled, agreed, and we left for the place
That is full of the meaning for time and space
He said he was leaving last tide
On a spaceship powered by natural sounds

He said, “I dream of colour music
And the intricate machines that make it possible”
I said, “You are nothing if not inconsistent”
He said, “I rely on being insistent”
I’m almost never forever
I’m almost never for now

He said, “I will be alright if you kiss me
It’ll be alright if you hold me
It’ll be alright if you kiss me
It’ll be alright if you hold me
It’ll be alright if you kiss me
It’ll be alright if you hold me

Now is the time to relaunch the dream weapon
He said, “Now is the time to relaunch the dream weapon”
He said, “Now is the time to relaunch the dream weapon”
Now is the time to relaunch the dream weapon

It’ll be alright if you hold me
It’ll be alright if you kiss me

I thought, “Priceless, bloody priceless”
I thought, “Priceless, bloody priceless”
It’ll be alright if you kiss me
It’ll be alright if you hold me
It’ll be alright if you hold me
It’ll be alright if you hold me
In Harry Smith’s room in the Chelsea Hotel
In Harry Smith’s room in the Chelsea Hotel
In Harry Smith’s room (in) the Chelsea Hotel

Sun Ra was here in his element
He invited me back for a ride
I smiled, agreed, and we left for the place
That is full of the meaning for time and space
He said we were leaving last tide

John (after the song): “Oh, thank you! Oh, thank you!”

Broccoli

John: “When I was about nine, my stepfather – we lived in Germany at the time – he took me to the dam, which is featured in the film The Dambusters – the bouncing bombs destroyed it and flooded this valley – and he dangled me over this dam by my, the clothes I was wearing, and then, when he put me back on the ground again, he hit me, because I started crying. I never figured that one out, really.”
(Audience laughter – perhaps they think John is just joking)
Female heckler: “Why are you so far away?”
John: “Why am I so far away? It’s the spaces between us that keep us together, really. Oh, I didn’t, I didn’t set this place up. I am shivering constantly with you in mind. So I’m dedicating this song to my stepfather – who I do not get on with – and to my father, and to my stepfather’s father who was in the British Raj, and to his father who probably did the same things to him that he did to my stepfather, who then did them to me. All with a twist of warfare within. All with a little twist of warfare within. Oh no, no, no.”

The Dambusters was a WWII war film released in 1955, and that same woman heckler would plague the band throughout the rest of their set.

I actually broached the subject of John’s familial stories to Thighpaulsandra once, who told me that the stories, though embellished and exaggerated, were not entirely made up, and that it is a very British thing for gay men to hate their families. This dam story might actually be true, to some extent. Of course, looking back through these gigs, mostly just during “Broccoli,” John frequently discussed the distance he felt between all his family members, and to my knowledge, he never really patched things up with his family. With that said, according to Thighpaulsandra, John’s mother and sister were and continue to be devastated by his death, so it’s not as if all his relationships were beyond reconciliation.

John (after the song): “Oh my, thank you. All vegetables, yes. I didn’t mention many vegetables that time, but garlic’s very good at the moment. I’m eating about two bowls a day with my boyfriend, two bowls a day.”
(Audience laughter)
John: “That’s why there’s a distance between us, for your own safety. You’re welcome!”

All the Pretty Little Horses

John (after the song): “We need to make it like that one/animal (?).” If that’s indeed what he said, perhaps he’s referring to a studio version of the song, which never came to be.

Tattooed Man (The Dark Age of Love)

John: “This next one, if I’ve got the right song, is dedicated to Marc Almond. I think quite a lot of you went to see him, this week, and I wished I’d been able to be there. It is ‘Tattooed Man.’” He’s alluding to Marc Almond’s then-recent motorcycle accident, which left him severely injured. The next gig at Dublin was advertised as a healing ritual for him.

John sings lyrics which would be reused on “Unhappy Rabbits” at the next show in Dublin:

I’m shiny, I’m happy, I’m dead
I’ve broken the code of youth in my head
I’m shiny, I’m laughing, happy, and I’m dead
I’ve broken the code of youth in my head
I’m shining, laughing, happy, dead
I’ve broken the cult of youth in my head

Teenage Lightning (10th Birthday Version)

John: “The energy given out when two teenagers are rubbed together.”

It will not harm you, it will not harm you
It’s only lightning, teenage lightning
Don’t, don’t be afraid
It’s only lightning, teenage lightning
It will not harm you

Don’t be afraid
It will not harm you
It’s only lightning, teenage lightning

Don’t be afraid
It will not harm you
It’s only lightning, it’s only lightning
It’s only lightning, it’s only lightning
Rrrehow!
Rrreh, ow!

Teenaged lightning
Don’t be afraid
It will not harm you
Teenage lightning
Teenage lightning
Ow!

John (after the song): “That’s an older one. Old electricity, aliet [sic] trickery.”
Female heckler: “Take your rags off!”
John: “What?”
Female heckler: “Take your rags off!”
John: “Take my rags off? Never! Never!”
Audience member: “Now!”

(I Can’t Get a Word in) Edgeways

John opens the song with a scream, and his loops proceed even after the backing audio tracks and the rest of the band stops.

I CAN’T GET A WORD IN! [repeated]
I CAN’T GET A WORD IN EDGEWAYS! [repeated]
AH, OH!

Everything’s falling down
Everything’s falling down

Audience member: “I can’t get a train to edgewhere [sic]!”

Wraiths and Strays

I will follow and shoot
I will follow and shoot!
Shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot!
Shoot!

John (after the song): “Low it about normal, low it about normal, low it about normal, low it about normal, low it about normal. We lower it about normal, lower it about normal, low it about normal, low it about normal.”
Female heckler: “Yes! Fucking die!”
John: “Huh?”
Female heckler: “Go and fucking die, yeah?”
Various audience members: “Boo! Fuck you!”
John (softly): “Haha…You don’t want me dead. I’m always dead. If you kill me, I’ll have to live forever. Do that.”
Audience member: “Take your rags off.”
Audience member: “Louder!”

Black Antlers (Where’s Your Child?)

The band launches into a jam that sounds like the original version of “The Gimp/Sometimes” from the 2002-06-07 Den Haag gig, given the phaser on Cliff’s hurdy-gurdy before the song begins proper.

Low it about normal, low it about normal, low it about normal, low it about normal
And each day to the steps, a simple horse
The little old birdie comes
Feed the birds
Tuppence a bag, tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag
“Feed the bird,” that’s what she says
Tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag
“Feed the birds,” that’s what she says
What…a little bird’s stop.
Feed the birds, oh, feed the birds
Feed the birds
Of all things (?), feed the birds
Feed the birds, feed the birds
Feed the worms, feed the worms
Tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag a little

In your dreams, you shall ride, while your mommy watches over
In your dreams, in your dreams, you shall ride, ah!
While your mommy watches over, while your mommy watches over
While your mummy watches over. While your mummy, mum, mummy watches over

Will she be better, will she be the best (?), will she be the belle (?), will she be the best, in your dreams (repeated)…
In a meadow, in a meadow, lies a poor, little lamby
Lies a poor, little lamby
Lies a poor, little lamby, oh
Lies a poor, little, no, lamby, lies a poor little lamby, yow!

Some of these lyrics are repeated from “All the Pretty Little Horses.” It’s possible John blew out his voice on “(I Can’t Get a Word in) Edgeways” and eased back a little for this song.

John’s closing words: “Selvaggina, go fucking to the woods! Thank you, thank you, thank you for coming, uh, you made us tonight feel our largest (?), my goodness. Thank you, we were Coil. Until the next time, goodnight.”

Line-up

John Balance – vocals, egg cutter/mini-harp on “The Gimp (Sometimes)”
Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson – Ableton sequence, video projections, Clavia Nord Modular Synthesizer, Speak & Spell on “Black Antlers (Where’s Your Child?)”
Thighpaulsandra – Fenix Synthesizer, Clavia Nord Modular Synthesizer, Kurzweil Synthesizer, Electro-Harmonix on John’s vocals (with 16-second delay, modified by Kanwal Dulay), Nord Modular patch on “(I Can’t Get a Word In) Edgeways”
Tom Edwards – marimba
Cliff Stapleton – hurdy-gurdy

This was Tom Edwards’ last concert with Coil ever.

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

London Hackney Ocean
270 Mare Street,
Hackney
London
E8 1HE
England

Gallery

Attendee Recollections

Davide Gostoli attended this show and remembers that there was a sexual element to the show, with some gay men fooling around during the performance. “Seen all the London gigs, talked to John many times (also by email) and occasionally I talked to Peter, Ossian, Thighs and other collaborators. I loved each and every show, always different, always intense. Favourite one? Probably the ‘Ocean’, because of the set of songs. That night I was invited by John to their after party in Hoxton and I still regret not going now (thanks to my boyfriend that wanted to go home and consequently putting me in a ‘me or them’ position!! )…I could have killed him! He was kind of tired with my fixation with Coil…”

Terv Terran attended this gig. He remembers: “The last time I saw Coil, something was clearly wrong. For the first time ever (for me, at least – I have spoken to other people who enjoyed the gig very much) there was little or no magic. Maybe it was just an off-day, but the performance at the Hackney Ocean (now closed) in 2004 honestly felt like a death of some kind. What goes up must come down, I suppose.”

Robin Rimbaud attended this gig and says, “I remember so vividly looking through them and thinking to myself, I wonder what will happen to these one day. Too many memories of that night. I remember it was the first time (as a vegetarian) that I ate Quorn Fake Meat as we all did backstage…Distressingly conversations with Geff became increasingly difficult with his drinking issues and the last time I saw him was at the final Coil show in London at Ocean. Sleazy had invited my band Githead to perform as support for them. Utterly incongruous to the mood of the evening, my alternative pop guitar group with Colin Newman of Wire was a lightheaded musical venture, completely at odds with the evening, but Sleazy argued that it would be perfect!! I remember wandering around backstage and talking with everyone, and then as Coil performed live wandered into their dressing room and finding books of lyrics and notes from Geff littered over the sofa and table in their room.”

Angakok Thoth attended this gig. He remembers: “it was bit worse @ ocean/london, because the club closed like 10-15 minutes after the concert ended. so there was a crowd of tripping people in front of the club for quite a while…always took some to get back on the earth”

RileyElFunk, who attended this gig, remembers: “The Ocean was the venue with the worst sound. I think it just had shitty acoustics. The gig was great, but it didn’t take you right out of it, the way the better venues did.”

Jeff Watkins attended this gig and remembers: “I was lucky enough to be at the Ocean gig in Hackney and the final Dublin gig. At the former, somebody heckled “just die” or something at Jhonn and he replied “If I died now, I’d have to live forever”. I bumped into Jhonn at the Dublin gig in the gents. We ended up having an email conversation and one day he stopped responding. I thought he’d just gotten bored, but no, he’d died.”

Darius Akashic recorded AUD #1 and remembers: “I only got to the ocean gig but did manage to record the aud#1 file listed on your website X unofficially known as the ‘Bon Jovi bootleg’ as around the halfway point some wit in the crowd noticed my long bleached hair and lack of gothic uniform and asked if I’d come to see bon Jovi… The gig was the most intense, visceral experience I had had in a long time, literally rooting me to the spot for it’s duration X jhonn looked like a cross between Henry VIII andan inmate of a Victorian asylum X humbling and mind blowing x”

Paul Morton attended this gig and remembers: “at the Ocean gig, whilst queuing to get in, saw Sleazy leave the front entrance and walk around the block, looking for somewhere to buy batteries for his Speak&Spell…vaguely remember the bomb party…..support at the gig i saw was Webcore ( imagine Dr And The Medics on very bad acid)…there’s not much to say about the Ocean gig, I watched it from the back as it was so busy…met several other Coil fans from around the world, had a thoroughly good time….didn’t meet the band or anything, nothing interesting…that was the gig where I spilt Guinness all over Deerhunters white shirt !”

Pete Greening attended this gig and remembers: “I liked the Ocean gig. That Ilfed bloke smoked some of my home grown and nearly passed out. Wendy was there from the Slodge as well, and Zos the Goat Herd with a friend. When i have time i’ll see if i can find any other stuff about it.”

Author Nick Soulsby attended this concert and remembers: “I saw the COIL show at Ocean in Hackney, London. My best friend was meant to come with me but called me literally as I was leaving to go to the show to tell me he’d broken up with his girlfriend and wasn’t going to make it. I got to the show and was kinda delighted to be alone so I didn’t have to worry about anyone else. I essentially hugged the front barrier in front of the stage and didn’t move from there from the time I arrived there until the show was over. I was pretty well hypnotized through the whole show – that close up the acoustics don’t really play a part, it’s the presence of someone dancing and jigging right a short distance in front of you, following every movement on stage, and the loudness over the top. In terms of memories, wish I had more. I remember Balance telling this rather terrifying tale about his father dangling him off the edge of a dam in Germany that was hit during the dam-buster raids of world war two – it’s obviously stuck with me because I can see the image of a young crying boy being held out over water in my head every time I think of that gig. He was wearing what I remember as an old school straitjacket for mental patients, the back was open so I had repeated and intimate views of his ass during the show. I remember the long funnels of fabric above Christopherson and Thighpaulsandra and the light-bulbs high up allowing them to see (and giving them something to play with).”

Robin Rimbaud played at this show and remembers: “Distressingly conversations with Geff became increasingly difficult with his drinking issues and the last time I saw him was at the final Coil show in London at Ocean. Sleazy had invited my band Githead to perform as support for them. Utterly incongruous to the mood of the evening, my alternative pop guitar group with Colin Newman of Wire was a lightheaded musical venture, completely at odds with the evening, but Sleazy argued that it would be perfect!! I remember wandering around backstage and talking with everyone, and then as Coil performed live wandered into their dressing room and finding books of lyrics and notes from Geff littered over the sofa and table in their room.”

Known Recordings

Tapes owners/taper:
AUD #1 – Darius Akashic.
AUD #2 – Anders Bruskeland.
SBD #1 – Tim Sutherland.
AMT #1 – Davide Gostoli.

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