Monday, July 11, 2016

Show preview: Swans at St. Andrews tomorrow, July 12

Posted By on Mon, Jul 11, 2016 at 12:53 PM

  • Michael Gira of Swans by Howard Forbes.
Did you know that iconic avant-rock ensemble the Swans are playing St. Andrews Hall tomorrow night, Tues. July 12? It's true, and the band's shows are legendarily epic. Tickets are still available, and will set you back $20.

I first saw them myself at CBGB in 1986, back when their records sounded like the dirgiest Black Sabbath 45 played at 33 1/3, and in a live setting, their cathartic delivery was Otto Muehl/Hermann Nitsch levels of "holy fuck." Of course, it gets tough to sustain absolute caterwauling for decades, so leader Michael Gira and the band morphed themselves into a delicate and strange ensemble composed of a revolving cast of some of the finest out-there musicians in the New York City area. 

There is extra urgency in this performance, as this tour puts to rest the current lineup. The band's playing material from their newest album, The Glowing Man, plus selected tracks from their lengthy discography and likely an unexpected cover or two.

In talking about his experiences with Swans these past six years Gira says that “On a few occasions – particularly in live performance – it’s been my privilege, through our collective efforts, to just barely grasp something of the infinite in the sound and experience generated by a force that is definitely greater than all of us combined. When talking with audience members after the shows or through later correspondence, it’s also been a true privilege to discover they’ve experienced something like this too.”

The touring line-up is: Michael Gira - guitar, voice (original Swans); Norman Westberg - guitar (original Swans); Christoph Hahn - guitar (mid period Swans and most Angels Of Light); Phil Puleo - drums, percussion, dulcimer etc etc (final Swans tour and most Angels); Chris Pravdica - bass and gadgets (Flux Information Sciences / Services/ Gunga Din); Paul Wallfisch - piano, organ, and Mellotron ( Botannica / Ministry of Wolves / Little Annie). 

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