Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti : Live in U.K.

<img src="" alt="Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti : Live" />Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti came to do an experiment in Liverpool. ...
Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti
Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti : Live

It was a fairly cold Wednesday night, November 7th, in Liverpool at The Kazimier.  The lighting was subtle and the atmosphere surreal – A perfect setting for the music of Ariel Pink.

An air of excitement and suspense hung as support act Geneva Jacuzzi (QRO photos) entered the stage in an Adam Ant style military costume.  Geneva’s face was painted ghostly white.  The performance was somewhere between David Lynch and Kenneth Anger films, mixed with 1980s New York performance art.

Arriving 20 minutes later than originally billed, the sound of Ariel Pink’s voice could be heard flowing through the venue’s speakers.  “This is an experiment” were his words.

The band casually took to the stage; five feet above them is a screen.  Behind the screen Ariel was being filmed using an old Hi-8 camcorder, giving the impression that he was performing the show via his bedroom.  He was standing sideways to the audience and was creating a silhouette.

The band launch into “Symphony of the Nymph” as Ariel soaked up performing live to the camera.  “I’m just a rock ‘n’ roller from Beverly Hills,” he sang, whilst weaving in and out of the fab four’s “Love Me Do”.

The audience’s eyes were captivated by the performance on screen, as a few tried to see what was going on behind it.  As he swung fairy lights around, creating visual effects, the grainy texture of the camcorder was a perfect backdrop for his music.  The band stormed through the first four songs.  Ariel became more and more animated and energetic; it seemed the experiment was paying off.

“Kinski Assassin” had Bowie-like phrasing and delivery, while the organ that drives the song was reminiscent of The Doors.  It also contained some of Ariel’s most amusing lyrics.

Ariel PInkInitial excitement of the visuals simmered down and sections of the audience became a little restless and shouted for him to come down to the stage, where he was greeted by cheers and applause.  Wearing a close fit leather jacket and sporting freshly cropped bleach blond haircut, he thanked the crowd for coming.  Ariel seemed in good spirits as he drank champagne straight from the bottle.

In came the sound of “Only In Dreams”, with its chiming guitar arpeggios, a delightful showcase of his knack for writing infectious pop songs.  The audience did shout requests for “Schnitzel Boogie”.  The majority of the material that night was from the latest two albums, and the more lo-fi period of songs were nowhere to be found (apart from at the merchandise table).

The band was incredibly tight, the sound quality in the venue good reaching and filling in all the spaces.  The drummer was especially impressive in how he fused the more synthetic side of the productions in to the live aspect.  Behind him was a Juno keyboard that took care of some of the key textures off the record.

The band breezed through the set with ease, with only one minor technical hitch with the monitors.  Ariel and the band treated the audience to a brilliant version of “Menopause Man” that glided along with its crablike bass line and odd time signature; this was the highlight of the night, song-wise.

The band wound down with the spacey “Nostradamus and Me”.  The haunting vocals saturated in reverb filled the venue, creating an atmosphere that at times evoked the more ambient side of Neu and Kraftwerk.  It was a very nice way to end the set and a great performance.

Set List

Ariel PinkSymphony of the Nymph
Is This the Best Spot
Kinski Assassin
Only In My Dreams
Farewell American
Among Dreams
Facts of Destiny
She’s My Girl
Pink Slime
Fright Night
Menopause Man
Nostradamus and Me
Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti

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