Picture this: a blacksmith’s forge, weird ass metal sculptures, low dingy lighting, and a post-industrial apocalyptic vibe. An old truck is parked in the middle of the space, surrounded by old tractors, forklifts, and various odds and sods. Mr Cat and the Jackal are set up on the back of the truck – a thinned down line-up but an array of fascinating (and sometimes handmade) instruments.
There’s a fair crowd in – expectant, excited.
Oskar barks the opening from Kardiavale, which is a flop as a welcome – all the freaks have bailed on him. The audience doesn’t want to play along. The situation is dire. Then Onni brings his attention to the band, and they step forward and save his skin, and the show itself, launching into songs mostly from Sins and Siren Songs, though some older material like “Fresh Meat” also comes out of the freezer.
It’s swampy, sexy, dirty, bluesy time as the band cavort through their repertoire with obvious delight and gusto. They’re tight and range from laid back casual banter to full on devil’s percussion. These are guys on a mission. And they are taking the crowd soul by soul.
Like Tom Waits, they say Mr Cat ain’t for everyone…but you wouldn’t think so tonight. People are getting down and soaking up the atmosphere and the sad, bad, weird, and wacky tales dripping off the back of the truck.
And Oskar and Onni have the best seats in the house – in the wings (behind the bonnet of the truck), and their own little jam party. They jol through “Try” – a bittersweet love song, where they re-enact the story of Kardiavale in under 4 minutes. (Oskar thinks it’s a much more satisfying ending to the story – this time he rips Onni’s heart out triumphantly…), they set up visuals for “Floods I and II” – the fan/confetti trick to show the storm goes down a…er…storm. They do a quick unplanned for drive-by to “Where’s my Shoes”. And then take on the Protection of Information Bill on “Mothertongue” (including a wild chase around stage with a proliferation of scissors/ garden shears/clippers trying to get at each other’s tongue while the band breaks into all too ominous revelry behind them. (We apologise to the lady who nearly got stabbed by Onni enthusiastically throwing her scissors to the crowd in wild glee. Hope that recovers soon.)
It’s a jol, a lag, a riot…sweaty and happy, the crowd denies the following DJ and calls Mr Cat back for an extended encore.
All in all, a great way to end the year for the Conspiracy – we always wanted the band for Kardiavale, but would never have afforded them. But finally, finally, our dream has came true.
Thanks to all who came out to play with us – you guys rock. Keep ‘em peeled for maybe one last Conspiracy thrash: a send off to 2011, and a toasting of 2012 that will have a whole bunch more conspiratorial magic to it. Ssh!
And big ups and love to Mr Cat and the Jackal – here’s their latest vid for “Try”, presently kicking ass on MKTV. Hells yeah.