Wednesday, 20 April 2016

lle-chi, 20th April 2016

mesmerising, raw in emotion, time unravelled as I watched unawares of its passing of a procession of songs, tunes, aerial dance, videos, monologues, poems, a choir and at the heart of it all 9Bach, a Welsh band of larger than local renown framed and extolling a tale of a place and a stone, the blood and the bone, the deeply-grooved accents of home, a place... your place... "lle-chi"........ a palette of slate, voice of haunting affection, the lost and the found, the good and the ugly enmeshed into just how it is, how it was, where they were and where they are..... "Llechi", a performance entirely in Welsh but for a bilingual street poem extolling a passion for a slate town in North Wales, Bethesda... and slate was the theme, is the theme, is the English for "llechi" as aerial dancers extracted a story from music and words sung by the band who morphed from acoustic through ambient folk tales and atmosphere rock, to prog rock, classic rock, melodic, distorting, lilting slithers of melancholy... if this was any rock at all it was 'slate rock!'.... hewn from the grey of the quarries circle and stalk round the edges of town as they will for who knows and have for a long upon a time...... pictures were painted, slate we splintered, scratched upon, split, even drowned and ground down through history til now where the visceral strains of a male voice choirs, dozens of men mining sounds from a time that was other than now and overhead dancers defying the air expressing the interwove tale down below that flowed with a power of a Welsh mountain stream as it sever the clefts in deafening tones through the eyes and the ears of those of us held and transfixed by a gig that was more a performance, an event, an expression of people sculpted and scored from the landscape.

© robert greig

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