2014 : Formless horizons

Formless Fields is not dead, it has only been sleeping.

Since my last post I’ve been adjusting to changes that have both limited opportunities to post and drained me of energy to put one word after another. Taking up extra hours at my place of employment (fine Fitzroy North watering hole The Pinnacle) and additional band booking roles have claimed much of my spare time. Such a precious, fleeting thing.

I’ve continued to keep an eye on my goal of releasing some tapes this year and I’ll have some news on that very soon. This post however will mainly concern my experiences in booking Monday nights at refurbished Fitzroy venue The Catfish, with a regular gig series we call Formless Mondays.

Booking bands is often challenging, sometimes frustrating, and always rewarding. The focus of the Formless Monday gigs is to provide a different live music experience for punters and performers alike, through longer set times and an emphasis on improvisation and collaboration. Sometimes this happens, sometimes it doesn’t, but always the gigs vary from the norm. What we’re trying to provide is an unpredictable series of gigs from each week to the next; gigs that are lively, challenging and stimulating. Gigs that reflect the great diversity of musical artists on Melbourne.

So far, so good, and below are samples from some of my favourite Formless Mondays thus far.

Vacant Lake and Purr

 

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Purr and Vacant Lake. Photo : Jade Cantwell

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Purr. Photo : Jade Cantwell


One of our best attended gigs that best captured the spirit of the night – Purr and Vacant Lake are brilliant musicians who wholly embraced the spirit of improvisation and collaboration. Fantastic visuals were provided by Mr Robbie Pitts.

Batpiss

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Mind melting jams from Collingwood kings. All in attendance had their insides goopified. A stunning psychedelic experience. Said it was one of their funnest sets. I believe them. I was there.

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Batpiss. Photos: Joshy Kenk

Ryan Edwards

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Ryan is one of my favourite local guitarists and it was wonderful to see him playing an extended improvised set before making some spectacular racket with Conatus.

Orbits

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An inspiring set of improvised drone and psychedelic soundscapes from three blokes I’ll be working with real soon, in some capacity. A large portion of this set was captured rather well by Orbits dude Warwick Smith:

Cool Soundscoolsounds1

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I didn’t know much about Cool Sounds before their gig but they put on a killer show. A tight band with a great psychedelic pop sound who have a lot of fun while they play. That’s important. Nice guys too. Also important.  Already booked more shows with them. A rough bootleg of one of their jams:

 

There’s been plenty of other fantastic shows but I don’t have photos or recordings of them all unfortunately! Thanks so much to all the bands that have played gigs and to the good folk of The Catfish for being so supportive. It’s a real thrill to become a more active participant in a music scene that I love so dearly. I hope that booking bands will continue to be one of the many things that I dabble in well into the future. Finally, our Formless Mondays for April:

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