I recently attended a live performance event at Islington Mill, Salford. The night saw 2001 Turner Prize-Winner, Martin Creed (and band) preform a live set of frequently politically charred songs such as “Left is the direction that love is in” and “Fuck Off”, songs for Jeremy Corbyn and David Cameron respectively, interspersed with far more personal songs about friends, family and his inability to say no to his own mother.
“Creed’s visual art has often embraced sonic elements, such as the 1998 installation Work No. 189: thirty-nine metronomes beating time, one at every speed and 2009’s Work No. 1020 — a ballet, no less. Music, he believes, is a medium that offers something that art alone does not. As a glance at the biographies of John Lennon, Syd Barrett, Pete Townshend, Brian Eno, David Byrne et al will confirm, groundbreaking pop musicians have for decades cut their creative teeth in the world of visual art.
“I got into the music because the visual work wasn’t enough… you hear things as well as see them… I like that you can make music in your head and carry it around with you. You’re freer. You’re not tied down by the burden of physical objects.” (MARTIN CREED / Dub vampire / moderate realism / sally Gilford, 2016).
Creed’s songs were, even at their most confrontational, warm and inviting; attracting a large audience who lapped up every song Creed could throw at them – the atmosphere helped possibly by the shiny gold pillars in the event space!
I enjoyed Creed’s performance immensely, witty songs were broken up with annecdotes and stories that carried on the performative element of Creed’s work – annecdotes that might not appear of coherant thought if told outside of this setting. The entire band were outstanding, incredibly tight and obviously well versed in their roles.
The opening act for Creed was Dub Vampire; hailing from Salford and fronted by Brian Turner, Dub Vampire invited the audience to question the current political, social and technologically dependant climate we find ourselves in with Turner’s assertive, smokey vocals piercing through and commanding our attention. The set began as a solo act with band members gradually joining in to build up their impact.
Vocally Turner was complimented on stage with a young lady by the name of Trix, who provided backing vocals. Whilst it was impossible to fault their on stage chemistry their differing vocal styles did, at times, seem to jar with each other – Turner’s gravelly voice set against silky-smooth tones of Trix. In many ways this jarring gave greater impact on the messages that Dub Vampire want to convey.
Moderate Realism / Sally Gilford
“Sally is currently working in collaboration with scientists from The Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell-Matrix Research based in Manchester, England, making work in response to their bio images. These particular scientists are interested in the ageing process and how changes in cells and ageing contributes to a wide range of common diseases such as arthritis and cancer” (Gilford, 2016).
Gilford’s work was in compliment to the accompanying work by Moderate Realism which allowed one artists work to seamlessly blend into the other.
Gilford, S. (2016) Sally Gilford. Available at: http://sallygilford.com/about-2/ (Accessed: 12 August 2016).
MARTIN CREED / Dub vampire / moderate realism / sally Gilford (2016) Available at: http://www.islingtonmill.com/events/martin-creed/ (Accessed: 12 August 2016).