Here are some thoughts I wrote down after Glitchpuke’s first gig, in the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, which forced me to question whether we’re as “subversive” as we thought…
The gig organiser had a particular concept: we should stop playing music and freeze anytime someone walked into the room. (It was an open day for the school so parents and students were walking around, inspecting crafted objects on display.) From the start we had a problem with this. We tried to negotiate a variation that would let us actually play for people. In the end we used our own variation of the concept (playing really quietly when people walked in) and sometimes just ignored it.
The organiser told us that we’d failed to follow instructions.
Here’s what I concluded:
1) Despite our goal to be an unconventional band, we couldn’t help being stereotypical (conventional) musicians: taking long smoke breaks, talking amongst ourselves between numbers, and hamming up our playing for pretty girls.
2) Despite our goal to be artistically open-minded, we weren’t able to deal with an artistic vision that denied us audience interaction.
3) It was disturbingly easy for us not to take the organiser seriously, because we were guys and she was a young girl. Afterwards, I wondered if we had shown the kind of sexism that Björk pointed out recently in her Pitchfork interview: men not granting artistic autonomy to women.
So, this gig was musically very satisfying, but in terms of what we stand for, it was also a reality check.
Looking forward to the next one!