Glitchin’ Accomplished

Well, I’m back from a week’s visit to Amsterdam. It was nice for Glitchpuke to be reunited again. We played two gigs and recorded in Studio -2 in the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, where our first album was laid down.

Our first gig was opening a jazz jam session in the awesome vegan non-profit eatery, De Peper. It’s a familiar spot to all of us in the band, and we were happy to be the house band for a night. However, we weren’t able to use the restaurant vibe/format to our advantage. Glitchpuke has always been about making unexpected use of situations. However, just like our gig at The Waterhouse, we found it tricky to be “the entertainment” on a stage. Audience expectations in this situation are so constrained. Afterwards, I thought we should have explicitly tried some audience interaction, or some very unusual way of playing. What actually happened was, we got into freak-out mode pretty fast, paid little attention to the crowd, and most patrons left.

During the jam session, myself and Sidney had great fun playing some hard swing. Playing more conventional grooves was one new area that we both enjoyed exploring during the week.

Our other gig was in the art/performance space Mixtree. This was more our bag – small stage, arty mood, and some lighting to create mystique. I liked the gig but Andrius and Sidney had reservations. With free music in particular, it can be very hard to agree on what’s a good or bad performance!

Our favourite Amsterdam cinematographer Kim “Bas Raad” was there to shoot some footage, so stay tuned for that.

Finally we went into the studio last Monday for the afternoon. I haven’t listened to it yet – gonna get fresh ears by waiting a while.

I think Glitchpuke found it tricky in general to work without the platform provided by studying in the conservatory (where we could work with teachers and consultants on music promotion & management). And encouragement was not the only thing I missed. When we were inside an institution, there was an obvious direction for “subversion”. That’s not so clear in the real world where attention is a scarce resource and freaky music can seem like a squandering of that resource. Then again, noise and experimental music is getting bigger and bigger right now.

My next goal for Glitchpuke is to bring the band to Ireland. There we’re hoping to be able to put in some solid rehearsal, do more recording, and get on some festivals.