Sunday 27 April 2008

Carla Bozulich / Magik Markers


Tonight is an Upset The Rhythm night at Cargo. The evening is running late, which is going to cause difficulties later on. But spirits are high and I’m delighted to see Nikki Colk (ex-Kaito) in the crowd. This is generally a good sign because Nikki is a keen fan of the more experimental and interesting U.S. bands.

First up we get Evangelista, the latest incarnation of maverick singer Carla Bozulich. Her band play a fractured post rock and showcase the cello of Andrea Serapiglio. At first it seems as if Bozulich is going to content herself with sitting on the floor and picking at a guitar, but soon she is on her feet proclaiming like a prophet, while the band woozes psychedelically around her.

She is a mesmeric performer, and the room takes on the aspect of a bad acid trip back to 1968. The spectre of Patti Smith stalks the stage. Some of the songs are much shorter and punkier, but Bozulich always returns to a quasi-Biblical ranting style.

Next up are the band that I’ve really come to see – Magik Markers. Tonight they are a duo, mighty singer/guitarist Elisa Ambrogio and drummer Pete Nolan. They make a fine racket, but there is a sense of something wrong, something missing.

Ambrogio stops at one point and says that the band have just recovered from “dysentery”, apparently contracted in Portugal. Either way, they are not really at it tonight, aside from a fine version of “Last Of The Lemarch Line.”

As the clock approaches ten to eleven, with the stage set up for Old Time Relijun, but no sign of the band themselves, I decide to cut my losses and leave. A quick chat with the lovely Nikki indicates that she will soon be back in a band, which is the best news of a slightly weird night.

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