Saturday 19th September 2015

The Telescopes


I’m gibbering, I’m jelly. Let me try and explain as lucidly as I can what just happened.

I’ve seen (as it were) a lot of different kinds of volume. From the time in 2004 when The Fire Engines and Franz Ferdinand blew out my left ear due to an unecessary excess of high-end to compensate for a horrible aircraft hanger venue, to the Mary Chain’s recent Psychocandy shows, everything washed out with a beautiful layer of sonic feedback, to seeing mb valentine 15 times. How about when A Place To Bury Strangers used to actually be really good and were numbingly loud, or 1349’s black metal blast beats cutting through all the other elements of the mix and pounding me in the throat with reverberation? I thought I’d seen, if not all, then most of the different possibilities of excess.

This was fucking ludicrous though. Frightening.

From that show back in 2004, I know I have to be more careful with my left ear than my right, which is why – some of you may have noticed – I’ll sometimes stand at certain angles when at shows to lever my left ear away from being directly blasted. I’ll also try and be on the right hand side of the barrier unless there’s a good reason to stand anywhere else (Sune Rose Wagner stands on the left side, by the way. Bugger). I take little bespoke precautions to make sure my hearing isn’t closer to being permanently compromised, but ultimately it’s a case of trusting what my senses are telling me. Those angles and preferences haven served me alright so far, and I don’t have tinnitus yet, touch wood.

One thing I’ve never had to do is spend half a show with my fingers in my ears. This was auditory onslaught tonight. It was dark, ominous, a raging elemental thing. It was like being swallowed by a schizophrenic mass of different tones and textures, all swirling around and constantly changing.

Half the audience left. I could see exactly why. For me this was something entirely new, something I haven’t experienced before, and that is an increasingly precious feeling. God bless The Telescopes. Each and every one.

Words by Ally Winford (behind Pendulum Man Concerts), reproduced (belatedly) here with his kind permission.  Cheers, Ally!