Thursday, March 29, 2012

Concert Review: Damo Suzuki, March 22, 2012 - West End Cultural Centre, Winnipeg, Canada

Damo Suzuki with with Sound Carriers Greg Hanec, Chris “Mama” Bauer, Jay Taylor, Rob Menard, March 22, 2012, West End Cultural Centre.

Suzuki (1950) joined the German experimental rock group Can in 1970 after he was discovered while busking on the street. He was with them for about four years, recording some of their best known albums. It has been said that without Can, there would be no Radiohead.

Playing with three local musicians,multi-instrumentalist Greg Hanec, drummer Chris Bauer and bassist Jay Taylor, Suzuki's show at the West End Cultural Centre featured only two "songs," each one about an hour long. Each song varied greatly in tempo from slow to midtempo to fast, all wrapped up in endless improvised jamming. It was at times, psychedelic and that feeling was enhanced by the video footage on the screen behind the group, of the group, which sometimes showed the video footage of the group, and so on.

I found the show refreshingly original, the perfect antidote to mainstream music, which is pretty much every other style of music compared to what this group.

The Artistic Director of the West End Cultural Centre had to walk out in front of the stage at the 1 hour mark, in order to signal to the group to wind down the first set, otherwise, as he told me later, they would have played a lot longer. Suzuki often plays for two hours straight and sometimes his shows go on for over four hours.

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