The Null Device


This afternoon, I made my way down to the Fitzroy swimming pool. Why, you ask? No, not to do a few invigorating laps of the pool, nor because of any sort of aesthetic liking of the smell of chlorine and the sounds of children running around and splashing, but because today was Rockpool, the annual daytime-concert-at-the-pool event. No major international artists, but local acts (like B(if)tek and Architecture in Helsinki) came along to give something back to the community.

In particular, I showed up just in time to see the Ninetynine set; the first one of the year, I believe, and the first time I had seen them since London. The sounds wasn't ideal, but the energy was there and it rocked. (Incidentally, they seemed to rely on a MiniDisc for a lot of the rhythm loops; perhaps they're running out of Casiotone keyboards or something?) They did a new song, with Amy singing; it sounded a little New Orderesque, at least to my ears. (Occasionally I wonder just how much they were influenced by New Order/Joy Division; that and the guitarwork on Woekenender and Laura's lyrics sounding just a tad Barneyesque in places.) Anyway, they rocked.

The audience was full of pale indie types who don't usually go in the sun; some were looking a tad awkward in bathing costumes, others came wearing band T-shirts and shorts and such. (I was the guy in the Gentle Waves T-shirt and brown cords, looking rather out of place in the sun.)

There are 11 comments on "99/2003/1":

Posted by: Fake Ben http:// Sun Feb 23 23:08:45 2003

They are Casio beats - they're just on minidisc because it's easier that way!

Posted by: acb Mon Feb 24 01:49:05 2003

I know, and could probably name the keyboards they came from. Just that they have usually only used the MD for the VL-1 loop from Woekenender and gotten the other beats live.

I was wondering whether the sudden reliance on MiniDiscs had aught to do with them having left a broken MT-40 in London.

Posted by: Ben http:// Mon Feb 24 03:30:51 2003

They were using both loops off MD before the tour at the CD launch.

I know this because I had to operate the damn thing.

Posted by: Graham Mon Feb 24 07:51:48 2003

Well, I guess New Order made it OK to have a lead singer who can't sing in tune.

Posted by: acb Mon Feb 24 08:06:19 2003

New Order? Don't you mean the numerous "this is an A, this is a D, this is an E, now start a band" punk bands of the late 70s? (Aside: when you think about it, Casio keyboards are quite punk.)

Anyway, I was referring more to some of Laura's lyrics having the same sort of cryptic quality as some of Bernard Sumner's (pre-Prozac) lyrics.

Posted by: yak sox Mon Feb 24 10:01:40 2003

I wanted to go to that but there was something else on here. I've heard B(if)Tek have a new album coming out in April and they probably would've played stuff from it there.

Posted by: Graham Mon Feb 24 11:40:46 2003

"This is the arpeggio key, now start a band..."

Posted by: Graham Mon Feb 24 11:44:23 2003

Cords. *shakes head* I know you were wearing them when I was down last, I'd just thought you'd gotten over that stage...

Posted by: acb Mon Feb 24 12:32:36 2003

Actually, you haven't seen them. I picked these up at Portobello Rd. Market in London.

Anyway, the only musical act I've heard of using the automatic accompaniment functions of a keyboard (as opposed to the drum loops, which is what Ninetynine et al. use) is Wesley Willis. Mind you, Wesley Willis is more punk than fuck. (Incidentally, he uses a Solton Ketron, whatever that is.)

Posted by: Graham Mon Feb 24 13:27:27 2003

Oh, and Margarita Pracatan.

Posted by: deej http:// Tue Feb 25 07:06:42 2003


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