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Old 11.25.2019, 05:37 AM   #13
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I guess that must be Efrim. He mentions it as well on this interview, towards the end. It was either himself only, or A Silver Mt Zion backing up Patti.
I think I have a recording of it somewhere, if you're interested. Don't recall if it was this particular show that also featured Flea.

edit: found the description of this show on Dime's archives. Gues sthis is the night he's referring to:

Patti Smith and Guests
Ornette Coleman's Meltdown Festival
Royal Festival Hall, London, UK

01 - intro
02 - Piss Factory
03 - Wander I Go (*)
04 - The Blue Doll (*)
05 - Wing (*#)
06 - Eve Of All Saints (#)
07 - Babelfield (+)
08 - [chat]
09 - Hlalia ($)
10 - [chat]
11 - Wild Leaves (%)
12 - Wilderness (%)
13 - [chat]
14 - Nine (%)
15 - People Have The Power (%)
16 - [chat]
17 - Our Jargon Muffles the Drum (%)
18 - Improvisation - My Blakean Year (%)
19 - [applause]
20 - [Ornette Coleman]
21 - Pissing In A River (^)
22 - Ghost Dance (^)

Patti Smith with
Adrian Utley & Shiraz (*)
Jesse Smith (#)
Flea (+)
Bachir Attar and The Master Musicians of Joujouka ($)
The Silver Mt Zion Memorial Orchestra (%)
All Artists (^)

I recorded this, but when I listened back, it sounded very boomy. I tried compensating, but was never entirely happy. I put it to one side thinking somneone else must have a better recording - I was quite near the back of the venue - someone down the front would have got a better recording. Anyway, I don't remember another recording appearing, but I forgot about this one. Came across it recently and tried again. Did a few adjustments in Audition, and it doesn't sound bad at all. So there's a bit of eq on this, lowering the bass, and adding a bit of sparkle, then normalisation, and then a bit of volume boosting on the in-between song chit chat. I also removed some dead ait in-between songs, as different musicians were taking the stage.

When I find the time, I also have recording from Soap & Skin who opened for Patti, and Yo La Tengo.

Recorded & Mastered by Pike1957
Recorded from rear of hall using:
GM-Pro Mics/battery box ->
M-Audio Microtrack 2496 (24 bit, 48khz) ->
Adobe Audition 3.0 (eq, normalisation) ->
Audacity (volume levelling, track splits, resampling) ->
Flac (level 8, labbelled, 16bit, 44.1khz)

Review from the Guardian:

Patti Smith regards the audience in the Royal Festival Hall with an affectionate, rather maternal smile and sighs. "In the true spirit of Ornette Coleman high-pressure Meltdown," she announces, "I'll be joined by many people onstage tonight who I've never met."

Indeed, you could argue that Smith pretty much embodies the true spirit of the South Bank's Meltdown festival herself. It likes to encourage august artists to do something different and unpredictable, and august artists come no more unpredictable than the former high priestess of New York punk, as a rock magazine discovered some years ago, when it invited her to its awards ceremony and gave her a lifetime achievement gong, only to be rewarded with a lengthy acceptance speech about how ghastly she thought said rock magazine and its awards ceremony was.

Last time she performed at Meltdown, she eschewed a run-through of her back catalogue and instead shared the stage with Kevin Shields, mythic leader of the legendary ear-splitting alt-rockers My Bloody Valentine, which was something of an achievement in itself - Shields had apparently managed to squeeze her into his pressing schedule of doing as little as is humanly possible - but turned out to be one of 2005's most striking live performances.

Tonight is, if anything, even more unexpected. It starts with an unaccompanied reading of one of her greatest hits, Piss Factory, the thrillingly defiant poem that turned up on her 1974 debut single, but from that point goes fascinatingly off-road. Smith performs accompanied by a rotating cast of musicians, including Portishead's Adrian Utley providing gentle, abstract guitar textures and her pianist daughter Jessie playing along to a poem about her late father. You might expect Morocco's Master Musicians Of Joujouka to have seen it all (everyone from the Rolling Stones' Brian Jones to William Burroughs turned up in their village in the 1960s), but apparently not: rather endearingly, they look a bit bemused as Smith dances, shakes her fists, shouts about Pan, and unleashes a series of atonal blasts on her clarinet in response to their blaring Sufi trance music.

They are replaced by the improbable combination of Flea, bassist with stadium-packing Red Hot Chili Peppers, jamming with crisply-named Thee Silver Mt Zion Memorial Orchestra And Tra-La-La Band, who began as a spin-off from Canadian anarchist collective Godspeed You! Black Emperor.

Unlikely as it looks on paper, the latter combination works, providing a stirring accompaniment to Smith's poems and songs, heavy on the dramatic strings. By anyone's standards, a concert featuring traditional Morroccan musicians, one of Portishead, some Canadian anarchist post-rockers and a Red Hot Chili Pepper is wildly eclectic, and you watch it gripped to see who Smith is going to bring out next: Napalm Death? Cliff Richard? Susan Boyle?

It should be bafflingly disparate, but Smith holds the evening together through sheer force of charisma. At 63, she remains an utterly captivating figure, who exudes insouciant rock and roll cool while doing the most profoundly uncool things imaginable, including accompanying her poetry readings with what looks suspiciously like mime. "It's a rough gig, I'm tellin' ya," she smiles at one point, but she makes it look easy: the maverick spirit of Meltdown seems safe in her hands.
what comes first,
the music or the words?


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