21.11.2003    Termite Club Festival, Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, England.

line-up: Dave Phillips, Joke Lanz, Daniel Löwenbrück

also playing: Merzbow, Emil Beaulieau, Ascension



A sense of anxiety hung over the first few people through the door of the Brudenell, for they knew that Masami Akita’s journey from the capital to Leeds was proving to be something of an ordeal. The original plan had been for him to attend a signing session and possible instore performance at the Small Note. Sadly due to a number of set backs this fell through. In the end he got to the venue for around 10pm. This being the case, Ascension and Schimpfluch’s set were slightly tainted with the concern that one of my heroes wouldn’t actually get to the venue in time. Maybe being at the Brudenell a good hour before they came on, seeing them soundcheck and go out for a takeaway and some booze dulled the impact for me, but Ascension were something of a let down…(…) Schimpfluch were astounding. Actually better than Merzbow, which I would not have expected to think. Their set was basically split into three separate performances. Dave Phillips, the first member up, was walked on to a stage stripped of all equipment bar Schimpfluch’s line of FX pedals, boxes, processors etc. With the lights down low, the atmosphere took on a darker hue as he proceded to shout and scream into his head-mic. Becoming ever manic, his screams grew more frantic as he threw himself at the equipment, looping, delaying, amplifying, distorting and generally fucking up his screams and shouts - like a kind of lycanthropic transformation. If noise as catharthism has any real argument, then this was a case in point. Still dark, but with a touch of humour, his bandmate, Joke Lanz aka Sudden Infant, effectively brought the baby doll obsessed artwork of Trevor Brown (Whitehouse, Venetian Snares) to life. With microphones and pick-ups buried in disfigured, naked toy dolls, he screamed into these and manipulated the results, adding bursts of pre-recorded harshtronics to create and build a sense of tension. The cajoling of Emil Beaulieau and fellow band mates from the audience added to the spectacle. Schimpfluch ended their set with a piece of performance art. Three rickety old chairs were placed on stage which the threepiece promptly sat on. Silence then reigned for a long few seconds. Only the hum and click of the amps, or so it seemed. When the clicks and cracks began to match the movements of the three seated Swiss, it was revealed that their chairs were actually covered in contact mics. Slowly building, Schimpfluch began to jump up and down ever more vigarously, every strike and hit sustained by the three chairs sending a barrage of noise from the speakers. Ending in true rock’n’roll style, they smashed up their chairs to soundtracks of amplified destruction. For me Schimpfluch stole the show. They were sonically much more dense and interesting than what Merzbow did, and were very entertaining/disturbing/funny to watch. (Schimpfluch-Gruppe, Sudden Infant, Dave Phillips - live at ’Termite Club 20th Anniversary Festival’ (with: Merzbow, Emil Bealieau, Ascension) at the Brudenell, Leeds, 21.11.2003

(Jamie Stephenson, Termite Club website)