Arthur's Pub Serves Up Concrete Soup

Saturday, 15 August 2015 Arthur's Pub :: [images + excerpt video below]

It had been a long time since I made it to a Concrete Soup session but tonight's dish bowled me over with more homegrown and international musical magic brought to us by ¡NO!  

As is customary at Concrete Soup, the night opened with a preliminary set by ¡NO!. A great set too. You never get the same from ¡No!, just the same top quality. Tonight, at one point, Fergus [guitars, soprano sax, clarinet, wind instruments] let loose a little tex-mex style riff, which was a favourite moment of mine.   

Joining ¡No! this evening was Japanese-born pianist Izumi Kimura and Dublin-born saxophonist Cathal Roche.

Izumi Kimura graduated from Toho University of Music, Tokyo and subsequently relocated to Ireland where has collaborated with many great musicians from the both classical and jazz/improvised music fields, from the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, Crash Ensemble, Ergodos, Michael d’Arcy, Bill Dowdall, Kenneth Edge, Ben Dwyer and Cora Venus Lunny to Ronan Guilfoyle, Benoît Delbecq, Stéphane Payen, and Sarah Buechi.

Kimura has played numerous festivals but for tonight, she performed with saxophonist, Cathal Roche in Arthur's candlelit upstairs venue.

Roche studied saxophone under Michael Buckley and Kevin Hanafin. Since leaving Dublin in 2002, he has developed a reputation as an innovative improvisor in Ireland and the UK.  Roche specialises in extended solo saxophone performance and has collaborated with improvisors Phil Minton, Clive Bell, Elaine Mitchener, and blackmetal vocalist Atilla Csihar to name but a few.

Roche and Kimura (who played the piano inside and out, literally) have performed together in the past but even while improvising, they finished and complimented each other's phrasing, like twins ending each other's sentences. Their set was pretty remarkable and as ¡No!'s LRC said at the end, it was the reason why nights such as these exist, to be part of something very special and unique. 

Power FM DJ Neilio Iglesias escorted us in and out of sets.

  • The next Concrete Soup takes place in The Wiley Fox on Thursday, 24th September and will see the trans-Atlantic experimental orchestra The Flowers of Hell (championed by Lou Reed, Kevin Shields and Sonic Boom) and noise artist Katie O'Neill join ¡No! on the night.
“....And as regards method, the improviser employs the oldest in music-making...Mankind's first musical performance couldn't have been anything other than a free improvisation." - Derek Bailey