Northampton: Electrickal Seances at the Legendary Labour Club
Nottingham: Mute Synth workshops at Antenna
Northampton: Syzygy Live Cinema Sessions at The Victoria Inn
There’s a creative quarter of Northampton where things are bubbling, buzzing on the down-low up in the Northern Territories. We’ve got the Royal and Derngate, the Museum and Number Nine Gallery down at the bottom of the hill but this is in the back streets up by the Racecourse, a full 20 feet higher above sea level – a cluster of small pubs and artists studios watched over by the brooding presence of Northampton’s famous Lift Tower. Writer Alistair Fruish tells me we’re the highest thing between here and the Russian Steppes! Why would he lie?
Bang in the centre of this is Northampton’s legendary Labour Club. We’ve been planning to do something there for a while, so this year we set up a regular Collider slot on the first Tuesday of every month. We begin with a season of Electrickal Séances – raising the spirits of light, sound and energy from the aethyr of the imagination.
Our first Séance brought Disinformation (Joe Banks) and Strange Attractor (Mark Pilkington) up to town to give a presentation on audio illusions, a Q&A session to give insights into their artistic practice, a practical and participatory demonstration of Edwardian electrical instruments featuring casual electrocution and a live performance in absolute darkness of their Circuit Blasting project.
On a cold Tuesday evening in March? In a dark backstreet in Northampton’s Northern Territories? What on earth were we thinking?
Sadly, we had to turn people away at the door. Writers Steve Loveless, Alistair Fruish and Jamie Delano rocked up along with artists, filmmakers, musicians and aficionados of the obscure and the outlandish. We’ve got four further Electrickal Séances to come at the Legendary Labour Club beginning May 7th.
On March 22nd we ran another Collider artists’ skill-sharing project up at our Antenna base in Nottingham. Work with Dirty Electronics to build your own synth in only four hours? How is it possible? And for only £35! I just can’t make this value add up! Despite the snow, we had a full house and interest from Newcastle and Northampton to run further sessions.
Back over in Northampton’s Northern Territories, fast becoming our spiritual home, we teamed up with Paul Williams’ Burning Bridges project at the Victoria Inn for The Syzygy Live Cinema Sessions – every Friday in March. Threshold’s moving image artists worked with a range of audio artists including Mrs Pilgrimm and shortwaveband to create five performances of cross-sensory experience.
It gave us the opportunity to work with some new faces, new ideas, try out some new equipment and experiment live in front of an audience who might not normally get to see this kind of audio visual art. We’ve learned a lot from working together and we now aim to collaborate on something of a larger scale – more details to follow…
– Barry Hale, lost in Northampton’s Northern Territories, March 2013
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– Joe Banks’ Rorschach Audio featured on Radio 4: Out of the Ordinary 25th March
– Mark Pilkington performing at the Royal Academy in April
– Seattle artist Dr Bret Battey confirmed for Tuesday May 7th’s Collider at the Labour club
– Syzygy Live Cinema show with shortwaveband – May 5th, at Northampton’s Holy Sepulchre Church