Electric Picnic 2011 - James Chance & Les Contortions
Cosby Stage, Saturday 3rd September, 10.15pm
Describe in a Tweet: Anything could happen!
What happened: The 70s No Wave legend has well and truly returned to performing, but there's a distinct Brian Wilson-esque appearance as he sits behind his Korg organ and makes little eye contact with the crowd. But once he gets up, Chance shows that despite the many intervening years, he can still scream, shout, go crazy on that saxophone and move! His strange shuffle/spasm/moonwalk/swimming moves are captivating, though they force him to repeatedly tug at his belt to keep his 'slacks' up. The music is still aggressive, the band perform the mix of no wave, punk and free form jazz flawlessly, but everybody's eyes are on the main man with his eccentric and unhinged performance. There's a distinct change in the crowd as many of the confused casual punters are replaced by enthralled fans dancing to the likes of Contort Yourself, King Heroin and doing, as Chance called it, "a brand new dance" to the Splurge. Chaotic performance, that perhaps is a little less easy for Chance these days, but he still gives it his all.
Swoon: Best front man here this weekend?
Funeral: It just makes us wish we'd seen him 20 years ago.
EP rating: 8/10