Missing much of Mook and Papernut Cambridge, I arrived in time for the band that most strongly drew me to this session of Daylight Music at the Union Chapel. Ex-Easter Island Head began in an almost ritual manner, an invocation of sorts; four guitars laid upon tables, struck with mallets and resounding, appropriately given the venue, like great electric church bells. A complicated rhythm was conjured: cow bells and drums, beats, chimes and klangs entwined in an ever-thickening spiral; spinning and sucking, the undertow of repetition becoming hypnotic; loops within loops within loops; all human-derived and played. This was machine-like in process but full of hand-crafted brain-sculpted beauty; a half-hour of magic. A mid-section saw all three band members rubbing the guitar strings into shivering choirs of undulating noise. The final third built to a thrilling motoric coda; the sudden end felt wrenching and cruel; the cheers that immediately filled the venue were not, the band appearing moved by the long and grateful applause. The show was performed with light pouring down upon the pews; the band adding further illumination in the minds of those observing their unforgettable performance.
Daylight Music is a donation-only weekly event taking place every Saturday in Islington, London. Profits from the cafe go to the Margins Homelessness Project which provides vital services to those facing isolation and personal crisis.
Information about Daylight Music and listings can be found here. Please visit here to read about the cause that this brilliant event supports.
For a full video of Ex-Easter Island Head’s performance, see the below YouTube video, filmed by Andre Vicente.