UNCLEAN…Psychic TV – Manchester Ritz – 1983: The debut performance
Fuck what the world thinks about our sound, fuck what the world thinks about our gender, fuck what the world thinks about our gear – these ideas have been magnified by Psychic TV. I see this band as a gateway to the idea that music and art can be an expression of self. I view this band as a creative nation unto itself, where special humans have unified to make stellar audio art. Genesis P-Orridge is a being that sees reality through a different lens from the rest of the world. I know experimental music today would not be what it is without Psychic TV laying the foundation for it. More than just music, this collective also changed the way we experienced art in the 80’s & 90’s by mixing performance art into their stage shows. Their heavy use of symbolism and their general aesthetic have inspired a lot of experimental bands since. Psychic TV made me realize at an early age that it was ok to wave my freak flag high. Today CVLT Nation would like to celebrate this genre-bending band with by showing their 1983 performance at the Ritz in Manchester.
Below is a review from Steve of the Muh Mur blog who was there on the night. Thanking him in advance.
Psychic TV live at The Ritz in Manchester, 6th of November 1983, the first Psychic TV live gig…
“It was a rainy day in Manchester”.
Probably was, I can’t remember…I can remember a lot about this night, this unforgettable night. I travelled from Lincoln via Hulme to get to The Ritz. Sean (my Dark Companion) and I were first there.
The demonstrators were just setting up, getting their chants and placards ready .. probably waiting for the coaches from London, but Sean and I just flashed our tickets to the lady on the door and walked in.
Members of Psychic TV were sat across two tables drinking cans of Carling Black Label (white tins with a black stripe back then … always reminded me of the Crystal Palace away strip, but I digress). A passing smile and nod and we headed straight to the bar.
Originally the first ever Psychic TV live gig should have been at Prestwich Mental Hospital with Nico as support, but local council complaints meant it was hastily moved to a nightclub just off the Oxford Road. With my warm pint of lager in a plastic pint pot in hand I spent the evening front centre. The stage makes a good table and the monitors a great place to throw the coat. No Nico at The Ritz.
Looped footage of Jim Jones in action on a makeshift screen stage right. The place slowly filled, the coaches from London arrived. Members of Test Department came to check the on stage equipment. Anticipation. There was a strange climbing frame on the stage, Genesis used it during the performance.
“Don’t Forget Ken, Make It Hurt”. I have never forgotten those words… The performance is magnificent. It hits a lull in the middle, and if I remember rightly this was down to failing equipment. Gen’s bass guitar and Sleazy’s Emulator…but the power of the performance of the material is still quite stunning. “Roman P” and “Oi You Skinhead” shine. During “Oi You Skinhead” Gen leapt from the stage and started accosting the audience. Frightening moment. Do you remember going to gigs and being scared, scared of the performance and the unknown? Great days.
There are Genesis’s stream of conscience poetry bits that are a little cringeworthy. Moments where he tries to embarrass John Gosling for wearing a leather skirt and rambling on about straining “for a poo”….
Alex Fergusson’s sub Velvets guitar meanderings in the background…but these moments pass and the power builds, ends with a cracking “Unclean” into “In The Nursery”.
After The Ritz I must have seen Psychic TV a dozen or more times (not quite 23 though) and they always did great / powerful performances in Manchester.
I would love to hear (crystal clear) recordings of the Guy Fawkes gig at The Hacienda in 1984 and when they appeared at The Royal Northern College Of Music a year later.
Thank You Dad.
via Dangerous Minds