Thursday, 13 October 2011
055 - Gayngs
- read before listening -
When it comes to music, we tend to hear things first before we see them, as generally we go to gigs more on the back of being familiar with an artist than a whim. Even in these informatic times, this hear/see order means that we are unaware of how an artist looks, for a little while at least. Like meeting someone you've only talked to on the telephone, filling in the visual blank can often prove surprising, illuminating, even disappointing. In this way, the point at which we are exposed to a song's visual counterpart plays a formative role in our interpretation of the song itself, aside from simply how the artist's 'image' relates to their sound.
Supposedly, the whole of Gayng's first album has 69 Beats Per Minute. I haven't checked but the rumour makes sense, for if there were a direct visual equivalent to Relayted it'd be a softly-erotic film like they were only capable of making in the Eighties. In The Gaudy Side of Town, airy vocals (ooh's included) plus sexy sax equals overt raunch without the dirty parts. Simply heard first there's a sincerity to it, reflected in the fact that despite wearing its influence on its sleeve, the track sounds genuine and modern.
Yet this performance from their first gig reveals the quiet joke this band of over twenty musicians are having with Gayngs: Lots of men wearing white suits, harmonizing - in 2010. Probably the most famous member of the outfit is unexpectedly moving with a broken rhythm (I can only hope he doesn't apply elsewhere), whilst at the same time crooning through a vocoder, raising his fist in the air intermittently and... wearing sunglasses. Instead of sounding heartfelt, it appears ironic.
Now, I can't work out whether it's better to hear the song as intended on record first before watching this disenchanting performance or vice versa... So I thought I'd let you decide, should you be inclined to experience both. I'd be intrigued to know how your experience of one shaped that of the other.