❉ Electro duo Arthur and Martha reunited for a one-off show organised by The Electricity Club also featuring Plasmic and Rainland.
This weekend I attended TEC005, a musical extravaganza run by the highly popular website for all things synth, The Electricity Club in conjunction with Happy Robots Records. Headlining the trio of acts was Arthur and Martha, comprising Adam Cromwell (aka Rodney Cromwell and Alice Hubley, marking ten years since the release of their only album release, Navigation in 2009. They were ably supported by Plasmic (aka Lauren Lusardi), who was hot from supporting Marc Almond in LA at the Sex Cells event a few weeks ago, and the event was opened by Glaswegian band Rainland, who have supported Assemblage 23 on their last two tours.
I was greeted to the event by mein host and Electricity Club founder, Chi Ming Lai and was delighted to see a number of friends there, many who are in synth acts themselves, including Fifi Rong, Erik Stein from Cult With No Name, Chris Mines aka Sudden Creation, Andrew Maley from Real Experts, Mark Bebb from Shelter and fellow FORM band member, Keith Trigwell. It was also great to see Jonathan Barnbrook again, typesetter and designer of David Bowie’s album covers from Heathen to Blackstar. It was certainly the place to be!
The evening was kicked off with a DJ set by Cold War Night Life’s Simon Helm with an array of choice synth tunes until Rainland started the event proper. Born from the ashes of the now obsolete Analog Angel, Ian Ferguson and Del Macdonald of Rainland, got the audience duly warmed up with familiar songs such as Drive and Touch. They also played Silverlight, the lyrics of which were written by yours truly and despite having several live airings to date, this was the first time I was able to witness the song being performed live for myself. It was a very special moment for me and I hope to collaborate with Rainland more in the future. Watch this space!
Next in the set was Plasmic, aka Lauren Lusardi from Orange County California, and a distant relation of Linda. Lauren’s striking “one woman dervish” image in various hues of shocking pink made you realise very quickly she was someone to take note of. She opened with a Divine track, Female Trouble and her set went on to be duly bonkers-in-a-good-way, including a high energy rendition of Soft Cell’s Sex Dwarf which was a real crowd pleaser!
After another short set from Simon Helm, the headline act took to the stage performing tracks from their decade-old album Navigation including the eponymous Autovia.
The evening was over all too soon and everyone had a brilliant time, enjoying a quality evening of synth music and sharing it with friends. We left with thoughts of when the next TEC event would be. Hopefully, soon!
DJ Set List
Anne Clark – Our Darkness
Carter Tutti – Lost Bliss
A1 People feat. Pete Shelley – Homosapien
Secession – Touch (Part 2)
S.P.O.C.K – Ice Machine
Space – Magic Fly
Plastic Bertrand – Tout petit la planète
Simple Minds – Thirty Frames a Second
Sparks – Tryouts for the Human Race
Talk Talk – It’s My Life (US Mix)
Chris Carter – Beat
Art of Noise – (Do) Donna (Do)
Nash the Slash – 19th Nervous Breakdown
The Invincible Spirit – Push!
Einstürzende Neubauten – Installation No. 1 (John Is Mixing)
DAF – Sex unter Wasser
Neu – Hero
Throbbing Gristle – Hot on the Heels of Love
Yello – Domingo
Psychic TV – Je T’aime
Giorgio Moroder – The Chase
Depeche Mode – Photographic (Rex the Dog Mix)
Brian Eno and David Byrne – Jezebel Spirit
❉ Thanks to Chi Ming Lai for the use of photographs and to Simon Helm for the set list.
❉ Ange Chan is a lifelong synth girl, poet and novelist. Her latest collection of poetry, Songs of Sorrow and Heartbreak, was published in October 2017. Her third novel Champagne Flutes and Pixie Boots is currently a ‘work in progress’.