On Thursday night I experienced The Thing, live at The Judith Wright Centre as part of their Syncretism series. And I mean experienced, physically!
From the moment Mats Gustafsson, blew the first savage breath into the mouthpiece of his baritone sax, my skin prickled and I was moving, laughing, hooting. Ingebrigt Haker-Flaten was plucking and slapping at his bass strings, at times, stretching them to the point of distortion while Paal Nilssen-Love was a flurry of syncopated rhythms and splashing cymbals. They were out of the blocks faster than a rabbit on a greyhound track, playing for their lives, attacking their individual instruments with equal parts fire and dexterity and in the process redefining the possibility of wood, metal, muscle and breath. The joyous force these three men generated was transformative… the crowd surging along with them until the final silence. Simply put, it was a thrill!
Here’s a clip of the band playing live in Budapest. C’mon, give yourself over to The Thing: