december 10th 2000
kelder backstage
gent (b)

de portables
screaming headache

rudy’s setlist:
00: eerste ac sub -> death
01: melodie met drie noten: rechtdoorzee
02: down
03: johneke
04: huilende gitaren
05: talking jean jacques
06: sonic pop e -> f
07: punk
08: i don’t know
09: gdc doorgeven
10: joy (thomos)
11: samba techno
12: leave me
13: impro <- 3 bollekes

more or less actual setlist:
01: total improvisation
02: down
03: rechtdoorzee
04: johneke
05: punk improvisation
06: total improvisation
07: leave me
08: gdc
09: unknown
10: le fred (bizarre, heavy version)

A moisty, narrow, smelly basement which would be even uncomfortable as a rehearsal room. That’s the basement of the Backstage in Gent, and where Screaming Headache played that night.
First band on the menu would be Poxocolux, which was basically a wall of noise. After the performance, the guitarist at least apologised for it. He blamed it on a broken string of one of the guitars, and hence they improvised a whole set. Well whatever. Fortunately, the second band was a lot more enjoyable to my taste. De Portables is a threesome with Jurgen de Blonde, which you might know from lo-fi techno act Köhn on the K-R-A-A-K-label. A lot more subtle, with live samples, vocals with no microphones and –melodies! It was a welcome change, that’s for sure. The set didn’t last very long, only one long and two short songs, but that didn’t matter of course, because we came to see Screaming Headache.
Rudy told me once it was ‘noise’, and after witnessing them play, I can for the better part support that description. “We are Screaming headache. We don’t have any songs, we mostly just have ideas. The first song doesn’t even have an idea to it.” Yep, it’s Rudy Trouvé alright!
With Rudy & co, improvisations are by definition not a handicap, anyone who has seen Kiss My Jazz perform will testify. This evening, some of the impro’s very cool and interesting, and others were considerably less inspired and exciting. It’s always a risk, and this time it didn’t always work.
There were moments when they were semi-randomly jamming their guitars, which didn’t sound like a coherent band on stage, but a bunch of avant-garde selfish musicians playing the demon out of their bodies. Well sort of.
On ‘stage’ were, besides Rudy, Elko Blijweert, Tomas Noppe, Dirk Belmans, and another bass player I couldn’t recognise. Most of what they played was instrumental, and by the sounds of Rudy’s microphone, a wise choice. ‘Can anyone understand me with this?’ did Rudy ask through his mic, while anyone understood him a lot better without the thing in his hands. One song they played I recognised from 110m², and of one of the impro’s (‘Punk’), I recognised parts of an impro I heard Kiss My Jazz play in January. The rest of the songs were all new to me, and probably to the band themselves as well.
Fortunately there were definitely enough nice moments in the set to stop it from being a disaster.
Afterwards, Elko sounded thoroughly disappointed. When I asked him if they’d play again sometime, he said ‘I don’t know, because after this here…
Well it most definitely wasn’t thàt bad. In fact, especially in retrospect, it was extremely cool. :)

pictures can be found in the picture gallery (obviously) on this site.