• Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti at Stereo

    Nov 9 2012, 10h36

    Thu 8 Nov – Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti
    As you walked by the merch stand before entering the venue, you could see Ariel sitting behind a desk with a modest display of his albums with a plate of chicken pakora, quietly smoking joints and looking supremely perturbed. Why was he so pissed off? Was he expecting a more attractive fanbase? Perhaps he had a strange day (but then I expect every day in his life is strange) or maybe it was part of the show? At first, I mistook him for a roadie but then Haunted Graffiti probably don't have roadies.

    The show began with Ariel's ex-girlfriend dressing up in what other people would call trash (old tinsel, ripped hats) and performing what was essentially karaoke to her own jagged, electronic "songs". She strutted around, pulling cables out of her bag and thrusting her camel toe proudly to the world while the visuals crashed behind her and all we were left with was a projection of her macbook screen( i tunes! I use that aswell! )but even that was more interesting.

    Ariel hopped on the stage but immediately hid behind the projection screen and had his ex film him performing which was then projected onto the screen. This mediated distance wasn't as frustrating as you'd imagine because we had had such unrestricted access to him before the gig and thus the image of the "rockstar" had been quickly dissolved and needed to be rebuilt in an Ariel Pink fashion. He performed for the camera and occasionally we would catch a flailing arm or a puff of smoke shoot out from behind the screen. Towards the fourth song he slipped out onto centre stage and treated us to an energetic and, as always, strangely sexual performance; "Only in Dreams" back to back with "Round and Round" was exceptional. There was a surprising cohesion between the band members that comes from playing together for years and still not hating each other which resulted in fluid transitions, interesting improvisations and a genuine enthusiasm to be playing music (which is rare from most bands doing the rounds) The audience left with the feeling of having just seen a pornographic, pop music circus ran by David Lynch.