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Ralph Steadman‘s Blot Symphony

16th July 2010

The Silk Mill showed a short film of Ralph Steadman performing the world première of his Blot Symphony.

This review of the Ralph Steadmen Blot Symphony evening appeared in the Fosse Way & Blackmore Vale Magazines.

It can be rare for a small gig by a local, amateur band to turn out as a cut above the rest. Hand your tickets over at the pub door and you could easily find yourself in some faded snug listening to Mustang Sally played drearily for the billionth time, or perhaps witness Somerset’s answer to Deep Purple earnestly wailing and thrashing out Black Night. But a trip to Frome’s hidden away venue of the Silk Mill last Friday, as part of the town’s festival celebrations, was one of those rare moments of pure, joyous relief, where you see there are elements of life that can be just perfect. What’s more, that those creating the new, near faultless music could soon very well be about to make it big. In a converted warehouse of about 60 people, George Laycock, son of well-known Dorset folk musician Tim Laycock, and Dai Borthwick hit listeners with multi-instrumental shock and awe tactics perhaps never seen before. Accompanying award-winning short films and animation featuring funny sketches, touching cartoons and sinister footage, the pair played self-penned, precisely timed, glorious cacophonies on trumpet, guitar, drums and keyboard in a set that had the originality of Gorillaz and the unearthly, ambient sounds of Sigur Ros and Bjork. Nordic Giants are truly a phenomenon. See them and you’ll be forced to create a whole new genre in the musical categories of your head. Hear them and their spellbinding instrumentals will become the soundtrack to your summer. LM

There were two elements to this event with a fantastic children’s session where the creations that many children had been working on were displayed physically and musically.  One could not help feeling that the children of Frome are so fortunate to be involved in the creation of such a unique occasion!  I very much doubt that they will ever forget it.

The event was organised in partnership with Black Swan Arts.

Music is a profound influence on Ralph’s work. Like US artist Jackson Pollock, who splattered his paintings to a jazz soundtrack, Ralph blots in time to music.

The Blot Symphony on 16th July showcased results of children’s workshops over the previous fortnight, at St. John’s First School, Vallis First School and Leigh on Mendip First School.

Bands performing were Nordic Giants, Frome’s De La Luna and Gilbert Quick Orchestra from Yeovil culminating in the musicians’ interpretations of the Blot Symphony.

Ralph Steadman’s own film of the Blot Symphony had its world premier during the evening’s festivities with fairground rides, kinetic sculpture and Diva’s café, bbq and bar.