Triskel Arts Centre, Plugd Records + Ellis Island Sound

I paid my first visit to the recently re-opened Triskel Arts Centre over the weekend. They've incorporated several changes as part of the renovations, including restoring the 18th century Christchurch next door and turning it into a performance venue under the auspices of Triskel. You'd have to see the place to do it proper justice but the next best thing is to take a look at the picture gallery
here. It's a stunning development, worthy of any major European city. Only last night, they hosted Hauschka playing a live soundtrack to Dreyer's silent classic Vampyr - I couldn't make it but you can read a review here - which is pretty damn impressive in anyone's book. There's a raft of other exciting events in the coming months, check em out.

Another of the new elements in Triskel is the re-located
Plugd Records, a perfect fit with the underground spirit of Triskel's history really (they're also running the Gulpd Café downstairs, purveyors of damn fine carrot cake). Flicking through their second-hand racks on Saturday, I picked up an Ellis Island Sound album, The Good seed, on Peacefrog Records. According to the invaluable Wikipedia, this album

"was recorded in a tiny, deconsecrated chapel in the Waveney Valley on the Suffolk/Norfolk border. The Good Seed features twenty rustic-yet-sophisticated new recordings concocted from acoustic instruments that range from parlour guitars and ukuleles to pump harmoniums, dulcimers, goat skin drums and washboards. Recorded on an arcane 8-track tape recorder, it presents a stripped down EIS, though still finds room for such instrumental exotica as stylophones, a mini-sampler, a Bentley Rhythm Ace drum machine and miscellaneous noise making devices. Josh Hillman (of the Willard Grant Conspiracy) contributes violin, viola and pedal steel."

Excellent. Pastoral folk instrumentals with kosmische undertones. This is The Villagers from the album.

It's beautiful stuff and the sleeve was designed by none other than Darren Hayman, a regular UOH fave (that's him on the Moog in the video too). I haven't a clue why someone would want to trade in this album, but every cloud, and all that (when I was there, Jim was just cataloging a similarly traded-in vinyl copy of Bob Dylan's Bringing it all back home - honestly, the mind boggles sometimes).

Anyway, great to see Plugd back in action in such "salubrious" surroundings, more power to their, and Triskel's, elbows.


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