Coil – Porto  21st June 2003 (CD Authorised bootleg)

This is an authorised bootleg of a Coil gig on the 21st June 2003 in Porto, Portugal.  Coil for this show was Peter Christopherson, Thighpaulsandra & Ossian Brown. Jhonn Balance was too ill to attend so we instead get an (almost) instrumental set. The Cds come in three different coloured covers with a plastic disc the same size as the CD in clear plastic with the track titles written on it. I believe there were a total of 600 of these made.  A number of them (they haven’t said how many) have been “discovered,” and are on sale from the Coil website.

With out Jhonn Balance you really are missing a vital ingredient of Coil and I think this shows on a number of tracks. First up is Blue Rats. A very different sounding Blue Rats to the one on the Foxtrot album. 18 minutes long and sounding more like a number of other tracks played together. I’m sure I can hear bits of Sex With Sun Ra in there. This doesn’t really come together until the last five minutes when it starts to sound more like Blue Rats and the synths get a bit more lively.

Next up is Triple Sun. This is a much more in your face version than the Mutek one from a week earlier, powerful, punchy and with more bottom end.  You really do miss the vocals here. Listening to the versions of this on “And The Ambulance Died In His Arms,” and “The Ape of Naples,” you get a much more complete piece. This is followed with the mournful sounding Radio Westin a piece that with its’ short repetitive refrain would work well as film soundtrack material. You get some very low in the mix vocals going on here. Few words, mostly a sort of humming along. I’m guessing by Peter Christopherson. Track four Drip Drop is rather uninspiring and has the audience talking through most of it until what sounds almost like bagpipes make an appearance. Unfortunately their arrival isn’t really enough to save a lacklustre track and this one is very forgettable. The performance is rounded off with a much longer though fairly faithful rendition of The First Five Minutes After Death from” Horse Rotavator.”

Even after taking into consideration the lack of proper recording facilities used for this recording it still comes across as a bit of a patchy and substandard release, possibly one for completists only. Triple Sun and Radio Westin (and possibly The First Five Minutes After Death) make it worthwhile hearing but really without Balance Coil only come across as a fairly decent group than the force they really were. DB

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