WELD: By Steve McLennan
Weld: was a number of very different yet tenuously connected things.
hand it was a dark and brooding technolgy driven studio beast which
featured me on vocals, percussion and the occasional bit of guitar trickery
and Tinno on gadgetry, programming etc.
We recorded a number of demoes of self-penned odes to sereal killers,
requiems for friends lost through suicide and challenges to holy deities
to prove their very existence. To help Tinno maintain some sense of
sanity (and keep me
off the guitar) we were aided and abetted through the process by Trevor
(guitar), Ngariki (guitar, bass) and Julie Wilson (vocals).
In its next incarnation as a live band Ngariki remained on guitar, Cyd
came into the fold on bass and Ronnie Bult once again jumped behind
the kit (talk about a glutton for punishment). I dealt with the vocal
duties in my own inimitable way as well as adding extra percussion to
specific pieces of the performance. (This had worked well in Freak $hop
so...when you're on a good thing...)
This basic line-up was augmented by the voluptuous Sue Carson on violin
and operatic vocal stylings. (You should have seen her in that red velvet
medieval gown !!!!) and Khlenn Hone joined us on sax as did the occasional
exhuberant and / or drunken punter on percussion.
The final and most interesting version (in my humble opinion) of Weld:
was only together for one night (January 18 1999 to be precise) and
has since been refered to by the epithet "The Krakk Haus Krishnas".
The name rose from a comment that my dear mother made that the band
she heard over the airwaves on that fateful night "sounded like
a bunch of Hare Krishnas on drugs". I'm not sure exactly how this
came about but somehow we'd been asked to perform "Live To Air"
on University Radio 2NURFM. The process of throwing together a diverse
array of musicians at a day's notice, getting them copies of the recorded
material and then conjuring up a mode of performance that would work
for such an eclectic mish-mash of instruments (violin, saxophone, electric
bass, mandolin, 2 x acoustic guitars, blues harp, djembe, udu drum,
assorted cymbals, shakers, rattles and "found objects" like
water cooler refills) was totally exhilarating.
A number of us plied ourselves with beer & the goodly herb while
guided the ensemble into the tiny studio, set up a couple of mikes and
gave us the nod that all was ready. The atmosphere was electric and
from the moment we kicked in to the coked-up paraoia of "Bigger"
through to the last fading strains of
an ill-conceived yet heart-felt rendition of T.Rex's "Children
Of the Revolution" we played like men and women possessed, teetering
on the edge of total oblivion before gleefully careening headlong into
the abyss. The most sublime moment is captured in "For Rosie's
Sake" when Khlenn's mournful and tortured sax gives way to the
most tender, melancholic duet between violinist Phil Young and Tinno
on mandolin before both are symbolically buried under the sheer weight
of everthing else crashing in around them.
The ebb and flow is underscored by Linda's hopeful, yet inevitably doomed
heartbeat on the udu drum. The sadness of the piece is devastating albeit
short lived as almost immediately our spirits are lifted by the primeaval
drum intro to "Make A Name For Yourself" a nod to the psycopath
within us all.
Heady stuff indeed.
Barry Divola might have even liked it.