[kj] Jaz Coleman lecture @ Columbia Hotel 31/08/1995

Bob Barathy bob at bbarathy.plus.com
Sun May 23 15:36:30 EDT 2004

Hahaha - its strange but true - I remember over-hearing you say that at the
time, whilst in the waiting room before going in to see Dr. Coleman. I was
thinking of joining in the conversation with tales of my recent trip to
Barnstaple but it didn't really have the same 'ring' to it.

I don't know whether the Albert Hall thing ever happened and I take it there
never was a planned further meeting were the attendees got to speak about
there 'dreams'!?

Thanks for the reminder of a great day.


  Hello folks,

  Just clearing out some stuff & found a review that may not have been
posted on The Gathering Mailing List before. This appeared in The
Independent newspaper on Friday 8th September 1995 and was penned by Mat
Smith, a journalist with Melody Maker amongst others, who indeed was sitting
next to me. Mat said that he had just got back from Marrakech whilst I
responded that I'd just spent 5 days in Moscow though I didn't actually
elaborate on what I had been doing there - no prizes for guessing correctly.
Anyway, back to the review about the lecture that several of you were also
present at (my own comments in italics) ...


  Jaz Coleman lecture
  Mat Smith
  Columbia Hotel, London

  'Coleman has a passionately held theory on almost anything you'd care to
think about'

  Dante typified hell as a place full of people with no opinions. By this
reasoning, Jaz Coleman, Killing Joke singer or, as he prefers these days,
"composer", seems to be destined for a place in the clouds. Coleman has a
theory on anything you'd care to think about. His obsessions being reserved
for things you'd rather not.

  His philosophy is a strangely appealing hybrid of new-age sensitivity and
pull-your-socks-up-man-there's-a-war-on sensibility.

  Eyes blazing beneath the brim of an Indiana Jones hat and flanked by
burning candles, Coleman cuts an oddly commanding figure in the Regency Room
of the Columbia, home to generations of bands.

  It's impossible not to be impressed by both the sheer magnetism of his
presence and his extraordinary work rate. The past two years have seen him
complete one Killing Joke and six classical LPs, set up a studio, produce
Maori choirs, undertake three European tours and found the Perma-Culture
Trust to promote eco-friendly areas in New Zealand.

  Of the 64 attendees, committed KJ fans outnumber the merely interested by
two to one, carefully vetted by Coleman in a display of anachronistic
cold-war style paranoia.

  What it was in aid of, nobody seemed quite sure. Contradictions have
always been Coleman's forte. During the five hour lecture, he counselled
those present to know their limitations on one hand while on the other,
urging them to follow their dreams, even into "the realms of irrationality".

  He raged against the short-termism of Thatcher yet cackled at his own
recent economic quick fix - arranging three CDs of Who, Pink Floyd and
Rolling Stones songs for symphony orchestra - effectively dismissing his
involvement as a case of "stepping over stones" to get where he wants. Or in
this case, stepping over the Stones.

  Coleman calls upon quotes from Spinoza, Mohammed, TS Eliot, and Nietzsche
to add academic weight to the emotional battering-ram of his passionate
views. However, it's Napoleon's warning, "Beware of the man who dreams with
his eyes open", that he seems to have taken closest to heart.

  He returned to the subject of dreams constantly. You half expected him to
add the Arthur Askeyesque proviso "Stop me if you've heard this one before".
Instead he asked members of the audience to outline their aspirations on
paper while listening to a tape of his Symphony No 1, due for its Albert
Hall premiere on 25 November (Did this ever happen folks ?).

  While comtemporaries either live it up in LA or down in the George Robey
(a gig venue in Finsbury Park), Coleman is working on "One enormous
masterwork for no other reason than to glorify existence".

  Grand conceit ? Surely. But what else would you expect from a master of
the art ?


  Hope you enjoyed that. Looking forward to meeting some familiar faces and
new friends on Tuesday night. Right, it's Sunday evening so I'm off to
church. Well, almost. My mate's band < Solar > are playing at the Union
Chapel in Islington - no doubt I will be dancing in the pews, with a few
bottles of Grolsch. Hic.



  * http://home.clara.net/antoni/ *

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