The audience was gradually getting nervous as Black Midi extended songs beyond recognition, almost stopped playing altogether, engaged in prolonged stop-start patterns with satanic pleasure and then, all of a sudden, started the next song without even waiting for applause. This was exciting, dangerous, finally a band pushing boundaries of technical possibilities, song structure and yeah, also artist-audience relationship.

The singer, a boy still, grinned in our direction, as if to say: ‘we don’t need you, motherfuckers!’

In silence and unease the audience looked like a desperate, scorned lover. ‘Why don’t you love us…we will be good for you, just give us a chance.

No one knew exactly when a song ended, applause came hesitantly, in the tiny window available for appreciation and love, no one wanted to look a fool, no one wanted to applaud during a short stop, before the same song would continue

So this was the type of artist-audience disconnect Iggy Pop was looking for in his younger days. Minus the violence, the broken glass and the physical mutilation.

Did they know what they were doing? Did they play the audience as confidently as they played their instruments? I couldn’t tell.

The guitar player, at first almost invisible with cowboy hat tightly strapped to his heat, all of a sudden erupted in a violent solo, taking him all around the small stage, surprisingly missing his band mates. Played with his teeth, played his guitar upside-down, lost his hat in the process and was all of a sudden completely visible, in the spotlight.

By the time they reached their last song, a crazily long and controlled version of ‘bmbmbm’ I was exhausted and out of my mind with excitement. The song went on and on, in the spirit of The Fall ‘always the same, always different’, and with a bang it ended. Lights went on, no encore, of course.

(Black Midi concert, as experienced on 30th of September in Bogen F, Zurich)