Friday, 12 October 2012

Kärnarvøn Kästle - August 1982

Kärnarvøn Kästle L to R: Phil Layton, Ann Matthews, Alan Holmes
The legendary Bangor music scene of the early 80s threw up many short-lived acts who would ignite in one fleeting burst of incandescence before dissolving into the shadows of myth. Names like The Axolotl, Gentle Reminders, One Hour Later Over Iran, The Baudelaires, Fugitive Binoculars, The Legendary Mountaineers, The Bellman, Sharon Angstrom, Armchair Theatre and The Dekorators all come to mind, yet none seemed quite as elusive as Kärnarvøn Kästle, who played live only once, at Bangor's famous Glanrafon Pub on the 13th of August 1982.

Kärnarvøn Kästle live at the Glanrafon, Bangor 13th August 1982 -  photo: Gary Cut

The group stood out from many of the other names of the period by their eccentric policy of only rehearsing at sunset in the deserted Iron-age village of Tre'r Ceiri, on the summit of a mountain some 25 miles from their home. After carrying out this strange ritual three times a week for the month leading up to their gig, the group then spent an hour jogging around the streets of Bangor that evening before running straight onto the stage to perform. To further complicate matters, their set was then performed largely on instruments they hadn't previously played the material on, due to the obvious logistical problems of carrying them up the mountain - only the saxophones and trumpet had featured in rehearsal. Despite this the spiritual unity, telepathic intuition and discipline instilled by their rigorous routine almost paid off, and their performance teetered at times on the edge of competence.

Kärnarvøn Kästle live at the Glanrafon, Bangor 13th August 1982 -  photo: Gary Cut

Sadly this brave start was also to be the end, and all three members were shortly absorbed into Gary Cut's nascent Cut Tunes...... but that's another story.


Kärnarvøn Kästle live at the Glanrafon, Bangor 13th August 1982

Ann Matthews - saxophone, bass, vocals
Phil Layton - guitar, bass, saxophone, vocals
Alan Holmes - drums, trumpet

1 Untitled 1
2 Untitled 2

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