Verity Susman @ Electrowerkz, London 24 Jan
Tucked behind Angel station, down a side alley, Electrowerkz opens out into a courtyard and cool, small, cosy, chamber. There is excited shoving, giggling. Tonight Verity Susman, formerly of Electrelane, performs for our pleasure. Susman’s solo project is a mix of performance, projections and a collage of sounds. She blows and breathes into her saxophone as behind her gigantic saxophones gyrate and spew white. While she twists knobs on her equipment, we are titillated by images of musclemen with saxo-genitals walking towards us.
There is a off kiltered narrative weaving through Susman’s set. The projections fall in and out of sync with her music. Captain Janeway and Seven of Nine, statuesque female characters from Star Trek, fondle one another on the screen, appearing to cry out when Susman moans into her microphone.
At points melancholic, at others hilarious, Susman’s set gets us dancing. Everyone seems delighted, if not quite able to pay complete attention. Whispered queries go around the crowd about the characters in the projections. A group of friends in the centre front have a loud conversation. Susman’s music comes across as profoundly social this evening: everyone’s having fun but they’re not transfixed. They’re enjoying themselves without being riveted. Perhaps that is a by-product of the light disco ethic underpinning songs such as ‘To Make You Afraid’ and isn’t a necessarily bad thing: Susman won more hearts than minds this evening, perhaps she has more development to do before she has it all.