Monday, December 21, 2020

XWay Vision, Francisca Griffin

I found myself wanting to hear some New Zealand semi-rarity the other day (Chug's "Oozing" if you must know - some days you're just looking for a song that says "I've got a hole in my head and it hurts"). It turns out that Chug's best work, naturally, is not available on my streaming service of choice, but said streaming service DID point me to XWay Vision , a VHS video documenting a bunch of Xpressway artists in concert, which I have fond memories of watching back at my folks' place on the old RCA ColorTrak TV. It still holds up pretty well even if the video effects and camerawork are a little over the top.

Anyway, the unsung hero of this video is totally Kathy Bull, whose bass playing inspired me back in the day more than I realized. It's hard to tell given how bad the video quality is, but she's the left-handed one who isn't Shayne Carter, the one playing the bass. And she is definitely sitting down and possibly very with child in at least one of those videos? Pretty awesome if so.

So of course I had to go down the rabbit hole. Her name is Francisca Griffin as of the 90s (side note: I approve of changing names when the spirit moves you) and she has a great album called The Space Between that is ragged and windblown in all the right ways. Her guitar playing lopes and rolls according to its own internal logic. Reminds me a bit of Joost Visser or even Syd Barrett, as obvious as that comparison is? And listening to this album is making me go back, find my old Cyclops CD, Killing Capitalism with Kindness, of course Look Blue Go Purple, etc. Anyway, great stuff.