30 March
Peer Hat

In past years, Good Friday was a day of restrictions, but in recent time there has been a shift towards making it a standard weekend night. So the Star and Garter was blasting out punkish sounds, whilst down at the Peer Hat, Paul Morrice (of Tilted Fiction) curated a night of experimental electronic music.

At about 8.50pm, a bloke was trying to tie up a string of balloons at the back of the performance area. They spell out ‘Rickerly’. 20 minutes later, that does seem a tad redundant - anyone who has witnessed Rickerly will remember the performance for a long while after.

Five minutes after the balloons were strung up, a ghostly white figure emerged through the crowd and crouched over a keyboard. The person was draped in a long, white gown that resembled the character of Miss Faversham in the David Lean film version of Great Expectations.

Rick Hartley, aka Rickerly, is also wearing a clown mask. He has three of them wrapped around his head that combine to form a circle. Cleverly, they are so intricately connected that it’s tricky to work out if the mask facing you is actually covering his eyes or the back of his head. At times, he toys with the audience, like when he puts the microphone to one of the masks, but has his back to us.

It’s theatrical in delivery and execution, a theme that flows into the music. There are no discrete three-minute songs, but a sequence of shifting tempo segments that also allow Christie to move into the fixated eye-line of the onlookers. Then, when you start to wonder how this will finish, two other friends, also wearing masks and capes, emerge from behind the curtains. They dispense confetti-like paper into the air and stand alongside Rickerly before picking him up, laying him horizontally and dragging him off stage. Well, walking off would have been a bit of an anti-climax.

Ged Camera

Photo inset by Ged Camera.