Alguns Homes Bons (de Genís Bagés) at Robadors 23 – 7th September ’15

ahb gig picPol Padrós (trumpet)
Joan Mas (alto sax)
Marcel Bagés (electric guitar)
Àlex Reviriego (bass)
Genís Bagés (drums)

The album (Golluts) was free. The live version is freer.

After the obligatory settling-in clatter and clangour, the guitar and drums come to the fore, creating a throbbing lurch and stagger which is soon augmented by fragments of melody and texture from the horns and some subtle arco bass. The piece twists and pulls as all five wrestle it into some kind of submission, finally, briefly (?) resolving into a more minimalist urban passage – with car horn alto and railtrack percussion while the guitar grunts and growls – that slowly increases in density, filling the space to bursting.

There aren’t really any pauses for applause, just lulls and dynamic dips as one piece melts into the next…

Pattering brushwork and prolonged arco notes underpin a drunken sax and trumpet duet. A circling guitar riff prowls restlessly before switching to distorted lines constantly teetering on the edge of blues-rock. It’s all a prelude to crashing drums which signal a charge into heavy, free fusion territory with a guitar, bass and drums power trio while the horns lay out for a while.

Now it’s just drums and bass. Cymbals and gonglike oriental flavours complement some percussive brutalism as Reviriego punishes his bass with a drumstick. A few moody guitar chords and then the Padrós returns with a perfectly strangulated, gasping line while Mas’s alto adds texture.

And on we go. Freeform, yes, but with the same direction and purpose evident on the album – a seeking out of different moods and conversations between the instruments. Various textures and colours are overlaid and the result is so engrossing that time simply flies. The 50-minute set is over all too soon, a thoughtful and introspective bass solo precedes the final joyous and humorous cacophony.

Yes, the live Alguns Homes Bons experience is freer than the recording. And heavier!

“Golluts” is available for download from Discordian Records.