Last night I was at the Queen Elizabeth Hall for the rather pretentiously titled "Diaphanously Yours", which was billed as a musical tribute to insects. It is part of something called "Pestival 2009", which "celebrates how insects shape our world and how humans shape the world of insects, in both science and the arts". Quite.
The line-up included Robyn Hitchcock, Mike Heron, Green Gartside and Rhodri Marsden of Scritti Politti - all of whom had also been involved in the Incredible String Band tribute at the Barbican in July - Graham Coxon and a few others.
They struggled to meet the remit at times, with a couple of songs about amoeba and one that made a passing reference to webs but otherwise made no reference to insects (and I don't think spiders are classified as insects anyway). Scritti Politti's "Wood Beez (Pray like Aretha Franklin)" was probably stretching the point too, but it was bloody good, as were the two cover versions they did - The Cramps' "Human Fly" and an old reggae song called "Where Fat Lies, Ant Follow".
The show flagged occasionally, but overall I enjoyed it. Personal highlights included the Scritti set and the two numbers the entire ensemble performed at the end, stomping versions of Wire's "I Am The Fly" and this one - Robyn Hitchcock's own "Ole! Tarantula".
NEWS FLASH: Mister F has posted some photos of the gig on Flickr. They were taken on his mobile so are not of the best quality, but if you want to experience what it was like being there while suffering from cataracts, click here. There are a couple of others as well.
NEWS FLASH (2): mp3s of the Scritti Politti set are now available at the Scritti fan-site bibbly-o-tek. Look for the post of 7 September.
Back to the original post:
As a bonus, here are two more songs with an insect in the title:
"Praying Mantis" - Don Dixon
"Hey There Little Firefly" - Disco Tex & His Sex-O-Lettes
And here is the original video for "Wood Beez", featuring REAL BEES (well, beehives anyway. Also fencing):