Perhaps if John Paul Jones wasn’t so determined to push forwards rather than lazily look back, Led Zeppelin might reunite more often. But it is not his job to pander to fan expectations; instead this bass-playing behemoth keeps himself stimulated with a number of diverse collaborations.
Supersilent (featuring John Paul Jones)
Star rating: * * *
The audience literally cannot have known what to expect from his latest exploratory venture, as Norwegian outfit Supersilent scorn rehearsal and improvise every performance. This set began with ambient analogue synthesizer drone, accompanied by Jones’ low rumbling frequencies, to create a proggy electronica soundtrack in search of a 1970s sci-fi film. This miasma was eventually pierced by an eruption of skittering drum patterns from Arve Henriksen to which Jones responded with free association bass runs.
Henriksen was also responsible for vocal interjections ranging from devotional mantra-like moans to cathartic outbursts, which were matched at their most demonic by Stale Storlokken’s possessed improvisations on keyboard, and he later provided the embellishing detail during a glacial jazz interlude with his mournful trumpet playing.
Inevitably, over almost 90 minutes, this mercurial approach tested the patience of those who had come hoping for some classic rock riffing but left having submitted to an experience neither they, nor the musicians, will be looking to repeat.