The Guitarist Tunes Up

Hello, we’re Krisis Halusinasi and we’re really boring to watch.

I must admit, I’ve never really been into the ‘Battle of the Bands’ thing. The idea of bands ‘battling’ never made much sense. I’ve always thought of music as a way for us to express ourselves, communicate with each other and also just as a way to get together and have fun. So I hope that the bands that have been ‘battling’ have still been having fun today and making friends and supporting each other.

As I said, we’re a really boring band to watch so you might want to take the next twenty-five minutes to just close your eyes and get lost in your thoughts. If you need a point for your for your thoughts to begin their wandering, as usual, we think the continuing struggles of people for freedom as a good place to start. In the last week we’ve seen such examples all over the world, from Libya to Syria and, closer to here, in Pahang and Bukit Jalil.

Ok. That’s all.

Two Thursday afternoons ago (31/3/2011), Krisis Halusinasi played as one of the ‘special guest’ bands at a battle of the bands at Universiti Tun Abdul Razak. Although I knew we were going to be playing that show on that day a couple of weeks before I didn’t find out the specifics until after 11am the night before. At first I was reluctant and trying to find the best excuse to say no, I found out that our name was on some banner and we were getting free t-shirts. I wanted a free t-shirt.

I was reluctant to play because doing so would mean skipping my Islamic Historiography lecture again and they actually mark attendance to lectures at UM. But, I guess once you go to some of Mina Roces’s lectures nothing else compares – and I was promised a free t-shirt – so I decided to skip school to play music at someone else’s school.

The free t-shirt was really cool. I think I was just really excited by the fact that someone designed and printed a shirt with my band name on it (and a bunch of other band names too). No one (except) has ever done that before, the only shirts that have been made with my band name on it are ones I made myself back when I was fifteen and playing in my first ‘real’ band. I guess that means that I’m still just as excited about this stuff as I was when I was fifteen.

The show was held in an outdoor area of the university, kind of in the middle of a big food court – there were restaurants and tables/chairs along the borders of the square where all the stuff was happening. If you know UNSW then its kind of comparable to having a show on the library lawn, except there’s no lawn, just tiling, and instead of the area being surrounded by Morvern Brown building and that other building that you can print your academic record at, its surrounded by food.

So there we were, three ‘punks’ straight out of the warehouse, sitting drinking our teh o’ ais (or nescafe o’ ais) super nervous because we’d never played anything like this before and had absolutely no idea what we were getting ourselves into and how we even got into it in the first place. And I think that’s what I liked most about the show. The fact that I’d never ever done anything like that before. The fact we were just playing in some random outdoor area in the middle of a university at 3pm on a Thursday. Just any other normal Thursday afternoon except some people had the awesome idea of setting up some music equipment and asking some bands to play. Space + Equipment + People. Such a simple equation, it doesn’t make sense that most of the time people make it more complicated than it really is.

And playing our music to people that might not ever come to Gudang Noisy any other place where it would be usual for us to play. That was enjoyable. Even if it seemed the number of people standing in front of the stage dropped when we started playing and then increased after we played. It was also just damn cool looking up while I was playing to see a lot of workers in uniform standing up close to watch us. Post-rock for the proletariat!!

It seems that people who do these self-review type things always have to talk about the venue’s sound, so I’ll abide by the etiquette. The sound wasn’t really that good. I’m not sure why, but I was told not to turn the amp up higher than one. But I had it about three, which still probably wasn’t loud enough. Maybe it was because it was in an outdoor space. Honestly, I don’t really care that much, I’m willing to sacrifice on sound to experience playing in that place at that time. Nothing will compare to my love for the ridiculous reverb of Gudang Noisy.

I found out on the weekend that the guy who organised it received eighteen complaints about the show. I assume they’re probably noise complaints of some sort. It makes me a little bit sad to hear about that because I think its such a good idea and having shows in such spaces should take place a lot more often and all over the place. There were eighteen complaints but I assume there would be many many more compliments. Its bad that sometimes the complaints stick out more than the compliments.

I don’t think any video or photos or audio exists of us playing this show but if you want to see what it looked like there’s a video of Shh…Diam! playing. So you can watch that and just imagine it’s Krisis Halusinasi instead.

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