Pharmakon live review – this is how a Francis Bacon painting would sound

by | indieBerlin

Wow! That was intense! There are some times when you can hardly write down your reflections on someone’s performance. It doesn’t matter how many times you have done it in the past. It doesn’t matter if you had faced similar situations in the past. When it comes to a point that you have to communicate such a performance with others it’s like writing your first text ever.

It took me more than a day to find the proper words for Pharmakon’s concert on Wednesday. In the end I decided not to use any single one of them. I started over and over again, but still, even now I am somewhere lost in the process. What process? The process of trying to decode and analyze what I experienced with all my 11 senses in less than 40 minutes.
Forty minutes of pure soul-searching
Forty minutes of pure soul-searching done by a woman that has been through many difficulties recently in her personal life. And you see that on stage, you feel it but you cannot describe it to someone who’s not present. It’s a mystagogy, a liturgy created through extreme vocals and hardore noise. I was looking at peoples‘ faces during the show. I haven’t seen a crowd more obsessed with an act than this one last Wednesday. It was such a diverse mixture of people, but every single one of them was living in the parallel universe that Pharmakon manage to create for that short amount of time.
I was happy in a really bizarre way
Even by the time that she got off the stage and started walking around us screaming on the microphone, people stayed away from her, no one wanted to interrupt her or maybe us. Pharmakon made us feel part of her show, and this is in the end a great feeling. I was happy in a really bizarre way. I could see in her face PJ Harvey and Nico combined into a single person. I guess that’s how Francis Bacon’s paintings might sound like.

Pharmakon performed music from all of her records so far. Bestial Burden is her last album, which in my view should be placed next to Throbbing Gristle’s 20 Jazz Funk Greats as a milestone in so-called experimental music. And it really is!
Pharmakon’s performance overshadowed everything
Both support acts Gainstage and Shaddah Tuum did a great job opening for Pharmakon, but I really would like to see them again, because Pharmakon’s performance overshadowed everything. There are few things that I remember before her mind-blowing show.

Review by Anastasis Koutsogiannis

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