Time for something new. But not.

Belper, Derbyshire May seem like an unusual place to start a artistic and cultural revolution, but that is exactly what Jonny Thompson, owner and curator of The KUNST Gallery, has achieved. Over the last 18 months he has redefined what can be achieved by a gig, with an eclectic mix of left field bands, performance art and engaging lectures. Earthling Society were twinned with a convincing argument of Yuri Gagarin’s god-like status. Helicon’s sitar drones were complemented by the Viking photography project of Heinrich de Löw (with free Danish biscuits). Stupid Cosmonaut were almost supported by some actual meteorites. And Manchester’s Dead Sea Apes were paired with the apocalyptic poetry of Adam Stone to produce something quite wonderful. In fact, don’t read any further until you’ve clicked that link. See you in twenty minutes. I’ll wait.

Great wasn’t it. I was very pleased to get a mention when it was released on a limited edition 12″.

Since Welcome To The Dark Ages my reading list has expanded with the same cast cropping up in unexpected places. RAW’s Cosmic Trigger, Higgs ‘Stranger Than…’ and Mark Frost’s ‘Secret History Of Twin Peaks’ all share stories of Tim Leary and Jack Parsons. And to complete this Trinity, may I suggest HP Lovecraft.

The Horror in Clay.

The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.

HP Lovecraft – ‘Call Of Cthulhu’

First onto the newly cemented stage was author Phil Hine, with a presentation entitled Lovecraft in Contemporary Occulture. As well as discussing the bleeding of Lovecraft and Cthulhu into popular culture, Phil also discussed his adventures as a young man in search of the Necronomicon via The Sorceror’s Apprentice in Leeds, a shop that gave me the chills every time I walked past it as a student. He had also written an excellent piece on Chaos Magick/Discordianism.

Next up were Manchester’s FLANGE CIRCUS with an AV assault on the senses. Imagine if Joy Division has invented Techno.

Finally, English Heretic played a four track set covering their rich back catalogue including songs from Wish You Were Heretic and Summer of Blood. I thought that the EH recordings would be difficult to replicate live, but they did a great job. This must be the first gig I’ve been to where you come away with a reading list of books you need to buy.

In summary, another triumph for KUNST GALLERY. If you see a gig you fancy there in the future and you live within 90 minutes, I’d wholeheartedly recommend a trip to Belper, where a warm welcome awaits.

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