16 Horsepower, transcendence and weathered suaveness…

  • David Eugene Edwards-Woven Hand-16 Horsepower-sixteen horsepower-2Somewhere along the line a certain kind of (sometimes Deep South) American gothic culture has been something I’ve visited, been intrigued by and indeed has influenced my own Afterhours work.

    I couldn’t quite say how. A certain kind of texturalness? A sense of layered, hidden stories that thread deeply throughout places and people? A weathered suaveness? A stepping (figuratively) into the basements of the soul? It’s those and all kinds of other aspects I expect.

    David Eugene Edwards-Woven Hand-16 Horsepower-sixteen horsepower-5-invertedIf I was to travel in that general direction, I expect 16 Horsepower would be an early and repeated port of call.

    And if you should want the very essence of such things in an explorative and also traditional manner, well, they could well be a place to look.

    (And it’s not much more than a brief move to other surrounding lands, travellers and those who have come afterwards: David Eugene Edward’s work with Woven Hand, the dusted plains heartbreak of Lillium and the like.)

    I think the words reverent or transcendental would not be amiss here, something that can even be quite overt in their work – Mr Edward’s can indeed look like he is summoning or has travelled to another place during performance, something that brings to mind his own background and history in American preaching.

    16 Horsepower-Live DVD-Glitterhouse-David Eugene Edwards-LilliumAlong which lines, I would particularly recommend the Live DVD they put out – beautifully packaged and referrring back to souls and basements, it features the last song they ever performed as 16 Horsepower – a cover of Joy Division’s Heart and Soul.

    Now, a cover of a song by a band with such, well, heavy history is a tricky thing but this wanders to somewhere else.

    Transcendence indeed.

    David Eugene Edwards-Woven Hand-16 Horsepower-Bluebird Theatre-sixteen horsepower
    As a PS and bringing such things/connecting them back to more traditional Afterhours territory, when I went a-wandering, I was glad to come across the image above of their name up in lights. In a fairer world etc etc this would have been a more justly common sight.

    Visit the DVD at Glitterhouse here and a glance backwards here.


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