Thursday, 27 June 2013


Some activity, finally - I will be performing this Saturday 29 June at Anatum's Abode
613 Commercial Road (map). There are workshops during the day and then performances in the evening. Well worth a visit.

I don't yet know what I'll be doing, most probably some shouting/vocalising - and there may be some home-made instrumentation involved.

On Friday 5 July, myself and Nicola Woodham are performing at the Freud Museum as part of the "Totemic Festival" weekend, (full programme here), marking the 100th anniversary of the publication of "Totem and Taboo". We will be presenting a collaborative piece entitled "Was It Something I Said?" I will be delivering a vaguely Pevsneresque talk on that part of Hampstead, whilst Nicola heckles me with an uncanny echo of some of my words, drawing out their latent, or unintended, meaning.

The piece was inspired by us thinking about repression and architecture. Despite the obvious charms of cellars, toilets or the-bit-round-the-back-where-the-bins-are as sites of repression, it seemed to us that it properly resides in the facade of the house. This is not to say that the facade hides anything, the interior is not being repressed, as in "a thin veneer of suburban calm belies the sordid truths that lie beneath"...a trope commonly explored: "Desparate Housewives", "American Beauty", "Brookside"all immediately spring to mind, amongst myriad others. In some senses, what the facade hides is that there is nothing to hide, or that what is hidden (if anything) is a function of the hiding.

publicity shot, "Was It Something I Said" Robin Bale & Nicola Woodham

 Finally, on Saturday 13 July, I will be at Trade Gallery in Nottingham presenting a paper/performance at the Heckler symposium (web page here). Tickets are free, but you need to book (here).

Abstracts for all contributors are here.

It's going to be an extremely interesting do. It's curated by Lee Campbell and Mel Jordan, and there are going to be loads of interesting contributors to what is -I think - an important area of study.

My contribution is entitled "Man Next Door", after the John Holt/Paragons classic, which has been covered/versioned by Dr Alimantado ,  spookily byThe Slits and a disappointing (despite the presence of Horace Andy) version by Massive Attack. 

Here's the abstract:
“There’s a man who lives next door – in my neighbourhood – he gets me down”
It is very easy to imagine the heckler as an unruly other, one who can be ejected from the brief
polity that an audience create. That is, the heckler becomes a guest – one who has no automatic
leave to remain - as soon as they become heckler. The relationship between performer and
audience is dynamic. A variety act may thank the audience for having them, as one would to a
host, or a comedian will fight the audience to become the host and receive the host’s due: they
will laugh at his jokes. Performers talk of “losing the room”, as if it was part of ongoing hostilities –
which in a sense it is.
I will look at the heckler through the figure of the neighbour. Neighbours are universally
unavoidable. Unlike the guest, we cannot eject them if they speak out of turn or become tiresome.
They do not have a visa that can be revoked. Equally, we do not have to laugh at their jokes or
effusively appreciate their generosity to placate them. As anyone who lives in a flat will know, the
neighbour is constantly present but usually unseen, the relationship is mostly auditory. We can
hear their footsteps, smell their cooking, pass judgement on their taste in music or sex lives, know
how often they use the toilet and when they go out to work. They will know, and do, the same with
us -and there is nothing that can be done about them. Unlike the other, whose position is always
at a safe distance, from which we can turn away from them – or invite them over – the neighbour
is almost as close as our own skin.


The event runs from 12:30-18:30. Do come if you are anywhere near

Tuesday, 4 June 2013


My first track on bandcamp. It's by no means perfect, in terms of recording or execution (improvised in my front room) I've cleaned up the recording a bit, though not enough. There may be a remix in the pipeline, I've got a lot of fragments of similar ideas that may or may not fit - we'll see.

Monday, 3 June 2013


Oliver Stummer, Tasos Stamou and myself improvising at noise=noise on the stylophones we hacked at Tasos' excellent hacking workshop.