|Concert photographs | Still movies||
First of all
First of all go, buy and watch Wake, the one and only official live release from The Sisters of Mercy (give or take some Vision Thing era b-sides). No video can fully recreate the excitement of a Sisters gig, yet no still movie can even get close to the excitement level of a video -- and Sisters videos do not get any better than Wake (although the video definitely could live without the random camera effects test).
Second of all, see the proper still movie from 1999/10/21 Mexico gig in the official TSOM site.
Then check out this site's still movies via links on the right.
What is it?
The still movies in this site are made of pictures captured from illegal video recordings. Diamond sharp quality isn't what you'd expect from such tapes -- which is good, because you won't find any diamond sharp quality here. Yet these pictures do even better job than concert photographs in giving you a glimpse of what The Real Thing looks like.
...which means we won't have to explain why you should sell your wife/husband together with kids and get to that next gig in that obscure place near Scheissedorf. (Then again, you'd better hold on to the kids. The boys might choose to tour next year, too).
This explanation of how Sisters Lampies gain life was written by Sisters Own Guru Nigel Holborough for Dominion mailing list. Still movies put a lot of emphasis on the lightshow, so it pays to know what is behind it all. See also the explanation of Sisters lighting, courtesy of the official site.
"There are normally 2 lighting desks, one for moving lights, one for fixed lights, sometimes there is another one for some other moving lights. There may also be other controllers for smoke, wind machines and strobes etc. These desks are run by one, or sometimes two guys, and are operated 'Live' in much the same way as a Guitarist or Keyboard player. Some parts are pre-programmed sequences, again simlilar to musicians 'effects' units.
"From tour to tour, and festival to festival, the number, type, and placement of the lights can vary, so no one program could cover every eventuality. As regular concert goers will have noticed, even the same setlist is never played exactly the same, Andrew stands, crouches and crawls where he will, and who knows where the wind will blow the smoke, so although there are 'set pieces' the lights follow the band from moment to moment via an Eye/Hand interface that largely bypasses the brain, which spends most of its time 20 seconds into the future trying to figure out what should/might/will happen next.
"As for MIDI... it's alright for Muso's I suppose, but Lampies use DMX512 which is far more appropriate and adds a certain frisson to the proceedings (Lampies like to live on the edge).
"Anyway, if the Doktor did the lights, what would I do on my holidays?"
Our attitude towards illegal tapes/CDs/whatnot
Touchy topic. We are against buying the stuff because the band do not get any profit for their work being sold, but have to admit that the evil bootleg subculture did bring some good in this world -- crappy tapes made not-so-crappy by remastering them for CD release, rare and famous performances made not-so-rare by releasing them to wider audience, private, incomplete and interesting demo/early versions made not-so-private by helping them find their way from archives to that same wider audience, or even making the artists release material which otherwise would've still gathered dust in the archives -- this list can go on and on and on.
While taping and trading are widely accepted as justifiable means of getting officially unavailable material, in many cases its extension of that same bootleg business -- you won't get far with taping shows yourself, and quite a lot of material circulating in trade circles come from these same bootlegs. And once you're in the business, it's hard to resist from just buying that Some Boys Wander By Mistake CD and skip the necessity to (1) find somebody who has the boot (2) arrange a trade (3) spend money on CD/tape for him/her and (4) wait patiently while post do its job while hoping it does not misplace the packages. And it's quite hard to start a collection without paying hard cash for hard goods.
That said, taping and trading still are the only justifiable practices, so we try to stick to them. If you're up for a trade, go to Christer's page. If you're up for a purchase, go find somebody else.
Getting the movies
Our attitude is more or less covered in the previous chapter, but for those who only scan the headings, here it goes again: unless you come up with a reasonable trade proposal to Christer (see his trading pages at http://www.nada.kth.se/~christe/Sisters) we cannot help you get the movies. Selling this kind of thing goes against our principles, so don't bother asking.
Most of these videos are widely available in the trading circles -- search the Net and you just might come up with something.
If you're not concerned by ethical implications of buying illegal
material, check your local record fairs, bazaars and music shops, scan
keep an eye on appropriate places in the Internet and eventually you'll
come up with something.
This webzine copyright © 1997-2005 Andrius Sytas
Credited material copyrighted by stated authors