Flipper - "Live at the Fillmore 1981" Digital EP Review ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Flipper - "Live at the Fillmore 1981" Digital EP Review

Flipper - 'Live at the Fillmore 1981' Digital EP ReviewFlipper seemed to play the East Coast all the time in the early – mid 80’s but I only remember one tour in the 90’s (with The Dwarves, if memory serves). Given this, I was surprised when Flipper resurfaced for two “Save CBGB” shows in 2005 and followed this up with both a new studio, a live disc and another tour. Aside for a one-off show with the Dead Kennedys earlier this year and an archival DVD from MVD Video released last year, Flipper has been keeping a low profile.

I recently found that I had missed a live release from the band that Flipper fans are going to want to check out. I generally don’t pay attention to digital-only releases so I’m not shocked that I missed this “new” live album from Flipper, which was released about a year ago by CD Presents. This show captures Flipper’s 20+ minute set opening for PiL at The Fillmore in San Francisco on 10/31/81. Earlier that year, Flipper had opened for Throbbing Gristle at their (then) final show at Kezar Stadium and Flipper’s epic, monolithic drone seems more in line with TG’s experimentalism and the average PiL fan may have agreed with Will Shatter’s comment at the TG show: “This is actually a test in future torture”.

This new recording sounds great and it captures Flipper in all their shambolic glory, continually hovering on the edge of chaos and collapse. The band plows through three songs: “Sacrifice” [4:38m] (which starts with a long instrumental build-up of a wall of noise), “Survivors of the Plague” [7:18m] and they close with an extended version of “Life” (…the only thing worth living for) [7:46m]. This set is well-worth picking up as it is only $3.99 on iTunes and it comes with a digital booklet that details the history behind the show and how the band’s sets with PiL were an outgrowth of David Ferguson trying to help the band after Bill Graham scheduled them to play AFTER the Sex Pistols at their (final) Winterland concert.

This video isn't from the show at the Fillmore but it is from the same era of the band:


Some of the other CD Presents shows available on iTunes include:
- Avengers/ Live at Winterland 1978 (opening for the Sex Pistols)
- Bad Brains/Live at the Fillmore 1982
- Black Flag/Live at the On Broadway 1982 (two complete shows)
- Circle Jerks/Live at the Fillmore 1982