thirty years ago
some young people found each other
armed with a belief in art music and hope
proceeded without caution
and without an audience…
– Eugene Carchesio
I’d seen them play and loved it, then suddenly I was in the band, first to fill Janet’s shoes for a weekend, then to play various instruments.
Eugene and Steven played like they painted – same piece of paper, shared symbols.
I’ve never known anyone so able to unhinge and be in the moment – just “be” the music / idea / sound from the heart, without ego – as Steven. I recall my shock at him falling to the ground – ‘rehearsing’, not ‘performing’ – to wail and sing up a storm.
Eugene wrote songs that had a life of their own, pulling words and bits of music together, a given piece never quite being the same twice, snippets of one turning up in another. He is still my favourite ever collaborator, in terms of instant improvisational power, and his ability to both respond to everyone else’s playing and also to lead elsewhere gently but decisively.
At the time Janet seemed to me a straight foil to these two oddballs; much later I figured out she was being a girl in a band (not a boy) and just as intense. ‘Hope’ is still one of my favourite songs ever (Janet sang, Steven looped a mesmerising bassline), for its forthright description of the feeling in attraction.
– Ian Wadley
In naming ‘The Closesthing’ we hoped to imply ‘the most intimate place’; a place deep inside, wild and true. We tried to make music from such a place: music of freedom and ecstasy. Eugene Carchesio and I were joined by Janet Foote, a tribe of drummers in herself, and by Ian Wadley with his melodic grace. There was synergy, some magic. This music still comes from ‘the most intimate place’, and hopefully it might touch the closest thing inside some kindred spirits of another era.
– Steven Grainger
Go for it, we did.
– Janet Foote
Eugene CARCHESIO, Steven GRAINGER, Janet FOOTE, Ian WADLEY
PLACE OF BIRTH
From the Collection of Steven Grainger
Eugene Carchesio: Guitar, Vocals, Steven Grainger: Vocals, Janet Foote: Drums, Ian Wadley: Bass. (Recorded 1986, Brisbane Australia