Francesca's Word Salad
The Victorian English Gentleman's Club
Francesca of Word Salad fame is more entertainer than musical act. Guitar is played but songs aren't sung, her style is one of musical spoken word, and the words spoken are odd. Macabre tales of zombie firemen and missing body parts mingle with visual accompaniments of DIY props and hand made hats – a jarring mix as the overall style befits a slot on Cbeebies, yet the content is more Victorian Gothic. My quiet discomfit contrasted other peoples' obvious enjoyment however, as many audience members clapped along, seemingly revelling in Francesca's comedic children's presenter persona with delivery akin to conversation with a small child. If not musical satisfaction, watching Francesca's Word Salad provided at least a talking topic.
I recall thinking that Thomas Truax is a genuinely talented musician and songwriter. And then he sprinted around the perimeter of the building, flashes of black hair and Hornicator visible through the 360 degree windows while the crowd looked on in bemusement. His performance had this sort of distracting, captivating effect throughout. Thomas Truax came to Cardiff from New York via Wowtown. Where's Wowtown you may well ask. Well it's sort of his imaginary – slash – online world. Once seen live, you can believe that Truax lives in Wowtown most of the time. His energy knows no bounds, and his collection of musical instruments hold a similar lack of limitations. Have you heard of a Hornicator? Neither had I, but Truax has made and plays such a thing, in addition to a collection of other curiosities, even sounds made from a taut, plucked bungee rope. He is inventive, infinitely likeable, and hugely entertaining. A character straight from a Tim Burton film, Truax must be experienced, particularly when sporting light-up swirly glasses. Since the gig, I have subscribed to e-mails from Wowtown, and upon listening to his music sans performance can verify my initial thought was correct. He does a great cover of Wicked Game, and his Hornicator sounds wonderful in the backing track.