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The Disabled Avant-Garde record some ‘institutional classics’ - check them out now on their website! / 24 March 2010

two performance artists on stage in strange gothic style makeup and clothes

Aaron Williamson and Katherine Araniello - The Disabled Avant-Garde. © Disabled Avant Garde

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From Iron Aaron to Iron Man

I have described some of the Disabled Avant-Garde’s recent japes and dodges in making our new film in previous blog posts. In the meantime, before ‘No Room at the Igloo’ is completed, Katherine and Oriana Fox have edited and posted all ten of the songs we performed at the Bluecoat in Liverpool last November as ‘The Top Ten Institutional Classics’.

One of these must have been a premonition of my current endeavours as it consists in the riff from ‘Iron Man’ by Black Sabbath, which I play on ultra-loud feedback guitar whilst Katherine intones ‘Skip to My Lou’ over the top. (Try it in your head! It sort of works).

The idea of this piece was to make a survey of the disability community’s ‘institutional classics’ from the good old days of medical-model communal singing (‘I can sing a Rainbow’, ‘Kum Ba Yah’, ‘The Wheels on the Bus’, and erm ‘Ten In the Bed’) and to reset them to monster heavy metal riffs.

The DAG got ourselves done up in full Norwegian Black-Metal evil-looking garb and my favourites that I remember us playing are Number 10 (‘Ten in the Bed’,) Number One (‘Skip to my Lou’) and ‘The Real Number One (‘Wheels on the Bus’).