“God made woman from man’s rib, Not from his head … That he should command her, Nor from his feet … That he should walk upon her, But rather from his side … To be his partner in life, From under his arm … To be protected by him, And from near his heart … To be loved by him.”
It was a packed house (sold out) at the El Rey Theatre where Deafheaven made a pit stop on their North American tour. On their biggest headlining show to date, Deafheaven brought their ‘A’ game to the stage giving their lucky fans the experience of a lifetime. George Clarke’s formidable presence on stage is a sight to behold. His mannerisms resemble those of a sadistic prison guard crossed with an orchestra conductor yet at times he shows a peaceful side to him and a sense of vulnerability. If you dare get on stage with Clarke. he will personally make sure you promptly leave. The tones coming from Kerry McCoy and the rest of the band created an atmosphere that was downright intoxicating. They played so hard, drummer Daniel Tracy broke his snare drum in the middle of the set and had to borrow one from Earth’s drummer. Amidst the loudness and aggression, the band manages to carry the crowd to moments of serenity and solitude. Their fans, most of them anyway, are serious metal aficionados and not the “hipsters” some critics proclaim them to be. Supporting act Earth delivered a heavy dose of feedback and pinch harmonics to the audience. Marriages opened up for the night playing a short set of their indescribable music. I can’t wait to hear more from them.
Pamela, 63, and Shafique, 75, a retired restaurant manager, live in Stepney, East London. They have six grown-up children, three boys and three girls, and nine grandchildren. Pamela is English and Shafique is from Bangladesh.
PAMELA SAYS: It was Shafique’s amazing mop of jet-black hair that first attracted me to him. I was 14, and I can still remember seeing him in the kitchen of the local Wimpy restaurant where he was the chef.
The next time I went in he served me, and we got chatting. Nearly 50 years on we are still together.
My family lived near Brick Lane, in East London, and the Fifties and Sixties were a time of great change there. A lot of Bengali men came to London to find jobs, like Shafique, and many moved to Brick Lane, which has since become a strong Bangladeshi community.
A lot of my friends were attracted to the Asian men. They were smart, nice-looking, well-dressed and well-spoken. When Shafique and I started going out, my mother was fine, but my dad was horrified.
He refused to come when we married in a register office in 1965, when I was 19. He thought Shafique wouldn’t stick by me, but once we’d been married a few years and he saw how my husband looked after me, he admitted he had been wrong and Shafique became his favourite son-in-law.
Some people living in our area were hostile — they shouted ‘Paki’ at Shafique when we walked down the street, and lots of nasty things were said to us.
Our first date was to an Asian cinema to see a love story. I did get a lot of looks, though they were more surprised than anything else. We now have a home in Bangladesh and I am always treated like a queen when we visit.
‘Some people living in our area were hostile — they shouted “Paki” at Shafique when we walked down the street’
After we married I converted to Islam, and we decided to bring up our children as Muslims, so there were never any disputes between us at home.
However, we have always celebrated Christmas as well as Eid, and our children, and now grandchildren, love it because it means they get a lot of presents.
SHAFIQUE SAYS: Sadly my mother never met my wife — she died before I could take Pamela back to Bangladesh. But I know she wasn’t happy about my marrying a non-Muslim girl.
My children nearly all have multi-cultural marriages and we are very happy about that — one son has married a Turkish girl, another a Jewish girl, one daughter a mixed-race man and another an Englishman. We have no prejudices — everyone is welcome in our family.
As part of their recent headlining trek with Marriages, ambient black metal outfit, Deafheaven, visited Cambridge’s TT The Bear’s Place. The intimate venue sold out the night of the show and was filled to capacity. The night was opened by locals, VYGR, prior to Marriages playing a set lasting somewhere close to an hour. The three-piece, ambient, female-fronted band from Los Angeles has quite a different style from Deafheaven, but plenty of similarities as well, especially when it comes to lengthy songs and intricate guitar work. As soon as Deafheaven kicked in with their set, the crowd got rowdy right away. For over an hour, the San Francisco act alternated back and forth between black metal style blast beat, heavy guitar parts and beautiful, melodic guitar parts. - All Photos by Nick Dinatale
Marriages. Oh Marriages. There is this sense of unity that you feel on stage when these folks are playing that is hard to explain. Everything flowed so seamlessly into itself; it was like drifting in a river of stuff and things. It just makes you feel good to see them live. This band deserves the world.
There isn’t much I can say about deafheaven that hasn’t already been said in the past few months following the release of Sunbather. This was the last night of their tour with Marriages and it brought them right back home to San Francisco. Maybe that had something to do with it. Coming home after a long journey. I assume these guys bring it every night, but I have quite honestly never seen anything like it. A band so willing let the weight fall one person and one person so willing to let the weight fall on the audience. I don’t know what that means, but it didn’t sound that good in my head either. Yeah…