The One-Legged Cyclist


"This tape gathers a series of demos and live recordings of a short-lived Portuguese band from the 1980s: Os Senhores (1985-87, briefly resurrected in 1990). Portugal was just beginning to open up to the international cultural scene back then; for a younger generation of creatives, this meant a visceral rejection of tradition ('Fado??? The past!'), and a thirsty embracing of whichever echoes made it from abroad, often in the shape of expensive import vinyl or hissy third or fourth-generation cassette dubs: from post-punk to post-modern, we all wanted to break from the old paradigm . . . A venue in Lisbon, Rock Rendez Vous, was congregating this younger generation through a series of rock marathons and competitions. We dutifully applied and stepped on stage for the first time ever in March 1986; track three of this tape begins with the first few seconds of such gig. A handful of gigs followed, and we recorded various sets of demos at Luís Carlos' Studio X in Porto. Paradoxically, our objective lack of formal musical training and relative scarcity of musical skills provided us with a potential degree of freedom. And oh, we were free to be our vicarious selves: the female singer was a Siouxsie devotee, the male singer was heavily into Krautrock, the guitar player wanted to play the blues, the drummer just wanted to hit stuff. The bass player and the keyboard player held it together somehow. This seemingly impossible mix of aesthetics could have produced something special; instead, we tended to cancel each other out . . . In the end, we opted for a more straightforward approach in the re-working of the original sources: we had various recordings play simultaneously, without further tweaking. Whatever fell on top of whatever else, so it stayed. In this way were able to preserve the original sonic, structural and contextual aspects of each recording, while somehow amplifying the tightrope of chaos/ineptitude we traversed throughout those two years. And just as decisively, through this process of superimposing, we were able to reveal a few odd juxtapositions that, had we had the vision back then, could have been infinitely more promising than the elusive post-something format we obsessively kept hunting down..." --Heitor Alvelos, Porto, March 16, 2020. Cassette only in an edition of 100; Illustration by Anselmo Canha.