the venue (Verdict Jazz Club) in a quiet moment
So I’ve been going to Safe House here in Brighton for a while, and it’s helped keep me honest and open-minded musically (flexible, too). It’s a, well, it’s… right, this is off their site:
…collective that hosts two separate nights that focus on improvised and experimental music: Safehouse, on the first Wednesday of every month, and On The Edge, on the last.
[…] There may or may not be any rhythm, tonal centre or structure to the pieces played. The music is free in that sense. No premeditated ideas or constrictions. Any sound is valid. It is a sonic conversation, in which players respond to each other as spontaneously as possible.
It can be brilliant, terrifying and beautiful or absolute shit, depending on the quiddities of the moment. Some of the players are very advanced indeed, but I’ve managed to reach a point where I can hold my own onstage well enough as part of a free improv scratch ensemble – or at least not embarrass myself too often. One aspect of the gig nights is the Wildcard Quartet: four names are selected at random to go on as first support and improvise for about twenty minutes, no quarter asked or given. (They’re very clear about this… it’s not “jamming”, it’s improvisation. Start spamming out riffs by rote and they take you out back and shoot you. Horribly distorted electric guitars are permitted, however.)
Anyway, my name came up for the gig on 31 Jan. It’s exciting stuff, and will be entirely unique, which is kind of the point.
Graham Dunning, Colin Webster, Sam Underwood
In this trio Graham Dunning plays turntable, dubplates and dentristry tools, walkmans and amplified objects. Colin Webster plays saxophone and Sam Underwood the tuba.
In 2014 Graham and Colin released two albums of recordings on the Linear Obsessional and Raw Tonk labels. They also toured the UK and Switzerland – the video below is from their set in Zurich.
The trio performed a memorable set at Supernormal festival in 2015 and released a CD called Bleed on ADAADAT label – a track from which is below.
Fettucini Spicer attempt to provoke/shock each other into action by the application of a multitude of instruments and objects too numerous to mention!
…I have no idea what to expect, and trust me – neither do you.
Quite a full year: a new live band plus lots of gigs, an EP release and tour. Here’s to another like it, but more so – it’s been great, and thanks everyone who’s listened. (Should point out, I do own more than one shirt… look closely and you’ll see they’re not all the same garment – just very, very similar. Maybe next year I’ll experiment with another colour or two. Maybe.)
photos by Paul Newman
A new write-up for the EP here – “This is not your standard Brit-Pop”, featuring “innovation, with sound experimentation, layering and fluctuations within the music’s structure itself, ranging from full-fledged psyched out Pink Floyd-ish granderie at one moment, then over to stripped-down Bob Dylan-like moments of minimalism and pensiveness”.
Good to know it’s doing what it was meant to.
My new EP comes out today (25th Oct), and I’m doing a gig on Sun 29th for Brighton Noise to mark the launch. It’s beyond cool to be asked to play by them – plus ChrySalliss Presents – on a bill with Cali Santo and local legends The Long Goodbye.
Following that, there are more gigs across the UK: check back for updates.