Releasing the Innocence EP just before the turn of the new year brought us, as is always the case with new recordings, an enourmous sense of weight lifting from our collective shoulders. We all feel very proud of the new songs and are looking forward to performing them live this year, expanding and opening up the songs even further.
As we’ve mentioned many times, these new songs were all born from much longer sessions of intense collective improvisations. My own personal vocabulary of improvisatory musical language took a leap at the beginning of 2017 after having attended a couple of terms of lessons at the wonderful Morley College in London, under the tutorship of Alex Haines.
Alex graduated from the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in 2013 with a first class degree in Jazz Guitar, and has since become a sought-after performer in many of the UK’s top jazz clubs and venues. As well as being patient and wise teacher, Alex’s playing is a thing of great beauty. Here he is, in a trio with Alex Munk and Nick Jurd, performing a piece called Robots.
When I decided to attend Alex’s classes a friend of mine casually remarked “Why do you need to do that? You already know how to play the guitar”… I didn’t mention that I felt that my own playing at the time was somewhat clumsier than I’d ideally like but I did reply that the process of learning never stops.
Alex, if you happen to be reading this, cheers mate. I’m still wilfully ignoring harmony, but at least now I know what I’m ignoring and why! Ha!
Here’s to the absorbtion of more wisdom and the further inflaming of neurons in 2018!
Our new EP, Innocence, will be released on Friday 15th December.
During our 2016 tour we stopped off at studios in Newcastle and London to record several hours of improvised music. The most promising lumps of sound from those sessions were excavated at the start of 2017 and Innocence is the first fruit to be assembled from the wreckage.
Four new songs for you: Innocence, Hot Strings of Love, Like A Dog and These Animal’s Eyes.
Innocence is intended as the first of two related EPs. A virtual ‘Side A’ of an album, with ‘Side B’ – a sister-EP – to follow in 2018. The cover artwork is by Harumi Foster.
Also due for release soon (on the 21st December as usual) will be this year’s Winter Solsticesong. For those of you who dont’t know – for the past seven years we have issued a new, longform piece of music every 21st of December. Every year presents a new creative challenge for us to bend and manipulate our sonic muscles for you in new and innapropriatly physical ways.
…Which is where the new one will live after it has hatched from its moist egg.
One more thing… There’s a couple of new(ish) shirts available from our merch store. The Lucky Beast shirt features Andrea Voisey’s amazing cover art from last year’s album and can be found here. And the Sonny Sharrock Was Right shirt can be found here, with all the proceeds going to the Youth Music charity.