The Tongue

Various thoughts and utterances.



Up until that point the only live shows I’d attended were local grungy guitar bands playing terrible cover versions to their mates in South London pubs. And then, one day in 1992 someone invited me to see Daisy Chainsaw supported by Elephant Witch at the ULU.  I guess me and my friends were just expecting another grungy rock gig, albeit on a slightly larger scale…

I still have no idea what the DJ was playing before the first band took to the stage, but none of it was familiar to me – I recall the sound of drum machines, unsettling distorted noises and atonal feedback and wanted to run to the DJ booth each time a new song faded in to ask him or her what it was. Which was impossible since by now we’d been pushed close to the front of the stage in a tightly packed sea of people. We were clearly going nowhere else for the remainder of the evening. I remember thinking momentarily “What if I need to pee?” and then immediately forcing myself to block this unrealistic notion from my mind.

Eventually the lights in this already pretty dark room dimmed further and the first band walked on stage. I say “band” but up until this time, the only bands I’d seen tended to consist of four or five guys playing drums and guitars. Elephant Witch walked on carrying two large metal bins and a bag full of bread.

This is where the weirdness levels began to escalate. I can’t remember when or how they started playing, like you can’t really remember the start of a dream. But their set consisted of two men dressed identically (red dreadlocks, dungarees) each carrying a megaphone, each standing on top of one of the big metal bins which had been placed at either side of the stage. There may have been a drummer somewhere onstage but by this time there was so much dry ice it was difficult to tell. An incredibly loud monotonous beat was playing which sounded like workmen disassembling scaffold in a wind-tunnel and the two identical red haired boys began chanting the words “WELCOME TO EARTH” into their megaphones.

At some point two women appeared in the centre of the stage. Both were dressed in huge wedding gowns and wearing gas masks. One of them took a loaf of bread out of the bag and they began to have a kind of tug of war, each violently pulling on one end of the loaf until it split in two. Then the other would take a new loaf of bread from the bag and they would again begin to pull the bread apart between them.

At some point I became aware of a strange sense of nausea. It was then that I realised that the only lights in the room for the last few minutes had been two slightly out-of-sync strobe lights.

I should point out that my memory of all of this is somewhat hazy so I might be incorrect about some of the details here, but the overall sensation of confusion, danger and disorientation coupled with the relentlessly hypnotic music – a constant drum groove with clashing metal percussion and tons of echo on everything, combined with the now incessant mantra of “WELCOME TO EARTH” – lodged itself into my brain like a religious epiphany.

Live music didn’t, it turned out, have to be a flimsy xerox copy of your favourite rock’n’roll heroes. It didn’t have to be long haired boys* singing songs about how much they hate themselves. It didn’t even have to consist of sounds that were traditionally considered “music”. It could be used to convey those subliminal mental sensations that exist between wake and sleep. It could create worlds, either utopian or dystopian. It could change the nature of immediate reality.

I’ve never heard anything else from or by Elephant Witch since then. I have no idea if it was some kind of one-off prank or a serious artistic endeavour. And to be honest I suspect that if I was to hear them now I’d find the whole thing a bit silly.

…But it was that culture-shock that my fifteen year old brain didn’t even know it needed that night. It was a spark. A first step** in a journey towards my own attempts at making music which tries to create worlds of universal joy, rather than obsesses on the tranient feelings of “I”.

I doubt that you’ll see The Infinite Three tear up a load of stale bread onstage anytime soon, but we do try our best to aim for that non-linguistic place between mind and matter. Feel free to pick up a copy of our latest album, Innocence / Foam, to hear how close we get.

Thank you for listening to my inane ramblings but, much more importantly, thanks for supporting our music.

Love & Rage


The Infinite Three

*I say this as a long haired middle aged man who, despite everything rather likes guitar music as long as it’s not too self-loathing.
**I’ve left out the much earlier first step of dancing to Adam & The Ants in my pants at the age of 5.

Rats In The Walls

A while back we recorded a song called Receive Us for a compilation album called Rats In The Walls. The compilation was intended to be a survey of some of the more left-field bands in London at that point, most of whom had some kind of connection (albeit indirectly in some cases) to the Behind Bars anarchist/queer party scene.

For a few years in London, Behind Bars was the hidden eye of the storm for the city’s oddballs, outcasts, political activists and under-the-radar freaks. Every couple of months an abandoned building somewhere in town would be occupied and turned into a temporary-autonomous-zone with all kinds of bizarre performances, live music and DJs.

They were, for the most part, joyful celebrations of otherness and pinpoints of optimism in a city which felt very much like it was crumbling under the weight of austerity and gentrification.

The Behind Bars scene is sadly no-more and for a variety of reasons the compilation was never released – a real shame since there were some amazing artists invlolved. But we recently dug out the song we recorded for it. It’s called Receive Us and was one of the first things we recorded after recruiting our drummer Paul Middleton (an ex-member of Kevin Martin’s industrial-jazz heavyweights GODand a fellow alumni of Cindytalk)

Here it is, a free download for your aural inspection: Receive Us

We’ve been considering introducing it to the live set… Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

And if you’d prefer to hear some more recent sonic rumblings from our collective brains, consider getting hold of our new album Innocence / Foam.

Learning Never Stops

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!

Subscribe to us on Bandcamp

The Infinite Three - Subscribe to us on Bandcamp We don’t really go in the for usual crowdfunding thing – promising a big project we may or may not be able to deliver – but like all independent bands we rely on the support of our fans to get things done. Subscribing to us on Bandcamp is a splendid way to help us to make more music.. You’ll get everything we release each year (albums, singles and EPs) as well as subscriber-exclusive albums and singles (last year we released two exclusive albums – one live and one studio recording) which are unavailable elsewhere, generous discounts on shirts and other merch and the satisfying sensation of helping to contribute to the creation of new adventurous music in a sustainable way. Go here for more infotainment:

We’re currently working on new music for a project that we would dearly like to release this year. Either as an album or a series of EPs. The new songs are taking on a far more ambitious shape than before. The sounds seem to be bending in all directions, simultaneously more melodic and more sonically weird. This is definitely going to be our boldest set of recordings so far. We urge YOU to help us materialise this music in the physical universe by becoming a loyal subscriber.

Canine Event

Thermoreversible Gelation of Polyvinylidene Fluoride.

Rae Vanz

Oh yes.. and many thanks to the mighty Rae of RaeVanz RMTouring Services for driving us around in safety and comfort over the last few days. Highly recommended if you’re in a band and need transport for a tour


I have no memory of writing this

Travelling back to London after a great gig in Newcastle. Thanks to everyone who saw us – we’ll be back in your fine town in August. Next stop: Vinyl Cafe, Deptford, tomorrow night.

Sound Inc

Yesterday at Sound Inc studios, Gateshead. Recording music for another subscriber-exclusive album.


I think we just drove through a wormhole.