Archive for the 'Live' Category

Phaedra/Jenny Hval, The Borderline, London, 19/3/2012

themilkman on Mar 20th 2012 01:09 am

Welcome To Norway: Phaedra/Jenny Hval, The Borderline, London, 19/3/2012

Although primarily a cauldron of jazz, noise and electronic experimentations, Rune Grammofon have never shied away from gentler musical forms, most notably with Susanna Wallumrød, with or her Magical Orchestra, or Hilde Marie Kjersem. Last year, the label opened its doors to two more Norwegian female singer songwriters, Ingvild Langgård, who officiates as Phaedra and Jenny Hval, who both delivered stunning, if very different, records (The Sea, a folk odyssey of sort, and Viscera, a much more angular and disconcerting project, respectively). After a false start last year due to a venue double-booking a date, the pair finally hit London this Monday evening at the Borderline in central London. Continue Reading »

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Tom Arthurs/Simon Vincent, Tom Arthurs/Ollie Bown/Isambard Khroustaliov/Lothar Ohlmeier, Kings Place, London, 30/1/2012

themilkman on Jan 31st 2012 01:05 am

Tom Arthurs/Simon Vincent, Tom Arthurs/Ollie Bown/Isambard Khroustaliov/Lothar Ohlmeier, Kings Place, London, 30/1/2012

If the vast possibilities offered by the meeting of acoustic instrumentation and electronic processing have been explored at length throughout the second half of the twentieth century, and even more so in the first decade of the twenty-first, there seem to be an almost infinite capacity for the two to continue to coexist and develop in ever more complex and rich ways. This is precisely what British experimental trumpeter Tom Arthurs set out to demonstrate as he presented two different works this Monday evening at Kings Place, in front of a disappointingly scarce audience, each piece investigating a different approach, and relationship, between the two.

The first set involved Arthurs improvising over extremely bare electronic textures created on the spot by Simon Vincent. Continue Reading »

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The Necks, Bishopsgate Institute, London, 18/11/2011

themilkman on Nov 21st 2011 12:12 am

The Necks, Bishopsgate Institute, London, 18/11/2011

There wasn’t going to be any typical Necks hypnotic groove of such on this first of two evenings at the Bishopsgate Institute. Instead, the Australian trio went for much more intricate and fluid formations.

It all started with Chris Abrahams weaving a delicate melody upon which Tony Buck added shimmering bells and steel drum, with only sprinkles of bass from Lloyd Swanton, and for a while, this constituted the core of the performance, but the tone got darker with bowed double bass, and what was initially an airy solo motif on the piano turned into a more monolithic sequence as Abrahams switched to a hypnotic theme, with contrasting clusters of notes in the higher and lower registers, his finger repeatedly rippling on the same parts of the keyboard. Meanwhile, Buck was layering a pretty complex sonic mesh from his vast panoply of percussions. Continue Reading »

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Fire! with Oren Ambarchi, The Vortex, Dalston, London, 27/10/2011

themilkman on Oct 29th 2011 10:32 pm

World On Fire: Fire! with Oren Ambarchi, Vortex, Dalston, London, 27/10/2011

On their second album, Unreleased?, published earlier this year on Rune Grammofon, Swedish supergroup Fire! invited Jim O’Rourke to join them and take on most of the guitar duties previously partly occupied by bass player Johan Berthing. For their London dates, their called upon the helping hands of Australian exprerimental guitarist Oren Ambarchi to assume similar functions.

With two albums under their belt, the trio formed of saxophonist Mats Gustafsson, bass player Johan Berthling (Tape) and drummer Andreas Werliin (Wildbirds & Peacedrums) are already building a sound all of their own, incorporating elements of experimental jazz, rock and kosmische into their sound. Continue Reading »

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Splashgirl, Pizza Express Jazz Club, Soho, London, 8/06/2011

themilkman on Jun 10th 2011 01:10 am

Splashgirl Pizza Express Jazz Club, Soho, London, 8/06/2011

Formed in 2003 by Andreas Løwe (piano, electronics), Jo Myhre (double bass, zither, electronics)  and Andreas Knudsrød (drums, percussions, electronics), Splashgirl released their first album, Door. Keys. five years on, and followed it with a second, Arbor two years later. The album was also the debut release of Norwegian imprint Hubro Music, a label which has since been going from strength to strength. With a new album due out in August, Splashgirl visited London’s Pizza Express Jazz Club, a venue hidden below street level with a stage shoehorned between tables and a bar, just big enough for a Steinway baby grand piano, a drum kit and a double bass.

In the short Q&A that preceded the set, Løwe explained that the music Splashgirl play is not jazz. Continue Reading »

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Seefeel, Kings Place, King’s Cross, London, 31/01/2011

themilkman on Feb 1st 2011 01:22 am

Seefeel, Kings Place, King's Cross, London, 31/01/2011

It’s been fifteen years since Seefeel last released a record, and even longer since they stopped performing live. The band returned to the stage at the end of 2008 for a unique live performance as part of the Warp20 celebrations in Paris. Prompted by an enthusiastic reception from Warp honcho Steve Beckett, Mark Clifford and Sarah Peacock, now with new members Shigeru Ishihara and Ilda Kazuhisa, got back in the studio and began working on new songs. The result first materialised with Faults last year, then with a self-titled album, both showing a band experimenting with much rawer and angular forms. Coinciding with the release of this fourth album, the band played a headlining performance at Kings Place, ahead of a series of live dates which will take them through the UK, Europe and beyond in the coming months. Continue Reading »

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Murcof & Francesco Tristano, Queen Elizabeth Hall, South Bank Centre, London, 16/11/2010

themilkman on Nov 17th 2010 12:44 am

Murcof & Francesco Tristano, Queen Elizabeth Hall, South Bank Centre, London, 16/11/2010

The London Jazz Festival programme is known to regularly extend well beyond the realm of jazz, a genre itself subject to wide open interpretation. For its 2010 edition, the festival organisers have invited Mexican electronic artist Murcof to perform at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, on the South Bank, two years on from his LJF debut in the Purcell Room next door, where he performed with Spanish ensemble BCN216.

For this evening’s performance, Murcof rekindled his long-running partnership with Francesco Tristano, began a few years ago when Fernando Corona produced Tristano’s debut solo record, Not For Piano, released in 2007, and which consequently developed into a full live collaboration. Continue Reading »

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Hauschka + Clem Leek, Bush Hall, Shepherd’s Bush, London, 9/11/2010

themilkman on Nov 10th 2010 01:06 am

Hauschka + Clem Leek Bush Hall, Shepherd's Bush, London, 9/11/2010

Located in the lively and cosmopolitan Shepherd’s Bush area, West London, a stone-throw from the cold and soulless Westfield shopping arcade, Bush Hall is like an oasis of calm and tranquility. The place has been many things over the years, from its original purpose as a ball room to a soup kitchen during the second World War, a snooker club in the seventies, before being returned to its former glory, complete with carved ceiling and chandeliers, in the nineties. It retains a level of intimacy which was perfectly suited to this evening’s performance from German musician and composer Volker Bertelmann, better known as Hauschka, who was kicking off his UK tour following the release of his recent album, Foreign Landscapes, on Fat Cat. For this performance, Bertelmann was accompanied by a twelve-piece ensemble, who, he informed us, due to the impossible logistic of taking a whole orchestra on tour, he only had met the day before for a rehearsal session, and was ‘feeling like speed dating’. Continue Reading »

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The Whale Watching Tour, Sam Amidon, Ben Frost, Nico Muhly & Valgeir Sigurđsson, Barbican Centre, London, 27/09/2010

themilkman on Sep 28th 2010 11:14 pm

The Whale Watching Tour, Sam Amidon, Ben Frost, Nico Muhly & Valgeir Sigurđsson, Barbican Centre, London, 27/09/2010

Bedroom Community, the label founded by Valgeir Sigurđsson, has, for over four years, been a hub of intense collaborative work between the various members of the collective. They regularly work on each others’ records, in various capacities, and often join effort on stage. In the last year, the four embarked on an ambitious tour which has seen them perform across Europe. Originally scheduled for last April, the Barbican performance of Bedroom Community’s Whale Watching Tour was postponed after that Icelandic volcano started erupting, causing chaos in European air traffic. On a prematurely autumnal late September evening, the Bedroom Community caravan finally stopped at London’s Barbican Centre for one of the very last dates with all four members of the collective, Nico Muhly, Sam Amidon, Ben Frost and Valgeir Sigurđsson, accompanied by four additional musicians, Una Sveinbjarardóttir (violin), Nadia Sirota (viola), Brogar Magnason (contrabass) and Helgi Jonson (trombone and vocals) playing in this particular format. Continue Reading »

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Seefeel, ICA, London, 16/09/2010

themilkman on Sep 20th 2010 11:05 pm

Seefeel, ICA, London, 16/09/2010

Despite having only released one album and a couple of singles for the label, Seefeel are one of Warp’s most emblematic acts. Over a year ago, the band was resurrected, the time, it seemed, of a celebratory set as part of the opening event for Warp’s twentieth anniversary bash in Paris. That was without counting on the persuasive powers of Warp co-founder and head, Steve Beckett, who got on the band’s case and convinced them to work together again and finally give a follow up to the stunning and seminal Quique, Succour and (Ch-Vox), the band’s three albums to date.

The reunion actually dates back to 2007, when Mark Clifford and Sarah Peacock found themselves answering questions about the freshly expanded Quique, reissued by Too Pure. Continue Reading »

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Jóhann Jóhannsson/Greg Haines/Nils Frahm, St Giles In The Fields, London, 27/05/2010

themilkman on Jun 1st 2010 12:32 am

Jóhann Jóhannsson/Greg Haines/Nils Frahm, St Giles In The Fields, London, 27/05/2010

Haven of calm and tranquillity right in the pumping heart of London, a stone throw from the chaos of on of the major Cross Rail construction sites, St Giles In The Fields paid host to three of today’s modern classical musicians and composers. Headlining the evening was Jóhann Jóhannsson, now something of a veteran of the genre, and the most established of the three, with Berlin-based British composer Greg Haines and German new comer Nils Frahm each bringing their own blend of the genre to the event.

Nils Frahm’s solo piano set offered a partial reading of his recent album The Bells, with compositions extended or altered to fit the mood. Continue Reading »

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Joanna Newsom/Roy Harper, Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, London, 12/052010

themilkman on May 14th 2010 12:42 am

Joanna Newsom/Roy Harper, Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, London, 12/052010

It was a Royal Festival Hall packed to the rafters that welcomed Joanna Newsom on the second of her two London dates this Wednesday evening. She had managed to convince her musical hero, Roy Harper, to open for her for these two shows, as she had a few years ago at the Royal Albert Hall. Harper, who was performing live for only the second time following a three year break, played a selection of songs, most of them dating back to the late sixties and early seventies (The Green Man, Another Day or Me And My Woman to name but a few), his voice, strong, with rich overtones and deep reaches, effortlessly filling the RFH, while he alternated between two electro-acoustic guitars, at times so utterly fragile and ephemeral, at other incredibly gritty and violent. Continue Reading »

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