SATURDAY 29th May 2010
Times : 8pm
Tickets : £6 adv. / £8 on the door
David Thomas was one of the founding members of the short-lived protopunkers Rocket From The Tombs (1974-1975) and of post-punk group Pere Ubu (1975 - present, intermittently). He has also released several solo albums. Though primarily a singer, he sometimes plays melodeon, trombone, guitar or other instruments.
Thomas has described his artistic focus as being the “gestalt of culture, geography and sound”. Common themes crop up throughout much of his work, such as the US Interstate Highway system, images of roadside or “junk” tourist culture, Brian Wilson, AM Radio, and many others.
Something of a cult figure, Thomas’s high pitched voice is one of the most distinctive in rock music; Emerson Dameron memorably described Thomas’s singing as “Jimmy Stewart trapped in an oboe”, while Greil Marcus writes that “Mr Thomas’s voice is that of a man muttering in a crowd. You think he’s talking to himself until you realize he’s talking to you.”
He started messing about with banjo, guitar and trumpet at school, settling for drums and playing shadows and other instrumental covers in his first band in 1963.
Subsequently he played in R'n'B and Soul Bands, winding up in 1967 playing in London's psychedelic clubs. At the start of the seventies, with Dave Stewart, he co-founded The Ottawa Music Co, a 22 piece Rock composer's orchestra, eventually joining British experimental group Henry Cow with whom he toured, recorded and worked in dance and theatre projects until it's demise in 1978.
In 1977 Henry Cow, The Mike Westbrook Orchestra and Frankie Armstrong formed a big-band and toured around Europe. After Henry Cow, Cutler went on to co-found a series of mixed national groups Art Bears, News from Babel, Cassiber, The (ec) Nudes, P53 and The Science Group. He was a permanent member of American bands Pere Ubu, Hail and The Wooden Birds and now works sporadically with John Rose, Fred Frith, Zeena Parkins, Iancu Dumitrescu, Peter Blegvad and Stevan Tickmayer.
Other lasting collaborations have included Aqsak Maboul (Belgium), Lussier/Derome and Les Quatre Guitaristes (Canada), The Kalahari Surfers (Africa), Perfect Trouble (Germany), Between (Sweden), N.O.R.M.A., (Italy), Telectu (Portugal), Mieko Shimizu (Japan),The Hyperion Ensemble (Romania), The Film Music Orchestra, 'Oh Moscow', Gong, The Work and Towering Inferno (UK), The Residents (USA), and stateless Tense Serenity and Mirror Man. There have also been countless improvisational groupings and solo performances. Recent projects include Radio pieces with Lutz Glandien and Shelly Hirsch, Live Soundtrack for Carl Dreher's Vampyr (with Italians Musci and Venosta), his Timescales project and work with David Thomas and Linda Thompson.
He also founded and runs the independent label and distribution service ReR/Recommended and, until 1991, the East European specialist label Points East. He is editor of the New Music magazine Unfiled and author of the theoretical book File Under Popular as well as of numerous articles and papers published in 14 languages. He lectures intermittently on theoretical and music related topics. He has appeared on more than 100 recordings.
Since the early 1990s John Edwards has built a reputation as one of the finest, and most in demand bass players currently active on the British and European improv/ jazz and New music scenes- a first choice for musicians such as Evan Parker, Louis Moholo, Veryan Weston, Charles Hayward and Spring Heel Jack- Other groups include BRUISE and the Obliquity trio with Alan Wilkinson and Noble.
A solo double bass cd ‘VOLUME’ was released in 2008 on the PSI label.