Wednesday 17 January 2018, 7.30pm
All-out, high-voltage line-up with James Sedwards' avant-punk / jazz-prog / noise-rock group Nøught, and Alex Ward & Jem Doulton's Dead Days Beyond Help project.
Nøught is a synthesis of the experimental, avant-punk, jazz-prog and noise-rock credos, distilled into the paradoxical confines of a musically volatile, instrumental power-quartet. Originally formed in Oxford in the late 90's by eminent guitarist James Sedwards (Thurston Moore Group / Guapo / The Devil), the current line-up has been based in London since 2002. Their music is profoundly exhilarating when encountered and often provokes an hypnotic sensation from an audience as their incendiary live performances can easily entice and captivate a listener, due to the highly artful, polished and demanding compositions. Pieces span the extremes of short, catchy, three minute eruptions to long, dense and evolving half-hour incantations. Nøught’s music provides an uncommonly refreshing, non-derivative sensibility and approach, and they continually astound as they develop, invoke and deliver their singularly potent blend of sonic diabolism.
Dead Days Beyond Help is the duo of Alex Ward (guitar/vocals) and Jem Doulton (drums). Since forming in 2006, DDBH have honed a compositional approach previously heard to its fullest extent on their 2014 Believers Roast release "SEVERANCE PAY", described by The Wire Magazine as "a reminder that there are still thrills aplenty to be gained from the pursuit of complexity... as playful as it is heavy, as atmospheric as it is cerebral". In their live performances, these variously intricate, sweeping and violent compositions sit side by side with free-wheeling improvisational excursions (reflecting the members' work with the likes of Steve Noble, Alan Wilkinson and Thurston Moore) and the whims of the moment, which could involve a leap into either a wall of flattening noise or the most emotionally direct country song. In negotiating this dizzying range of materials, DDBH bypass the pitfalls of irony and the obstacle course of genre by the simple guiding principle: intensity-at-all-costs.
“Ward’s guitar work leaps between metallic crunch, Fripp-esque tangle and Chadbourne choogle with astounding energy and precision, while Doulton’s drumming swings with commensurate joy and fury” – Joseph Stannard, The Wire.
“Dead Days Beyond Help are just the job after a hard day at the void machine, their precise and frenetic compositions blowing away the debris and cleansing the mind.” – Simon Lewis, Terrascope Online.