Sunday 3 December 2017, 7.30pm

Photo by Andy Newcombe

Richard Youngs’ Advent on Advent Sunday

[Advent] remains the most potently concentrated document of Youngs' peculiar and captivating talents.” – Pitchfork

Richard Youngs performs his debut album, Advent, on Advent Sunday nearly three decades after its initial release. With hundreds of solo and collaborative releases on countless labels (including his own “No Fans” label) Richard’s music has been heaped with accolades since the 1990’s. Whether through his collaborations with the likes of Simon Wickham-Smith, Jandek, Neil Campbell or Makoto Kawabata, or in his solo work encompassing the starkest minimalism, lush acapella and acoustic balladry, Richard adds a touch of humanity to any project he’s involved with.

“THE iconic figure of the modern UK underground … Richard Youngs evolves in the shadows where most won’t look, but those who do will forever be dazzled and amazed” – The Quietus

RICHARD YOUNGS ON ADVENT

“December 1988. I was a maths student in Nottingham. Oppressed by the burden of group theory, I caught a train to my dad's house for a long Christmas break. I had no plans other than to escape education. Within days, however, I had recorded Advent. It just happened and I was puzzled by my creation. At the very least, I thought I'd make a few mixes for friends and gift them. That seemed to be that.

Over the next year I kept returning to Advent, still trying to figure it out. I had a bit of spare money and thought it'd make an interesting LP. Since I had no fans, doing it myself was my only option. No Fans Records was born. There was no thought for the practicalities of what to do with 300 albums. It was vanity publishing. I would have laughed at the suggestion that original copies would come to exchange hands at inflated prices, that it would be re-released, be performed well away from the Home Counties, and be something that people wanted to listen to.

Over quarter of a century later, and I still like Advent. Traditionally, Advent is a season of hope. With the apocalyptic outlook of a 22 year old who grew up with the Cold War, I never saw it like that back then. Middle-aged now, I hear it as the beginning of my music making and the end of doing maths. It's a celebration.

I am, therefore, very excited to be performing Advent at Oto on Advent Sunday.”

Richard Youngs

Born in Cambridge and raised in the Fens, Richard Youngs began making music at the start of the seventies. His early work centred on the family piano. When this was sold in the late seventies, however, the classical guitar and cassette recorder became his instruments of choice, along with anything at hand that made a sound. From then on he has played any number of roles with bands such as Astral Social Club, Concrete Hedge, No Deserts, Jandek and Future Pilot A.K.A. Recent collaborative work with Andrew Paine, Heatsick, Kawabata Makoto and John Clyde-Evans also show him as a highly social musician. 

His catalogue of releases wanders into all kinds of zones over a vast array of albums on various labels including his No Fans imprint: they include accapella, guitars, pipes or electronics and come out of solitude and in partnership with atmospheres that range from fragmental folk to all-out fuzz.

“THE iconic figure of the modern UK underground … Richard Youngs evolves in the shadows where most won’t look, but those who do will forever be dazzled and amazed” – The Quietus