Raw Tonk Festival Salford review in Wire



Lume Festival


Very happy to have been invited back for the second year running to the lovely Lume Festival in London. This year with these guys:

At this great venue Iklectic; its inside the grounds of an old school, a very cosy green spot tucked between Waterloo Station and Lambeth Palace http://iklectikartlab.com/

Last year at Lume was with the duo with Adam Fairhall

underpasses i have known and loved

33105018753_c46ae855b3_cI’m walking repeatedly around a square of four underpasses, making an air recording with my trusty zoom while pushing my son in his buggy. Overhead you can hear the traffic at the junction of Chester Road and Edge Lane. These tunnels will be filled in soon when the junction is redesigned. The underpasses must date to the widening of Chester Road into a 3 lane highway and the building of Stretford Mall. Currently the underpasses are the only safe way across the road at this junction; after there will be a roadcrossing. They need a little love, some bulbs need replacing in the lights, murals made by local schools and Gorsehill Studios are not in bad shape, some of the paintwork elsewhere could be redone. When we first moved here I realised that the underpasses made me feel at home. This is to do with a specific memory of the underpass between Leicester train station and Granby Street. This is now filled in and replaced by a roadcrossing. This one was pure old school, stank of piss, often had buskers in it, always had a couple of homeless guys seeking shelter. It was  the link between the city centre proper and the train station on London Road. As schoolboys  we used to walk up from the clocktower where the 61a dropped us, down Gallowtree Gate, up Granby Street through this underpass, past the station then left down Conduit Street. There on the corner was Sheehan’s Music, a few doors down was Ultima Thule (a record shop specialising in prog and krautrock). Inbetween the two and about 5 floors up was our destination; Stayfree Music, where we would rent by the hour rehearsal rooms with huge crackling amps and flabby drums (we didn’t know you could tune drums til much later) to jam out the two chord structures and melodies  we used as songs. At very quiet moments just before sleep and when I’m very tired I can hear a D in my left ear and one an octave lower in the other. In fact its quiet at home now in the daytime and as I’m thinking; writing about my tinnitus it comes into focus and I can hear the notes come into focus. Those jams at Stayfree were the beginning of about a decade of exposing myself to very loud music all the time. I’ve worn earplugs the last decade which has helped. I’m back at home now listening to the recording I made in the Stretford underpasses. What I thought I would hear which was the slight ebb and flow in volume of traffic on entering and exiting just isn’t there. What marks the tunnels is Alex doing baby shouts to hear the short reverb. He does it on entering each tunnel and then stops when we are in the brief bit of open air between.

Stretford February-April 2017

A Hair in the Chimney

New release out today from myself along with Sam Andreae, Otto Willberg with art and design by Mio Ebisu. This was recorded last July with Shakeen Abu Hamdan at Ouse Studios in Leeds. It was a really nice session and we felt like we had began to crave out a very interesting space for improvising in a really wide range of modes while maintaining an overall coherence to the sound. We’re really pleased with the record and it proved to be a great jumping off point for the 2 weeks we just spent in Japan on our AIDF funded trip working with a wide range of really amazing artists.

Its a joint release through Vernacular and Heavy Petting  in Manchester. You can also pick up copies at Ftarri in Tokyo.

‘Difficult Second Album’

Really pleased to that the second album we recorded with the ABC Trio (myself, Andrew Cheetham and Sam Andreae) has been released on CD with splendid artwork in a DVD style case by our long term supporters over at the Tombed Visions in Manchester. We’re super happy with the record! If you want a copy drop me an email here davidmbirchallatgmail.com or buy thru the label direct. I’ll also have copies of this and other releases at upcoming gigs in Japan, Holland and Manchester!

Review of XZ::::Brazil

“Super-charged scrimple-skriffle improv coming at you mixed in, depending on your view, (almost) mono or 3-way stereo.

But what’s going on?

Dave Birchall plays granite-flecked guitar in the left speaker, Javier Saso spills slippery, silvery lapsteel in the right speaker and Nicolas Dobson sprays wild, wild violin all over the place.

Side one is a string piece for three players and it waxes happily, darting in and out of focus like a lazy eye would.  Contributions are in part clotted and meshed (like a scab) and independently driven.  Imagine walking three energetic hounds, each with their own digging, burying, pissing mission.  Their colourful leads are soon a wrapped-up maypole binding your arms and hands.  Got it?

Now replace the noble hounds with these three improv-dudes and the dog-specific missions with group-mind blankness and collective musical mischief and you’ve got the perfect picture!

While the pace is athletic there’s always room for a ruminative cul-de-sac, a wet sniff about a single tone or blunt-thumbed technique.  And as I listen I pass through several phases myself: chin-stroking on the non-idiomatic tip but also horn-throwing on the sexy electric eruption.

On side two I briefly land in a thoughtful strung-out lake but get distracted by amp-pops and bright lead-crackle.  The tension mounts as our three players riff on the giant nothingness that exists right at the point of the horizon; saw, saw, sawing away, whipping up a gentle typhoon that bursts with bloated rain.  It doesn’t take long to plinkety-plonk and things end with that ‘Sweet Child of Mine’ intro-played inside out and over ice.

This is what it sounds like when Slash cries.”

Joe Murray