Featuring lengthy pieces which slowly unravel in the most mesmerising fashion, frequently underpinned by an insistent deep groove, the eighteen albums by The Necks stand up to re-listening time and time again. The deceptive simplicity of their music throws forth new charms on each hearing. Not entirely avant-garde, nor minimalist, nor ambient, nor jazz, the music of The Necks is possibly unique in the world today.
After one of their busiest years yet in 2017 – which featured the release of their acclaimed double LP Unfold, opening for Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds on their Australian tour, a successful tour of the US, three European tours, and a huge feature article in the New York Times – The Necks, Australia’s legendary artists-in-resonance, return in February to perform a run of east coast dates and mix their new album which will be released later in the year.
“…Entirely new and entirely now…They produce a post-jazz, post-rock, post-everything sonic experience that has few parallels or rivals. They may teach us to listen in a new way, but they communicate a fierce energy and warmth at the same time. Their music is a thrilling, emotional journey into the unknown. Like seeing a world in a grain of sand, The Necks permit us to hear a whole new world of music in a sliver of sound” THE GUARDIAN (UK)
“This was selfless art, with the participants always servants of the musical thread… Australia’s inventors of acoustic, jazz-inflected minimalism, The Necks. Beforehand there seemed a danger of the Necks’ unique and complete conception being ravaged by any interlopers. But Eno was astute enough to suggest musical contexts in which The Necks could do what they do – and arguably be the music’s linchpin – while being embellished with flawless empathy” SYDNEY MORNING HERALD
“One of the greatest bands in the world” NEW YORK TIMES
Sunday 4 February at 3pm
THE NECKS ARE – Chris Abrahams on Piano, Tony Buck on Drums and Lloyd Swanton on Double Bass
Chris was born in Oamaru, New Zealand but grew up in Sydney, Australia. He became very active in the Sydney jazz scene in the early eighties playing with modern jazz groups including Mark Simmonds’ Freeboppers and The Keys Music Orchestra. With Lloyd Swanton he formed the 60’s modern jazz-influenced The Benders in 1982. During its day, the band released three albums – E, False Laughter and Distance. In 1984 Chris recorded and released his first solo piano album – Piano, followed in 1986 by Walk. In 1985 Chris became a founding member of the Sydney indie rock band The Sparklers. As a result of this, Chris began working regularly with the singer and songwriter Melanie Oxley. Chris collaborated with Melanie, writing songs and producing albums, throughout the nineties. There are five releases with her: Resisting Calm (1990), Welcome to Violet (1992), Coal (1994), Jerusalem Bay (1998) and Blood Oranges (2003). Chris released a third solo piano album, Glow, in 2001. This was followed in 2003 by Streaming, and then Thrown (2004), Play Scar (2010) and Memory Night (2013). Chris has collaborated, in both recording and performance, with many contemporary improvising musicians including Burkhard Beins, Mike Cooper and Anthony Pateras. He performs regularly in the improvising music scenes both in Australia and Europe.
Born in Sydney in 1962, Tony is regarded as one of Australia’s most creative and adventurous exports, with vast experience across the globe. He has been involved in a highly diverse array of projects. Apart from The Necks, he is probably best known as leader of hardcore/impro band PERIL. Early in his musical life, after having graduated from the New South Wales Conservatorium of Music, he became very involved in the jazz scene in Australia, often touring with visiting international artists such as Vincent Herring, Clifford Jordan, Mickey Tucker, Branford Marsalis and Ernie Watts, as well as Australians Mark Simmonds, Paul Grabowsky, The catholics, Sandy Evans and Dale Barlow. Following time spent in Japan, where he formed PERIL with Otomo Yoshihide and Kato Hideki, Tony moved to Europe, and has involved himself in many projects there, including the development of new “virtual” MIDI controllers at STEIM in Amsterdam. Tony has played, toured or recorded with, among others, Jon Rose, Nicolas Collins, Tenko, John Zorn, Tom Cora, Phil Minton, Haino, Switchbox, The Machine for Making Sense, Ne Zhdall, The EX, Peter Brotzmann, Hans Reichel, The Little Red Spiders, Subrito Roy Chowdury, Clifford Jordan, Kletka Red, Han Bennink, Shelley Hirsch, Wayne Horvitz, Palinckx, and Ground Zero.
Described by Billboard Magazine as “an outstanding and imaginative Australian bassist and composer”, Lloyd Swanton was born into a large and musical family in Sydney in 1960. His long-running group, The catholics, has released eight albums, all produced and predominantly composed by him, with three receiving ARIA Award nominations. Their album Simple was nominated for the German Deutsche Schallplattenkritik Award. His 12-part suite Ambon, drawing from his uncle Stuart’s secret diary kept whilst a prisoner of war in World War II, had its premiere in 2015, and is now released as a double CD. Overseas exposure in nearly 40 countries with numerous groups includes countless performances throughout Europe, Canada, the USA, Mexico, India, Cuba, New Zealand, Taiwan, South Korea, Russia, Indonesia, Thailand and Japan. For fourteen years, Lloyd Swanton hosted Mixed Marriage, a very popular radio program which examined crossings of jazz with other musical styles, on Eastside Radio in Sydney. In his spare time, Lloyd is an avid follower of Australian Football, and a keen collector of Australian Aboriginal art, ice crushers, modernist ceramics, and books on Fellini. He is also gathering historical information on his distant ancestor Theodore Deck, a leading name in 19th Century French ceramics.