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Thursday Scratch Nights

Shepherds of Cats with David McLean and VJ Pietrushka


Shepherds of Cats with David McLean and VJ Pietrushka

Thursday 20 July / doors 8pm / £6 in advance, £7 on the door


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This Anglo-Polish trio - Aleksander Olszewski on percussion, Adam Webster on cello and Jan Fanfare on keys - have an excellent, rather absurdist take on improvised music. It’s not that they subvert or reject the conventions of European free improv - instead, working like sorcerers from their hideout in Wroclaw, western Poland, they chuck it all into a big cauldron and mix it up with bloodied chunks of rock posturing, the odd dab of funk squelch and a whole suitcase full of cosmic whimsy, to create an idiosyncratic sonic casserole. The strange combination of polyrhythmic drum patter, harmonica bursts, cello swipes, mangled vocal gurgles and repetitive piano chords has a strange grooviness, kind of like Bitches Brew teleported in from another part of the multiverse.” (Paul Margree, We Need No Swords)


Anglo-Polish group Shepherds of Cats will be touring England from 7 - 14 July. For this tour they will be joined by Manchester saxophonist and Tombed Visions Records label owner David McLean, who has worked previously with Gnod, Charles Hayward and Part Wild Horses Mane On Both Sides.


The Shepherds of Cats formed in early 2014, and had an instant and strong understanding. Their attention to detail is impeccable and have created a deep trust to support each other in the most obscure and ridiculous tangents. Using improvisation as their working method, they create sonic stories and worlds, drenched in incredulity at their own existence, exploring the outer limits of good taste and pushing the limits of what should be considered acceptable. Their compositions are created in real time. They are hunter gatherers - hunting and gathering sounds and re-appropriating them in sometimes inappropriate manners. They have shame but no ego.


The musicians participating in ths tour will be:

Aleksander Olszewski - ethnic percussion/reeds/voice

Adam Webster - cello/voice

Jan Fanfare - guitar/loops/voice

Dariusz Blaszczek - electronics/gongs/singing bowls/objects

Maciek Piatek - video processing

David McLean - saxophones, small woodwinds, synths


The tour will coincide with their 3 new releases, an album with German trombonist Gunther Heinz (to be released by Tombed Visions Records), an album with German clarinettist Markus Wenninger (to be released by Demerara Records) and with the previously mentioned saxophonist David McLean, all three the product of improvised sessions recorded at their Wroclaw studio.

July 2017


What are Scratch Nights?

Happening every Thursday evening at the Gallery, Scratch Nights are a series of events by emerging local and national practitioners working in music/sound, film, expanded cinema, performance and spoken word.


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