4 Jan 2008
The Element of Danger 
The Bays and The Heritage Orchestra with composers John Metcalfe and Simon Hale will tonight play a unique improvised gig reports Pascal Wyse in The Guardian.

The improvised music played by The Bays will be fed into a computer and analysed by a program called Sibelius. Metcalfe and Hale will then write orchestral parts as the piece progresses. John Metcalfe says "There's an element of danger, that's for sure. It's scary, but I'm looking forward to it. I think what we do will affect how the Bays play - they will have to make fewer changes, and perhaps evolve the music more gradually; otherwise we might get left behind. One composer will do woodwind and brass, the other strings. Halfway through, we'll swap."

Bays drummer Andy Gangadeen (who also plays in Metcalfe's live band) says "It's a bit like the TV show Curb Your Enthusiasm. There is a huge amount of improvisation in there, but I didn't realise it at first. After knowing that, somehow it makes it more special."

It all sounds pretty good. Pret-ty pret-ty pret-ty good.

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A Certain Ratio

"Manchester, 1978. In the beginning there were four: Jez Kerr (bass), Martin Moscrop (guitar/trumpet), Peter Terrel (guitar/effects) and Simon Topping (vocals/trumpet). Four thin boys with a name borrowed from a Brian Eno record, the intense, drummerless quartet initially drew influence from Wire, Eno, the Velvets and Kraftwerk, and gained a manager in Anthony Wilson of Factory Records.

"May 1979 saw the release of their first ACR single, the dark All Night Party, although the sound and musicianship of the band would be transformed by the arrival of funky drummer Donald Johnson (DoJo) in August. Over the next few months the band gigged widely, often with Joy Division as part of Factory packages, and recorded demos with producer Martin Hannett as well as a Peel session. Their support slot with Talking Heads on their UK tour in December 1979 set David Byrne on a new course, and provided the compelling live half of their chic cassette package The Graveyard and the Ballroom. Post-punk, ACR now reflected the influence of Funkadelic, George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, The Bar Kays and James Brown."

- intro to ACR Biography by James Nice (LTM)

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