Music : Infernal Contraption + The Unreliable Witnesses. Saturday 28th August 19:30

Jowe Head is a musician and artist from the English midlands, now living in Dalston, in the east end of London.  He started his musical career in his home town of Solihull with various school friends in 1972, a project that came to be known as Swell Maps.  They were one of the first punk bands to set up their own record label, and mixed punk rock with experimental and psychedelic sounds.  When they broke up, Jowe joined the Television Personalities, headed by another pioneer of UK independent rock music, Dan Treacy.  Ten years with the TVPs saw them making more influential records, touring Europe regularly, and playing in Japan and the USA.

One of his most recent releases was ‘Visionaries’, a suite of songs about visual artists which have inspired him: Joseph Beuys, Louise Bourgeois, Hannah Höch, William Blake, Joseph Cornell and Kurt Schwitters.

Jowe’s latest band is called Infernal Contraption, featuring the voice, xylophone, bowed saw, synthesiser and Theremin of Catherine Gerbrands (Valerie’s Week of Wonder, 7-Headed Raven), bass guitar by Lee McFadden (Cult Figures, ex-Alternative TV), drums and percussion by Ravi-Low-Beer (Glass Glue), and also guitar & electronics by Cos Chapman (Rude Mechanicals).  Their set usually features pieces about Egyptian mythology, fishing, shamanism, and a lullaby for a drone pilot’s child.

Jowe Head spent time in two of the UK’s coolest underground bands:  Swell Maps and Television Personalities… a lovably skewed indie-pop tunesmith.”  (Time Out New York)

“Head draws on cabaret pop, 60s cinema, dinky electronics, industrial noise, and his own multi-cultural imagination to put together weird ditties.”  (Trouser Press, USA)

“The mad genius behind Swell Maps, the band who re-invented music as therapy for northern neo-depression in the earlly 1980s.  A man of many talents.”  (Time Out, London)”

“When is a cover not a cover?”  The Unreliable WitnessesMiss de Meaner, Barry Stir and Grant Bale – have been beguiling and confusing audiences since 2014. A covers band with a difference – Grant recites the lyrics of well known songs and Miss de Meaner and Barry Stir improvise the music. The band do not rehearse and the musicians have no knowledge of the songs Grant will read until the actual performance – and even then they cannot play the original music to the tune. Every gig is unique as no song is ever played by the band again. Any similarities quoted with Marina Young, Cos Chapman and Lee McFadden will be dealt with in due process through the legal channels by Barry Stir and his formidable team of solicitors. The sets are short and sweet – “well, Grant is short…..”

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