John McGrath : Wake and Whisper (album launch). Friday 21st June 19:30

“His experimental approach, reminiscent of Jim O’Rourke, pushes at the boundaries of new guitar music and the UK avant folk scene.” – The Wire

“Bringing a touch of the 21st century to the guitar soli scene…” – Tyler Wilcox, Aquarium Drunkard

John McGrath is an Irish guitarist based in London. His music explores the boundaries of the ancient and modern as traditional elements meet improvisation and experimental tendencies. This debut solo album for Crooked Stem Recordings deals with themes of place, repetition and memory while spanning American primitive guitar, avant-folk ensemble instrumentals, traditional Irish melody, and song.

John has performed the UK premiere of Rhys Chatham’s “Die Donnergotter” in addition to “Guitar Trio” alongside the composer. He has also performed with Dustin Wong, Sharon Gal, Cavalier Song, Howard Skempton and the aPAtT Orchestra. A vinyl recorded as part of the Never Records installation at the Liverpool Biennial was reworked in a live performance by Philip Jeck. As a solo performer John has performed at a number of festivals and has supported Richard Dawson, Gwenifer Raymond, Laraaji and Sun Araw. Recent gigs have been at Kings Place, the Islington and a John Fahey Memorial night at the Betsey Trotwood.

Bill Thompson is a sound artist and composer. He performs as a soloist and with a number of groups including M/H/T with Jan Hendrickse and Tom Mudd, Airfield with choreographer Ian Spink, and in the past with Keith Rowe, Faust, EXAUDI and others.

Although originally trained as a guitarist, Thompson has worked with live electronics for the better part of 15 years. Since 2016/17, however, he has returned to guitar using one built by Moog combining built in electronics with miscellaneous table top devices, found objects, flashing lights, and the occasional vibrator.

He has earned numerous awards and commissions including the PRS for New Music ATOM award, the GAVAA visual arts award, a PRS for New Music Three Festival commission, the 2010 Aberdeen Visual Arts Award, and was nominated for the Paul Hamlyn Award in 2012.

Doors 7:30 | music 8pm | Entry £5


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