The only London show of It’s Morning, a film and live music collaboration featuring Mercury-nominated band Led Bib, combines film, song and improvisation to full cinematic effect.
Led Bib, known for their boundary stretching rock and jazz, that garnered them a Mercury Prize nomination and a fistful of prestigious awards, set off last year in the hull of a boat in east London, together with lyricists and songwriters to create a suite of songs.
Emerging from their underwater session, elements of their groovy, heavy, improvised sound remained, but they were now set against fragile vocals and poignant lyrics, taking them into a much gentler song world. The project also resulted in a collaboration with US based film-maker Dylan Pecora, who created a movie to the entire record.
Live, the singers, film and instrumentalists combine into a multimedia technicolour performance, where the band plays live to the film and VJ Oli Chilton manipulates the movie, as the band expands the material in real time, improvising visually and musically.
This London Jazz Festival show is the London premiere and album launch for this one off performance.
From the Homeric invocation of ethereal opener “Atom Story,” it becomes stunningly clear that It’s Morning, the latest album from the uncategorizable UK ensemble Led Bib, is meant to take the listener on a journey.
The wide-ranging and evocative set is also a testament to the distance the band has travelled on its own evolutionary path. If not the endpoint, it at least sits at a far-flung guidepost along a transformative odyssey undertaken by the eclectic ensemble.
Led Bib has long been renowned for its skronky, livewire fusion of exploratory jazz improvisation with the brute force of heavy rock and the labyrinthine architecture of prog. It’s Morning retains an identifiable sense of adventure and virtuosity while marking a vast departure from previous recordings, veering into the realm of elusive, poetic narrative and lysergic beauty.
The most immediately apparent change from past Led Bib outings is the addition of vocals, folding the band’s boundary-stretching vocabulary into gorgeous if complex song forms. The band’s core line-up – drummer Mark Holub, bassist Liran Donin, saxophonists Chris Williams and Pete Grogan, and new keyboardist Elliot Galvin – are joined by a pair of gifted vocalists: Sharron Fortnam, a co-founder of the North Sea Radio Orchestra whose intoxicating mezzo soprano has also graced recordings by the noted British prog-punk band Cardiacs; and Jack Hues, best known as frontman for the 80s new wave band Wang Chung.
Sharron Fortnam – vocals Chris Williams – alto saxophone Pete Grogan – alto and tenor saxophone Elliot Galvin – keyboards and piano Liran Donin – bass, backing vocals on track 2 Mark Holub – drums
Also featuring: Jack Hues – vocals Susanna Gartmayer – bass clarinet Irene Kepl – violin Noid – cello
1. Atom Story – 2:47 2. Stratford East – 5:32 * 3. It’s Morning – 0:39 * 4. Fold – 11:08 5. Cutting Room Floor – 3:54 ** 6. To Dry In The Rain – 6:43 7. O – 4:40 8. Flood Warning – 3:30 9. Set Sail – 1:28 *
All music by Led Bib
All lyrics by Sharron Fortnam except * by Jack Hues and ** by Jack Hues and Sharron Fortnam
Recorded by Giles Barrett at Soup Studios, London on 10th – 12th July 2018. Additional recording by – Jim Barr at J & J Studio, Bristol on 9th August, 2018. Mixed by Chris Janka at Janka Industries Studios, Vienna on 8th – 12th December 2018 Mastered by Jason Mitchell at Loud Mastering on February 11th 2019 Executive Producer for RareNoiseRecords : Giacomo Bruzzo