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Upcoming shows: Kristin Hersh... Tiny Ruins... Mano McLaughlin... CC Smugglers... Dan Mangan... Skinny Lister... Steve Gunn... John Fairhurst... Holy Moly & The Crackers... Irma Vep... William the Conqueror... SLUG... Vera Sola... Weyes Blood... C Duncan... Jo Rose... Otoboke Beaver... The Coathangers... BC Camplight... Simone Felice... Rozi Plain... Lowly... Josh Rouse + Grant-Lee Phillips... The Unthanks... Kiran Leonard... The Essex Green... Jerron ‘Blind Boy’ Paxton... James Yorkston... The Beths... Hayes Carll... Robert Forster & Band... Siobhan Wilson... Jason Lytle... Spencer Krug... The Sheepdogs... Lawrence Arabia... Gratis #1: Gaygirl... Justin Townes Earle... The Burning Hell... The Stroppies... Mark Mulcahy... The Album Leaf... Robyn Hitchcock... The Delines... BC Camplight...

When: 7.30pm on Tuesday 26 February 2019
Where: The Castle Hotel, 66 Oldham Street, Manchester M4 1LE

We’re delighted to be presenting Group Listening’s headlining debut in the city!

PRAH Recordings is excited to present Group Listening, a new project by Stephen Black and Paul Jones. Clarinet & Piano: Selected Works Vol.1 is a collection of ambient works – from the likes of Brian Eno, Arthur Russell, Euros Childs and Robert Wyatt – arranged for clarinet and piano.

Having met at music college, Stephen and Paul went separate ways creatively. Stephen delved into pop, recording albums and touring extensively under the guise of Sweet Baboo, while working with Cate Le Bon, H. Hawkline and others. Paul leaned into the piano, pursuing a career as a jazz pianist and experimental musician. He played with Keith Tippett, formed the Jones O’Connor group, performed with noise improv bands and composed orchestral and chamber music.

Reconnecting years later, the pair discovered that their music tastes, bizarrely, met in the middle; they have a shared love of The Beach Boys, Ghost Box Records, Messiaen and Angela Morley. They both like ambient and new age music, bubblegum pop, Artie Shaw, Moondog and the outsider music handbook Songs in the Key of Z.

Clarinet & Piano: Selected Works Vol.1 is the spontaneous, beguiling culmination of this friendship. Cutting out post-production and keeping overdubs to a bare minimum, the pair passed their clarinet and piano through guitar stomp boxes and other analogue effects to enable processing and manipulation directly in performance. The result hums with the ghostly energy of sound pioneers Joe Meek and Martin Hannett, while mbira and drum machines are sparingly deployed amid enveloping folds of space echo.

Like Virginia Astley or Simon Jeffes, Group Listening tread the overlap between classical and experimental music. Perhaps most startling here is the breadth of material arranged as one atmospheric whole. The pieces range from the ever-spiralling, fractal phrases of German composer Roedelius to the haunting rasps of Hollywood and game soundtracker Disasterpeace, via the groundbreaking sonics of early electronic inventor Raymond Scott. Somehow, shot through Group Listening’s electro-acoustic lens, these works evolve into something supremely calming, poignant and new.

Opening the show is Mark Simpson from The Happy Soul, a melodic vocal group from Manchester. They make subversive popular music, and are better than their dwindling fanbase suggests.

Buy tickets now. Tickets are available from the bar (no booking fee), Vinyl Exchange, WeGotTickets.comTicketline.co.uk and on 0871 220 0260.

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All shows are 18+ unless otherwise stated.

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