Frowns across the Pennines

July 2015
The Scope XII

Hugs Bison are on a tour of seaside towns organised with the support of Sound and Music ( They’d spent the Tuesday out and about in Brighton interviewing people, going on stuff and playing a little show at Bom Banes, and then Wednesday editing film and sound and filming themselves on the Level.

Gilli Bloodaxe

Gilli Bloodaxe Gilli Bloodaxe was first on, backed only by Al Strachan as Foz (who usually supplies slide whistle and other honking interjections) had Spanish lesson that night. He did make the second half of the set, though. We had everyone set up in rows for a change with no milling about, which is a change for the Scope although some of the latecomers were a little more hard to deal with as a consequence – especially if like Foz they heckled. Anyway Tony was on fine elliptical form, telling his punning shaggy doggerel tales, it was a little understated without Foz whoopsie-ing it up. Al had some unusual loops long with his more usual cornet and synth. It was very musical. And appropriately we laughed like drains. Tony ended with an epic, we knew it was an epic because he told us before he started it.

Isnaj Dui

Isnaj Dui The second act was Isnaj Dui, Katie had a brace of flutes, a looper and some pedals. One of the flutes was a lovely brass and dark wood bass flute with a loop in it not dissimilar to the contra-bassoon Thomas Stone had a couple of months ago – it’s also just as wonderful sounding. She did a number of pieces bouncing off loops with obviously carefully prepared parts, from some highly structured pieces with rhythmic structures to more free flowing lyrical pieces.

Hugs Bison

Hugs Bison Hugs Bison had obviously spent the two days in Brighton well – the video was great, including some excellent footage of one of the rides on the pier that looked like CGI-rendered blue and yellow Lego up on the screen, really glowing. They did a live audio collage of interviews and field recordings with some previously written stuff and live improvisations, it switches from choppy loops to some quite stately organ music, piano parts and rumbling drones.