Birmingham and London audiences were privileged to hear the concert in which Alex Hawkins and Evan Parker and then the ENEMY trio with Kit Downes, Petter Eldh and James Maddren collaborated with The Riot Ensemble, Alex and Evan in the first set, and ENEMY in the second. I was the promoter for the Birmingham gig in the lovely Hexagon Theatre and it is therefore inappropriate for me to write a review. But I do want to share the amazing photographs that Brian Homer took of the Birmingham show, you can access them here.
The concert began with an engaging performance of Lee Hyla’s We Speak Etruscan performed by Amy Green on baritone saxophone and Ausias Garrigos on bass clarinet. The piece is dedicated to Tim Berne, so it was highly appropriate to have this piece in the programme given the strong relationship between Tim and Birmingham and the fact that Tim had performed in the same venue last year.
The piece with Alex and Evan was built around Evan’s improvisations on soprano saxophone and Alex’s creation of various textures for the ensemble that complemented Evan’s playing. There were also passages with the duo of Evan and Alex weaving in and out of the ensemble passages.
The set with ENEMY seemed quite different and it was interesting to note how different it was. The set alternated between some of ENEMY’s most recent material played by the trio, and strong rhythmic passages for the ensemble and trio.
Both sets were great fun and were enjoyed by a full and very enthusiastic audience in the Hexagon Theatre at mac in Birmingham. There was a very unusual event in the ENEMY set when Peter Eldh’s bass suddenly burst as the bridge had broken. Luckily Petter was able to find the screws , rebuild the bridge and was ready to play again in 5mins.
I understand that the reaction in London the following night at Café Oto was just as positive. See Richard Williams’ revue here.
ENEMY’s material for the trio was recorded on their new album ENEMY on the Edition label.
Photos of the Birmingham gig by Brian Homer.