Wed 4 April 8pm | £8 adv / £10 door

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John Butcher and Eddie Prévost – solos and duets

Although Eddie Prévost and John Butcher shared the stage at Derek Bailey’s 1990 London Company Week they didn’t perform together again until March 2005 – in duo at Goldie’s Oligarch in the East London Foundry. Eddie chose to work with tam-tam, bowed cymbals and drum resonators – as heard on their CD interworks.

Additionally, they have recorded in trio with John Tilbury – Eddie’s AMM partner for over 20 years in – once for a BBC broadcast, and once for the CD Trinity.

In 2009 this trio was joined by Christian Wolff and Ute Kanngiesser for a concert on London’s Freedom of the Cityfestival (released as Sounding Music by AMM).

In 2010 the duo played a 10 date tour of Japan, organised by Hisashi Terauchi.
The Oya Stone Museum concert was reviewed (in Japanese) by Kazue Yokoi at Jazz Tokyo.
Some tour photos are here.

Since 2011 they have also performed in a trio with bassist Guillaume Viltard with Prévost playing drum kit.

Eddie Prévost

Prévost’s free drumming flows superbly making use of his formidable technique. It’s as though there has never been an Elvin Jones or Max Roach.” — Melody Maker

“Relentlessly innovative yet full of swing and fire.”— Morning Star


John Butcher

John Butcher played his first solo, just a short piece, in 1982 at the Workers’ Music Association in Notting Hill Gate.

To quote from a 1998 Rubberneck piece:

“After a few concerts I’d learnt a lot about making connections – but had also noticed recognisable pieces beginning to develop. I quite liked this, but worried about what it meant for long-term solo work. For a while, I almost envied composers; able to wrap up a piece, send it out into the world, and move on to the next. But a lot of the pleasure in giving solo concerts is connected to the hope of finding, spontaneously, some music you didn’t really know about beforehand.

Playing pieces is too close to playing routines and a concert is an opportunity for much more. As a live performer, improvising usually just feels better – less acting, less theatre, and more chance for a little magic. By way of a bonus, this means engaging with what Derek Bailey described as a “search for whatever is endlessly variable“.


Whilst still close to his feelings about solo concerts – another side of solo work has been to develop compositional ideas for CD: from the 1992 multitracks on Thirteen Friendly Numbers to the microphone-based work on Invisible Ear.

These ideas then feed into concerts.

Live multitracking was explored with Stephen Moore and the 15 speakers at Issue Project Room (review).

Site-Specific Solos

Butcher has also had the opportunity to create solos specifically for large or especially characterful acoustics – such as inside the giant Oya Stone Mountain in Utsunomiya, Japan.

Resonant Spaces was a 2006 Arika tour in Scotland and the Orkneys which visited sites specially chosen for their extraordinary acoustics.

Later that year he played, for Resonance FM, in Oberhausen’s famous 200m high gazometer.

In 2010 these ideas continued, with Joe McPhee, at artist James McGee’s The Hill in the West Texas Desert near El Paso (review).

Recent site-specific works include in the medieval vaults of Southampton (WIRE review), Dunston Staiths, and Newhaven’s 19th century Fort.