gaNNets + special guests Trio Riot

  • Thursday | 26.01.12
  • 7.30pm
  • Band on the Wall, Manchester
  • £8 advance....

Band on the Wall is delighted to welcome Fyfe Dangerfield of Guillemots fame with his free jazz outfit gaNNets for a night of cutting edge music

gaNNets emerged onto the UK’s improvised music scene several years ago, playing their initial gigs in around 2004 at Hugh Metcalfe’s legendary Klinker Club – home to alternative cabaret, DIY cinema and free jazz in North London. At around the same time, keyboardist and guitarist Fyfe Dangerfield also formed the pop band Guillemots who subsequently signed to Polydor (Universal Music). Guillemots shared gaNNets’ clarinet and sax section Chris Cundy and Alex Ward for the first few years, and although the two bands served entirely different functions for Dangerfield, a mutual coexistence of pop and experimental music became an important aspect to both projects in varying degrees. Cundy had met Dangerfield whilst working on a piano-bar job at a Cheltenham nightclub, and the pair soon recognised a shared passion for unconventional performance which manifested itself in a variety of guises, including their duo The Executive Caveman which served as an experimental hip hop outfit for a number of thankless open mic nights. After a short stint in LA trailing West Hollywood’s little known improvised music scene, the pair returned to the UK for a Jazz Services funded tour of an expanded outfit called Transmissions of Not, which featured bassist Aristazabal Hawkes who would later join Guillemots.  

Drummer Steve Noble and clarinettist Alex Ward form a duo that goes back several years. They appeared on Derek Bailey’s TV documentary On the Edge, first shown on Channel Four in 1992. Noble and Ward were also featured artists at a number of Derek Bailey’s Company Week festivals, and both were involved with various improvised groups of his as well as appearing on many recording projects for the Incus label. Just prior to the formation of Gannets, Steve Noble had invited Cundy and Dangerfield to perform at the London Musicians’ Collective annual free festival held at Conway Hall, in what was to become the last performance by Transmissions of Not.

Bassist Dominic Lash had been introduced to Alex Ward whilst living in Oxford, where he was active in helping to resurrect the Oxford Improvisers’ Collective. Lash soon made his entrance onto the London scene where he met Dangerfield while he was formulating songs that would ultimately become part of the Guillemots oeuvre. Lash joined Gannets after the band’s first few shows, replacing double bassist John Edwards. By this time they had established themselves within a deeply rooted free improvisation tradition, injecting the music with a playful sense of melody and a strong rhythmic setting that can evoke elements of pop, cartoon music and swing. Over recent years, Gannets have become fond of playing some of London’s more unusual venues such as Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes, The Montague Arms or the floating poetry/music club Boat-Ting.

Alex Ward sums up the often contradictory nature of their music: “gaNNets posit an alternative jazz history in which 30’s swing developed straight into a combined form of the free jazz and fusion movements, without any of the intervening decades”. 

The band releases its debut album on the Babel Label in 2012. Support tonight comes from special guests Trio Riot.


Fyfe Dangerfield – keyboards & piano
Alex Ward – clarinet
Chris Cundy – bass clarinet, contrabass clarinet & electronics
Dominic Lash – double bass
Steve Noble – drums


This event will begin at 8pm but our Picturehouse Cafe Bar is open from 5.30pm for delicious food and drinks.

Special Offer! Book your meal in advance and get free ‘lucky dip’ tickets for a future concert – click here now for details