Thank You is an athletic rhythm/action unit from Baltimore, made up of Jeffrey McGrath, Michael Bouyoucas, and Elke Wardlaw. They are three free individuals, subsumed into a collective form that spits out dank, skittering tracks filled with light and dark. Their new album, Terrible Two, was engineered by Baltimore’s beloved J. Robbins (Yeasayer, Mary Timony, Jets to Brazil) at his studio in Baltimore and mixed by Chris Coady (Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Celebration, TV on the Radio) at his studio in New York City.
Shortly after the recording of Terrible Two, Elke was drawn by wanderlust and moved to Berlin. Drummers are always hard to find, but luckily for Jeff and Michael, good friend Emmanuel Nicolaidis, who played with Michael in a band called More Dogs (Monitor), stepped in to man the kit. Emmanuel’s heavy but quick, nimble and inventive style was an instant fit and he learned the entire set within a week. With the collective whole once again, they’ve been working on new ideas and are set to hit the road.
The band has been building up a reputation via their live show, which has left audience members joyful, overwhelmed, and ready to spread the word. A seeming telepathy occurs onstage. The band enters into musical dervishes, a union, a breathless chaos that results in one hell of a Saturday night and what seems like a musical fight.
The members of Thank You are longtime friends and musical collaborators, working hard to bring to life their wholly original compositions. Musical ideas are introduced and have conversations with one another, each track filled with new articulation and insight. The basics of drums, organ, and guitar build the foundation, but are augmented by whistles, cowbell, hobo harmonica, snappy loops, car horns, and whatever else might be at hand.
JO ROBERTSON AND MATTHEW J ASHWORTH
Joanne Robertson grew up amidst the carnal circus atmosphere of Blackpool, England. After studying piano in her youth, she chose instead to borrow her father’s guitar and wander through the sand dunes, plucking noisily at the strings and singing extemporaneous songs to scare-off the local hippies. She hung out in the region’s punk and metal bars, but fled to Paris when drugs started collecting her friends in a little bucket. After that came the Glasgow School of Art and a noisy rock band called I Love Lucy, whose lyrics were all improvised. With the help of her schoolmates from Franz Ferdinand, they played in Glasgow, London and New York, before breaking up after their sixth gig. Starting to think that even I Love Lucy was too structured, Joanne travelled to the coasts of America, where she communed with noise bands, did some shows and contemplated her future. She opted to take her MFA at UCL Slade School of Fine Art, where she formed the Blood ‘n Feathers collective with Lucy Stein. Their visual art was widely feted and was included in the prestigious Becks Futures 2006 show, which showcases notable young British artists. Simultaneously, Joanne returned to solo performance, opening shows for Martin Creed around London. Her debut album, The Lighter, produced by David Cunningham, is a direct outgrowth of this solo work. The Lighter has a stark, weird musical beauty that is analogous to Joanne’s visual work. Flatness hide depth. Simplicity masks complexity. The sweet conceals the sour. Opposites attract and overwhelm each other. It’s one of nature’s laws. Or maybe two. Joanne also works with the trio, MEMEME, alternately playing electric guitar and drums, making a racket that can be heard all the way up at the top of Brick Lane, when blasted from the basement of Nog Gallery. But this isn’t about that. The Lighter is a collection of intimate interior portraits, reminiscent in spots of Sybille Baier, Barbara Manning, even Hope Sandoval, but all performed with an addictive off-kilter grace that suspends time in a very special way. Cunningham’s production has a luminous simplicity which allows Joanne’s voice and guitar to breath as one, emitting whiffs that seem new and old at the same time. A devotee of serious art theory, Joanne would (I’m certain) like to place all of this in a theoretical context, but it’s such a goddamn wonderful listen, I suggest we all just pull up some chairs and some fires and some drinks, and lift a toast (or a series of ‘em) to The Lighter’s magnetic magic. A dark room, and empty bed and you. That’s all it takes. --Byron Coley.
We are excited to announce that Jo will be playing as a duo with Matthew J Ashworth of A Middle Sex.
THE EXPLOITS OF ELAINE
An exploratory improvising collective, The Exploits of Elaine deconstruct elements of kraut, gamelan, metal and jazz into bizarre shapes and ghostly landscapes. They utilise found objects, manipulate vocals and play strange instruments incorrectly but aren't above rocking out. Their album 'Plateau Suite' is being mastered by James Plotkin and is coming out on Gravid Hands in early 2010. They may appeal to fans of Nihilist Spasm Band, This Heat, Black Dice and circle jerking
Something new from Jack Lenton, vocalist of Human Hair and Chris Baldwin of Hiramika Hi-Fi, Poppy Seed and Yono Kiero et all. Other mere mortals may appear on the night.
SUNDAY 1ST NOVEMBER - 7:30pm start.
£4 tickets available from Anarchy Records on Mansfield Road
£5 admission on the door