Beyond The Defective Comet lie The Gas Giants

Last year we tried to put on The Gas Giants, only to be deprived of their legendary founder at the last minute by medical emergency (happily resolved). The show went on and result was a new band: The Defective Comet, with Tony Orrell on drums percussion and loops and Ross Hughes on too many instruments to name, but most memorably bass clarinet, flute and slide guitar.

Tony Orrell (left) and Ross Hughes in orbit at the Old Barn last year.

It was a memorable, stellar evening. Here’s what photographer and music fan Ragnumpiza just wrote in:

The gig really was astounding. Being a massive dub fan I’ve listened to a lot of different styles of jazz cross/ dub but never heard anything like this before… just superb!…most memorable music night of last year!

We have good news. Tony Orrell and Ross Hughes are back at the Old Barn on 20 May. And they’re back as part of the full lineup including Will Gregory. It will be the first proper recording of The Gas Giants since 1990. Bring your defibrillators.

Limited tickets available: book now

Modulus III: live at the Old Barn, Kelston Roundhill

Modulus III is a beautiful balance of three intense musicians. Their gig of live spontaneous composition at the Old Barn on 6 May made for a compelling evening.

Modulus III take a post-soundcheck stroll on Kelston Roundhill on 6 May. 

Drew Morgan is is an avant-garde classically trained experimental cellist, also playing synths. On drums Matt Brown gives shape to the emerging improvisations, trying out a few cuts before settling in to a constantly shifting structure. Dan Moore plays keyboards. When he sketches out a choice riff on his Rhodes piano you first wonder how he can repeat it so precisely, but before long he’s messing with your head, breaking it up with variations that shouldn’t work but do. He’s hard-wired to a listener’s hedonic hotspots, the pleasure centres that create a craving for more of the same reward.

Any of the three can take the lead in bringing the performance on; they all lead, solo and provide continuity. It’s a band that likes to surprise its audience, and which responds to a setting and an audience that surprises them.

  • You can buy Modulus III’s first album at Friendly Records in Bristol. Watch out for their forthcoming second album Modulus III: live at the Old Barn released later this year by Kelston Records.
  • Next up: The Gas Giants, live at the Old Barn 20 May: tickets here

Athea’s first performance: live at the Old Barn 6 May 2017

Emma Holbrook (drums) and Paul Bradley (guitar, vocal) perform as Athea

The Old Barn audience gave a very warm response to the first ever performance by Athea. Paul Bradley’s deft, experimental guitar work meshed perfectly with Emma Holbrook’s subtle drums and percussion in a seamless, intensely atmospheric 45-minute set.

“Hope you like our new direction”

Thanks to Billie and Steve at Bristol City FM for having us on the show Saturday 29 April. Having met for the first time in the car park beforehand the two very fine drummers Matt Brown from Modulus iii and Tony Orrell from The Gas Giants squeezed into Steve’s studio with some kit and did a quick jam together live on air.

Newly met drummer pals Matt Brown and Tony Orrell jam at Bristol City FM – note how carefully they listen to each other.

You can hear Matt drumming behind Drew Morgan (synth, cello) and Dan Moore (synth, Rhodes) with Modulus iii Saturday 6 May – tickets here. Tony Orrell plays with Will Gregory and Ross Hughes as The Gas Giants 20 May.

Bristol City FM has catchup of the interview here – click on the 1100 29 Apr show; start 11 mins in.

Upcoming Kelston events

Upcoming events:

  • BOOK NOW 6 May Modulus iii recording live, with support from Athnea. Modulus iii is a sizzling synths, Rhodes and drums spontaneous composition trio: tickets here
  • 20 May The Gas Giants live, with excellent support, live at the Old Barn. The Gas Giants is a project of Will Gregory (Goldfrapp); this will be their first recording since 1990: tickets here
  • More Old Barn dates to follow.

Later in the year (Aug Bank Holiday Monday 28) at the Kelston Village Fete we’re putting on a musical celebration of the legacy of H.I.M Haile Selassie. H.I.M lived at 2 Kelston Road for six years, and left Fairfield House to the Corporation of Bath. See Jon Hamp’s new poem H.I.M in Kelston here

The legacy of H.I.M means Kelston can today celebrate a special link to Ethiopia and Rastafari.