The UK’s improvised musical scene was dominated by Gannets several years ago. They played their first gigs at Hugh Metcalfe’s Klinker Club in 2004. This is where they performed their first gigs. Fyfe Danielgerfield, the keyboardist and guitarist, also founded the pop band Guillemots. This group was later signed to Polydor (Universal Music). Guillemots were able to share Gannets’ clarinet section Chris Cundy, Alex Ward, and sax section Alex Ward for the first few seasons. Although the two bands had completely different purposes, the mutual coexistence between pop and experimental music was an important aspect of both projects in varying degrees. Cundy met Dangerfield while working at a Cheltenham nightclub as a piano bartender. They soon realized a common passion for unconventional performance. The pair formed The Executive Caveman, an experimental hip-hop outfit that performed at many thankless open mic nights. After a brief stint in LA, Cundy and Dangerfield returned to the UK to tour Transmissions of Not. This outfit featured Aristazabal Hawkes, who would later join Guillemots. The duo of clarinettist Alex Ward and Steve Noble is a long-standing partnership. Their appearances on Derek Bailey’s TV documentary, On the Edge (first shown on Channel Four in 1992) was their first. Ward and Noble were also featured artists at several Derek Bailey’s Company Week festival. They were both involved in various improvised groups and recorded many projects for the Incus record label. Cundy and Dangerfield were invited by Steve Noble to perform at the annual London Musicians’ Collective free festival at Conway Hall. This was to be the final performance of Transmissions of Not. Alex Ward had introduced Dominic Lash, bassist, to Alex Ward while he lived in Oxford. Ward was involved in the resurrecting of the Oxford Improvisers’ Collective. Lash quickly made his way onto the London scene, where he met Dangerfield as he was writing songs that would eventually become part of The Guillemots. After the band’s first shows, Lash was promoted to Gannets and replaced John Edwards as double bassist. They had already established themselves in a deep-rooted tradition of free improvisation. Their music was filled with a playful sense and rhythm that could be reminiscent of pop, cartoon, and swing. In recent years, Gannets have taken to playing at some of London’s most unusual venues, such as The Montague Arms, Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes, and Boat-Ting, a floating poetry/music club. Alex Ward summarizes the sometimes contradictory nature their music with the following statement: “Gannets propose an alternative jazz history where 30’s swing evolved straight into a combined form f the free jazz movement and fusion movements without any of those intervening decades.” Gannets featured in a full-length live session that was recorded by BBC Radio 3 in 2008. It was part of Jez Nelson’s Jazz on 3 program in 2008 and was selected by the band as one of their favorite sessions of 2008. The band releases its debut album on the Babel Label in 2012. from

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