Friday 15 September 2017, 7.30pm, St John at Hackney

St John at Hackney: Clandestine Quartet + Senyawa

No Longer Available

Presented by Thirty Three Thirty Three and St John Sessions in partnership with Boiler Room and Cafe OTO – please note that this event is taking place at St John at Hackney.

- Alan Bishop (Sun City Girls/Alvarius B)
- Richard Bishop (Sun City Girls/Rangda)
- Chris Corsano (Flaherty-Corsano/Rangda)
- Michael Flower (Vibracathedral Orchestra/Flower-Corsano)

Thirty Three Thirty Three are proud to present the premiere performance from Clandestine Quartet, a band which includes brothers Alan Bishop and Richard Bishop – formerly of Sun City Girls, one of the most fiercely independent, challenging and totally unpredictable bands to have operated outside of the mainstream. Sun City Girls embraced and subverted styles and tropes from various genres and cultures, creating a blend of deranged surf, Eastern-but-not-Eastern free improvisation, stateless folk, avant-mysticism and whatever else you want to call it.

Sun City Girls disbanded in 2007, following the death of drummer Charles Gocher. The Sun City name could never be revived without the mad versatile genius of Gocher, a ‘high priest of the outside’ – a line from Alan Bishop’s touching tribute to Gocher in Perfect Sound Forever. The Bishops have only infrequently performed together since, notably on the Brothers Unconnected tour, instead focusing on their personal endeavours: Richard, on free rock outfit Rangda, and solo work under his Sir Richard Bishop guise; Alan, on his project Alvarius B, alongside bands The Invisible Hands, and Dwarfs of East Agouza. And of course, there’s Sublime Frequencies, the label that Alan co-owns with Hisham Mayet, a label that resists any form of cultural gatekeeping, releasing artists and music not represented in any music magazine’s false idea of a ‘canon’.

So how do they go about playing together in a band again, without the deft hand of Charlie Gocher? They’ve enlisted drummer Chris Corsano, an extraordinary percussionist and improvisor, a member of Rangda (with Richard Bishop and Ben Chasny), and known for his work with saxophonist Paul Flaherty. Corsano has performed with Jim O’Rourke, Joe McPhee, Bill Nace (Vampire Belt), Jandek, Bjork, and countless others. They’re also joined by Mick Flower – who has regularly performed with Corsano as Flower-Corsano, and is best known as a member of ecstatic drone ensemble Vibracathedral Orchestra.

Together, they’re hiding away for a week in a studio to write a completely new set of material. And what will it sound like? Who knows. Perhaps the Bishops have found kindred spirits in the form of Flower-Corsano. Or perhaps they’ve just found two new figures to spar with. Whatever the case, this is an unmissable opportunity to witness a performance from the unparalleled brothers of avant-everything.


Jogjakarta’s Senyawa embodies the aural elements of traditional Indonesian music whilst exploring the framework of experimental music practice, pushing the boundaries of both traditions. Their music strikes a perfect balance between their avant-garde influences and cultural heritage to create truly contemporary Indonesian new music. Their sound is comprised of Rully Shabara’s deft extended vocal techniques punctuating the frenetic sounds of instrument builder, Wukir Suryadi’s modern-primitive instrumentation. Inventions like his handcrafted ‘Bamboo Spear’; a thick stem of bamboo strung up with percussive strips of the animal skin along side steel strings. Amplified it fuses elements of traditional Indonesian instrumentation with garage guitar distortion. Sonically dynamic, the instrument can be rhythmically percussive on one side whilst being melodically bowed and plucked on the other. Their next album is due to be released in early 2017 with Pioneer Works, Brooklyn USA.