Improvizone

We belong in a museum

Andrew Booker 2008-05-16 16:36:14

Or so we're about to find out. Next Friday 23 May 2008, Improvizone will set up within the whitened walls of London's Design Museum, for their next Design Overtime evening. The theme is Eureka! Why, of course... Improvizone, an obviously great way of making live background music! Or something. We'll be playing ambient chillout-ish pleasantries between 6.30pm and 9.30pm somewhere in the foyer atrium bit. Onto that shortly.

The Design Museum are normally open until 5.30pm and charge £8.50 entry. Every couple of months they stay open for special themed evenings until 10pm. The evening entry is £5.00 and you get access to all the same galleries as usual, plus the featured items. As far as I know, you won't strictly need to pay to see us, because we'll be in the entrance area, not in the ticket-only galleries.

This gig came about from one of my wonderings around south of the river looking for interesting places to play. I don't carry a notebook, but every time I see a potential venue, I take a picture on my phone. Last week I mailed them to ask if they would consider letting us set up on a weekend afternoon in their cafe area. A couple of days afterwards their events organiser (Michael) phoned me back suggesting their next late opening evening. I promised we would be quiet. Michael listened to a selection of the downloads to make sure we would be OK, and then rang me again this week to book us.

By virtue of the elementary home-made logging device built into the downloads page, and with the help of ip2location.com, I've been able to see which tracks were downloaded through the Design Museum's internet router. That is how I know that I have Mike Bearpark, Os, Nick Cottam, Achilleas Sourlas, Jim Lampi, Mike Captain and Simeon Harris all to thank for contributing to material of such quality that it got us this gig. Cheers everyone. I'm now going to dig up some unreleased bits and pieces featuring some of the above who haven't been on the downloads page recently and post them next week.

Sadly our regular ambient lead guitar genius Mike Bearpark can't join us for this one. On the other hand his Darkroom band mate and live looping master Os brings his expertise as usual, plus I have recruited at long last the very excellent Steve Lawson on bass guitar.

We may or not have a fourth member, the truth is there isn't a whole lot of room. See that pink man, made of girders and sawn-off letterboxes, taking the least comfortable path of most resistance round an easily circumnavigable wooden assemblage? We and our gear have to fit around him and his whitewashed dwarf companion. (In fact he's a scale model of part of the structure of the new Terminal 5 at Heathrow. Where I won't be trying to get a gig. They have enough problems already.) It's OK, I'm used to this, we'll slip in round the edges, in much the same way as we might get off the Central Line at Liverpool St at 9am, when people who aren't getting off until Holborn decide the best place for them to stand is in the middle of the doorway.

I'm quietly looking forward to doing this one. It's a gig I don't have to promote, with people I trust to make up an evening of nice stuff, in an unusual place. If it goes well it will help us to get other gigs in other equally unusual places.

This is not to become a regular venue for us, I just fancy checking out another place every now and again, and I'm going to try and make this the first of a few different venues we try out this year. Last year I only found three. We parted company with one, another caught fire... I figure the project needs a few more options down its trousers if we're going to manage to play regular gigs.

Gigs begin again << | >> Five more downloads (and dull site stuff)