Monday 20 December 2010

Bird Head Son Tour.. Complete!

The Spasm Band's 'Bird Head Son' tour is finally came to an end a few weeks ago in Lille. It's been an incredible two year journey, taking us all over Europe, playing some spectacular stages, to so many amazing people.

We've been writing the next record over the last few months, and are due to enter the studio very soon.. More on that later.

There's lots of clips and interviews etc.. on the Spasm Band blog:

Here's a photo of The Spasm Band taken in Lille at the end of the tour:

l-r: Anthony Joseph, Colin Webster, Oscar Martinez, Michel Castellanos, Andrew John, Christian Arcucci

New addition..

Meet the latest addition to my family!

I've wanted a bari for ages, and now I have one. This one used to belong to a fantastic saxophonist and improvisor David O'Connor - so it's got pedigree!

It's made a couple of live appearances already with Webster/Holub/McLaren and Wart Biter, and in the studio with Chik Budo. Looking forward to playing it on gigs and some new recordings in the new year.

Tuesday 30 November 2010

Composition for ArtReview Short Film

Dan Hahn and I recently composed the music for this short film by Oliver Basciano for ArtReview.

Find more videos like this on

Wart Biter @ The Gluerooms

I'm playing this night on saturday with Wart Biter, although in reality it's just me and Tom Fuglesang on drums. Tom is the drummer from Gum Takes Tooth who I've collaborated with in Wart Biter and Terrordactyl. We're doing a set of free jazz meets grindcore and doom. It's my last gig of the year, and also my first full gig on my new baritone - more on that later!

The Gluerooms is a brilliant night of all things noisy and experimental run by Mic Shaw (DJ Tendraw) that ran for years when I lived in New Cross. I'm pleased to see it's now started up again in Stockwell.

Tuesday 19 October 2010


I'm putting on another show at Jamboree in Limehouse, and this time I have managed to book the legendary trio of Wilkinson/Edwards/Noble for the headline slot. My trio with Mark Holub and Toby McLaren will be starting the evening off.

It's easy to see with the Wilkinson/Edwards/Noble line-up that what you're dealing with is the very best of British 'free jazz' and improvised music. Not much more to say about it than that! More about this fantastic trio, plus audio and video clips on their myspace:

This will be the first performance by my trio in several months. Since the recording session in March we've been rehearsing and the music is starting to shape itself into a dark, brooding and raucous beast. Looking forward to playing live!

Monday 20 September 2010

Raise The Hallows

I'm co-promoting and performing at this event coming up on halloween. I'll be playing with the Swiss improv duo Diatribes who are touring the UK this october with a revolving cast of collaborators.

Especially for halloween, Max from Transient Constellations and myself have brought together a selection of London's finest noise, improv, and hardcore artists for a night of ghostly interference, demonic chanting, dismembered instruments, and otherworldly sonic explorations!

DIATRIBES w/ Colin Webster





Friday 3 September 2010

Anthony Joseph & The Spasm Band @ Passing Clouds

The Spasm Band are playing a rare London show at Passing Clouds in Dalston on 10th September. Voodoo Funk - Congo Punk!

Wednesday 1 September 2010

Firebox presents Afreaka Show (AKA Black is Beautiful)

I'll be performing at this on Sept 12th at Joiner's Arms, Hackney Road, Shoreditch:


A group of some of London's finest improvisers, collectively known as 'Fire Box', converge to present a series of musical journeys. Starting from spaced-out jazz vamps and moments of silence the performers take the listener into a world of spontaneous musical happenings. Taking inspiration from the likes of Sun Ra, Derek Bailey, Miles Davis and Ornette Coleman.

Firebox will pay tribute on this evening to anti-apartheid activist S...teve Biko, who died in police custody 33 years ago. Steve Biko formed the Black Conciousness Movement in South Africa, empowering and mobilising the black urban population, and is credited with coining the phrase "black is beautiful".

Performers on the night are:

Shura Greenberg: Double Bass
Craig Tamlin: Drums
Gareth Wilkins: Fender Rhodes, Synths
James Marsh: Alto Sax
Colin Webster: Tenor Sax
David O'Connor: Baritone Sax

This event is free entry, and bar is open til late

Friday 30 July 2010


The summer touring season is basically finished for me now, and I haven't had time to write a single thing! I'll attempt to sum it up in a few paragraphs..

Since May The Spasm Band has been fairly busy touring with our new line-up, with Michel Castellanos on drum kit and Jozef Berk on congas/timbales. The majority of the shows have been festival dates around Europe, including France, Belgium, Czech Rep, Norway, Slovenia, and we played at Mawazine Festival in Morocco. As usual we had very little time to check out any of the countries we played in.. There were a few highlights: Bergen was spectacular, and the Nattjazz festvial was excellent. The Mawazine festival stage was really impressive, probably one of the biggest I've ever played - I was just gutted we didn't get to try any amazing Moroccan cuisine! The most recent tour took us to the South of France for three shows - not a bad place to tour in July! The tour ended with a great show in a quarry near Montpellier - deep resonance from the rocks on all sides.

Here is a link to footage of our set at Les Suds festival in Arles.

In between Spasm Band tours I had a couple of festival gigs with Chik Budo. In June we played the biggest of them all - Glastonbury. Sadly we weren't booked on the mainstage, but the DogFacedGeisha's bar had it's own charms. The venue was tucked away in an area called Block 9 - a spectacular post-apocalyptic film-set, complete with burnt out cars and trains, plus a gay disco and a dubstep arena! We were lucky enough to have passes for the whole weekend, and stayed to the end (to see Stevie Wonder!). We also had a fantastic gig in July at a great little festival in Devon called Wattsfest. Definitely recommend it!

Chik Budo also currently have a free download available from the website. Go and get it here.

Thursday 13 May 2010


Sometimes you have to admit that things don't go quite as planned. I've lost count of the number of gigs that have been cancelled recently due one thing or another. The ash cloud that sat over Europe for a week scuppered a Spasm Band trip to Italy, and a further 2 shows in France had the plug pulled by the promoter. Chik Budo were also let down a few times by promoters or venues double-booking, and also we had to pull out one show as Aki broke his wrist!

So instead the last month or so has mainly been spent in the studio. The Spasm is in the process of writing our next album, and incorporating some new material in the live set. I've also been working on new Chik Budo material - there's some new tracks up on the myspace.

I'm also currently finalising the mixes of the trio recordings I did in march with Mark Holub and Toby McLaren. I've pulled a number of short trio and duo pieces from session that are being mixed by Alex Bonney, and should be unleashed on the world soon.

The unexpected lack of gigs has also meant I've had a chance to see some gigs here in London. Peter Brotzmann was at The Vortex with his band Hairy Bones - Massimo Pupillo (from Zu) on bass, Toshinori Kondo on trumet, and Paal Nilssen-Love on drums. Their set was one of the most intense and powerful I've ever seen from what is essentially an acoustic band. Peter Brotzmann was also inspiring to see (and hear) in the flesh. His demeanour, physicality, and presence are so strongly tied to the sounds he produces. I also liked seeing him shred about 4 reeds in 45 minutes, and each time he put on a new reed he'd file it down with a 4-inch flick-knife before he played it!
I also managed to catch a gig by Ken Vandermark at Cafe Oto. His rhythm section for the night was Paal Nilssen-Love and John Edwards - which has to be one of the strongest and inventive you'll find anywhere in Europe right now. Plenty to be inspired by.

Monday 12 April 2010

Wart Biter @ Transient Constellations

Wart Biter are playing this excellent event at The Others in Stoke Newington, hosted by Transient Constellations. Wart Biter features Toby McLaren of Led Bib on synths, Tom Fugelsang of Gum Takes Tooth on drums, and Jussi Brightmore also of Gum Takes Tooth on synths, and machines. We'll be playing a fully improvised set, forging together elements of free improv, noise rock, and electro.

Tuesday 23 March 2010

Mad March

After a couple of months of relative peace, things have suddenly picked up pace this month! Only a few gigs, but things have been hectic behind the scenes.
The month kicked off with a Wart Biter show at Jamboree, supporting Charles Hayward's Trio. The night was a great success, with an excellent audience in the cosy surroundings of Jamboree. The Wart Biter set harnessed elements of improv, electro, noise.. etc.. and crammed them into a breathless 25 minute set. I didn't manage to get a good recording of the set this time, however the band has been in the studio recording some improvisations that I'm hoping to mix, edit, and unleash on the world soon.

I've also been busy in the studio with Chik Budo, preparing new material. Some of the new material is starting to see the light of day which is excellent. We've also recently aquired a new keyboardist - Curtis Stansfield, who not only possesses the pre-requisite big-hair and amazing synth skills, but also a keytar! Writing and rehearsals still dominate the Budo schedule with a few gigs to look forward to in the near future as well.

The Spasm Band has also had a hectic month behind the scenes following the departure of the percussion section, and the consequent hiring of a new drummer and percussionist. The new line-up played our first show this weekend in Nice. With minimal rehearsals, and some kit parts still to be finalised tension was high before the gig - but The (new look) Spasm Band was successful.

This weekend I had an all day recording session at the excellent Shiftworks recording studio in North London. This was the first recording session of my trio with Mark Holub and Toby McLaren. We recorded a series of trio improvisations with tenor sax, drums, Fender Rhodes, and Juno synth, as well as some duos. It was possibly one of the hardest recording sessions I've ever done, and was truly exhausting. I'm waiting to get back some of the rough mixes and looking forward to hearing the results.

l-r: Mark Holub, Me, Toby McLaren @ Shiftworks Studio

Monday 1 February 2010

Charles Hayward Trio + Wart Biter

I'm putting on this show at the Jamboree in March with Charles Hayward's Trio and my own Wart Biter:

Charles Hayward is a legendary drummer, known for his work with This Heat, Massacre, and Camberwell Now. He's joined by saxophonist Tomas Challenger (Ma, Red Snapper, Loop Collective, and bassist Nick Doyne-Ditmas. Their music can be described as ultra-telepathic shape bending acoustic improv, veering from the rootsy, to the abstract, to genuinely euphoric highs.

Wart Biter is Colin Webster on saxophone, Toby McLaren from Led Bib on synthesiser, and the double-headed beast of a rhythm section that is Gum Take's Tooth's Tom Fugelsang on drums - which trigger Jussi Brightmore's rig of synths and effects. Wart Biter combine expansive abstract sonorities, with abrasive improv and primal slabs of noise.

Sunday 24 January 2010

There Is No Time: Anthony Joseph and The Spasm Band

Check out this feature length film of life on the road with The Spasm Band. With international concert performances and backstage footage, it's truly something special that documents the first four years of The Spasm band since the first recording sessions in 2006.

There is no time : Anthony Joseph & The Spasm Band from anthony joseph on Vimeo.