Thursday 15 December 2011

On The Edge

A few weeks ago I travelled down to Brighton with my trio (Webster/Holub/McLaren) to play at On The Edge - the night run by Brighton's Safehouse collective. It was the first time our trio had played outside London, and we had a great gig to a very enthusiastic listening audience. I mainly played Baritone for this gig, and Toby just brought his synth and effects instead of the usual Rhodes. This slight change to the usual format worked really well, with the synth bringing out more 'sounds' and the baritone sometime playing more of a support/rhythm section role.

Here's a clip of the first track from our set:
Webster/Holub/McLaren live in Brighton by colinwebster

Many thanks to Gus Garside and everyone at Safehouse for bringing us down there.

Monday 17 October 2011

Raise The Hallows 2011

I'm co-promoting this night, and also playing Baritone in 'Asteroid' - large sci-fi, doom-improv, drone, noise ensemble.





Dusk Til Dawn, Archway, N19 3TD

Solo improvisation

I'm working on some close-miked solo improvisations at the moment. There's still some technical issues to address, but here's a taster of a work in progess:

solo 1 by colinwebster

Wednesday 5 October 2011

Spasm Band News

Lots going on in the world of The Spasm Band right now. The new album - Rubber Orchestras - has just been released in France a couple of weeks ago on CD, vinyl, and download. Reviews and reactions from DJs has been excellent, and the album has been in the top 10 of the soul/R&B album charts on iTunes. We've had a few gigs as well, the album launch was at New Morning in Paris - legendary venue that we've played a few times now. We also had a trip to Marseille, one of my favourite cities to play in, to play at the Marsatac Festival.

The album is due out in the UK and the rest of Europe on Oct 12th. We're having a UK album launch at Empowering Church in Hackney on Nov 11th.

During our summer tour in Western France we shot this video for 'She Is The Sea', on a particularly wet and windy day in St Nazaire:

Open Sound Group - Warehouse One

Back in August I participated in a 12-piece group improvisation session at a warehouse in North London. The session was curated by sound artist/improvisor Graham Dunning, and included musicians from several different improvising disciplines. The resulting recordings have been released as a free download on the Open Sound Group website:

Tuesday 19 July 2011

Webster/Holub/McLaren Resonance FM Session

Back in May, Toby, Mark and myself went down to the Resonance FM studios to play some music and have a chat on Joe Kassman-Tod's 'Disorder At The Border' show.

Both tracks we played on the session are now available here for download:

Track 1
Track 2

Colin Webster - Tenor Sax, Toby McLaren - Fender Rhodes, Mark Holub - Drums.
Special thanks to Resonance FM -

Thursday 2 June 2011

Webster/Holub/McLaren Live Recording

This track is taken from the set we played at Flim Flam @ Ryan's Bar, Stoke Newington in March this year.

Colin Webster - Tenor Sax, Mark Holub - Drums, Toby McLaren - Fender Rhodes.
Download it here

Sunday 1 May 2011

Webster / Holub duo recording

Back in March I did a sax n' drums duo recording session with Mark Holub. We did a one-day session at Shiftworks in North London - the same studio that I recorded Koi Bombs, and with the same engineer, Alex Bonney.

Mark was one of the first people I played improvised music with, and we played duo sets back in 2005 in places like the Red Rose Club, and the Bonnington Centre (both gone now sadly). Since then our playing together has mainly been in larger groups, but I always wanted to record as a duo. When we did the Koi Bombs session we recorded a few duos, which were great, but didn't fit with the rest of the stuff. This gave me the excuse I needed to finally book in a duo session to record some more.

We went into the studio with no pre-concieved ideas, and came out with about 15 short improvisations. For this session I took all my horns with me, alto, tenor, and bari. The bari is quite new, and the alto doesn't get played out very often, so it was exciting for me to experiment with these horns and see what I could get out of them.

We've justed finished mixing the tracks, and I've been listening hard and enjoying them. There's a real range of stuff - some very percussive, some melodic, some noise. It's going to be hard to decide what makes the final cut.

Thursday 7 April 2011

New Spasm Band Album

The new Spasm Band album is finally finished. I got a copy of the final master from Anthony a few days ago, and I'm really pleased with how it's turned out. We had spent almost the whole of last year jamming together and writing the new tunes, and this February we entered the studio.

We recorded the album in Dalston, East London at the studio of our producer Malcolm Catto. This was the first time that we had worked with a producer in this way, having creative input into the overall sound of the record. It was also the first time we had multi-tracked ourselves. The previous two albums were done live, largely improvised, and all done in a matter of days. This time we spent a week on the rhythm section, jamming things and making adjustments to the compositions, and then about another three weeks on overdubs. The character of the new music is much less improvised than before, with an emphasis on composition, structure, and arrangement. Whereas before the saxophone lines would interweave freely through the track, this time it held down sections. And the brass sections were fat! I wrote and arranged brass section parts for most of the tunes, and was gifted a dream brass section to work with. Robin Hopcraft played trumpet. Robin is an amazing afrobeat trumpeter, and plays with his band Soothsayers, and also worked on the recent Fela musical. On bari sax and bass clarinet I had my good friend Shabaka Hutchings, who has guested and depped with The Spasm Band before, and was on ferocious form for this session. Somehow we got all the sections recorded in one day, and they sound amazing, I'm so pleased with them. I also multi-tracked myself on a few sections playing tenor and bari.

The new record should be out in June sometime, with a possible single release beforehand. Can't wait until it's out!

We've got a live show coming up soon as well on good friday at Passing Clouds in Dalston, where I expect we'll be showcasing a lot of this new album live:

Sunday 27 March 2011


Sheik Anorak is coming over from France this week for a special one-off gig at the Woodmill art space in Bermondsey, called OFF CUTS. He'll be joined for this show by Mark Holub on drums, and myself on saxophones. Also playing are some of the finest improv and noise musicians London has to offer.

This is the second time I'll play with Sheik Anorak (who also goes by the name Frank Garcia - head of Gaffer Records). In January I guested with LOUP - the duo of Sheik Anorak and Clement Edouard - for an extra noisy blow-out at Indo in Whitechapel. I'm expecting an equally, if not more intense show this time around. This show is also going to be extra special as it's at The Woodmill - an excellent artist-run studio/gallery space in South London, which is due to close in a couple of months.

Wednesday 2 March 2011

Chamber Show

Playing this show on friday. I'll be doing a baritone duo with David O'Connor (yes, two baritone saxophones). We'll be doing an improvised set inspired by doom metal - low and loud.. Really looking forward to this one!

Monday 28 February 2011

Koi Bombs Album Launched!

The new album by my trio with Mark Holub and Toby McLaren was released at the end of January. We had the launch party at Stoke Newington International Airport. It was a great night, great bands, and a large and receptive crowd!

The trio also played the legendary Boat-Ting (improv club on a boat on the Thames) earlier in the week. The intimate dimensions of the venue really suited us, and the set was very powerful. We hadn't played together for over a month, so things were fresh and firing! We also played a set the following week at Rays Jazz Cafe in central London. The polite coffee shop atmosphere was slightly at-odds with our outlandish improvisations, but after a bit of an apologetic start we got into it.

The album is now available from Gaffer Records and at gigs.

Here's a clip of the trio from the album launch:

More clips and sounds from the trio gigs coming soon.

Also in January I played a show as a guest with Loup - the duo of Sheik Anorak and Clement Edouard. We played an intense set at Indo in Whitechapel with Sheik Anorak on drums, Clement on alto and electronics and myself on baritone.. Hopefully some clips from this show coming soon as well.

Saturday 15 January 2011

Koi Bombs Album Launch

The Koi Bombs album launch is taking place on Saturday 22nd January at Stoke Newington International Airport. Not only are we releasing our record on the night, but also Ma. (led by my good friend Tom Challenger) and LOUP (led by Gaffer Records head-honcho Sheik Anorak) are both releasing albums as well!
It promises to be a great night with all 3 bands performing. Doors open at 8pm, and tickets are £5 on the door. There's also a guestlist for press/promo etc.. so get in touch if that's you.

Sunday 2 January 2011

Koi Bombs Artwork

'Koi Bombs' is the first release from my trio Webster/Holub/McLaren.

It's being released by Gaffer Records on CD-R this month.

We're playing a few London gigs to support the release:

17th January - Boat-Ting, on a boat, Temple Pier, Embankment
22nd January - ALBUM LAUNCH @ Stoke Newington International Airport, Stoke Newington
27th January - Ray's Jazz @ Foyle's Bookstore Cafe, Soho