Sunday, 17 June 2018

Hey pals,
first /shieldshaped gig in almost forever. Sorry to be posting this info up so late - life real busy...
Sat 23 June 7pm, Cube Cinema, Bristol.
Michael Hurley  ++ Ashley Paul ++ Gwenifer Raymond
In tune with everything and out there connecting. Magical musics.

beyond delighted to be welcoming back Michael Hurley to the Cube Cinema, Bristol. Wild and true, vernacular troubadour songs, carried on the wind. One of the greatest

Also honoured to have unique song-fragmentor Ashley Paul along, with fresh duo formation and a startling new album to unpick

Further primitive pleasure from postFahey string explorer Gwenifer Raymond. Appalachian ghost-channeling. Album forthcoming on Tompkins Square

plus fine music on records played by humans

Tickets flying physically from the Here Shop, Stokes Croft and online from here

Monday, 7 April 2014


Roman Nose / Possett /
Lovely Honkey / Papal Bull
upstairs @ the Miner's Arms -
Thursday 15th May, 8pm

/shieldshaped/ returns after a hiatus of sorts.
And what better way to step back into the ring…

There’s been a swell of outsider goodness flowing from the north-east these past few years. A sprawling constellation of freak acts and outsider labels, unspooling streams of beautiful/deranged audiotape in all directions.  Very happy to have four choice exponents of the NE no-audience underground here in Bristol. 

ROMAN NOSE    The pet project of Jon Marshall, founder of Singing Knives Records – an essential node in the north-east outer – and member of improv folkskronk trio The Hunter Gracchus. With Roman Nose he uses vocals, various free-reed instruments and an array of pitch/timbre modifying effects pedals to create microtonal and polyrhythmic fevers of ecstatic dissonances. 

LOVELY HONKEY    Rarified solo throat-splutter from Luke Poot, of Very Rich Lexicon, Hard Pan, Chastity Potatoe and a twice-touring duo with Phil Minton. Lo-fidelity remedial sound poetry of the choicest order. 

PAPAL BULL    Rabid cluster of sounds using dictaphones, harmonica reeds, harmonium, sheng and voices. Particularly out-to-lunch drones & wails, vocals that veer from having that nice mouthful-of-mussels vibe to a more euro-academic too-much-coffee buzz to private language gurgle and “dictaphone work that would give Gwilly Edmondez the horn”. Junk rattling. Ouch. 

POSSET    J.G. Murray, the north-east's premier purveyor of dictaphone jazz-huff. He jams with a bank of old dictaphones and broken walkmen and antique effects pedals all wired together with strings of snot, scraps of sticky tape and bits of old wool. 


Doing this one in the upstairs room at The Miner’s Arms in St Werburghs. A new venue for /shieldshaped/ but a sweet spot and a swell pub. Cosy. Up the stairs by the pool table. Only £4 entry, starts 8pm

Friday, 29 March 2013

John Wall & Mark Durgan + Behaviour @ Café Kino, Fri 17 May

/ShieldShaped/ returns to the Kino basement with a spectacular double punch of improv power and hive-mindedness.

Delighted to be hosting a rare live appearance from the John Wall/Mark Durgan duo, whose self-titled collaboration – released in 2012 on Entr'acte – earned them high acclaim from all corners of the experimental music press.

On paper, Wall/Durgan might seem an unlikely pairing. Wall's series of self-released CDs – from 1995's Alterstill up to 2005's Cphon – marked him out as one of the most original and revered composers of the era. His micro-scalpelled assemblages of samples, and painstaking, pointillist editing displayed a complexity far exceeding that of most plunderphonic contemporaries. Needle-sharp and impeccably detailed.
Durgan, meanwhile, has been ploughing a different sort of furrow. Since 1986, both under his own name and as Putrefier, he has been refining a form of noise music that is entirely his own. Drawing on musique concrete, but realised on an industrialesque array of home-made and jerry-rigged devices, his sound is full-bodied, combustive and visceral. His releases have wormed out through a host of legendary subcultural labels: Broken Flag, RRRecords, Harbinger Sound, and – more recently – Gods of Tundra and Pan.

Recent years have seen diversification from both artists: Wall collaborating with poet Alex Rodgers for an album; Durgan joining anti-music assaultists the New Blockaders, as well as appearing at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (as part of Maja Ratkje's Crepuscular Hour).
Two masters of their craft and two diverse voices, Wall and Durgan have found a remarkably fertile common ground. Tonight they dig it over with laptop and assorted electronics.


Also on the bill we have Behaviour an 11-piece improv ensemble led by Andy Keep. Now in its eighth year, the annually rotating line-up is formed from 3rd year students on Bath Spa University's renowned CMT course. Working with a huge spread of self-designed sound sources – hacked hardware devices, instrumentalised found objects, software environments, circuit bending, homemade instruments, etc – the group perform interpretations of classic large ensemble improv works as well as original strategy-based compositions.

For this one-off performance, they are collaborating with sonic artist (and pioneer of the sonic marble run) Jon Pigott, who will be producing direct visuals triggered by the audio output of the ensemble.

Downstairs at Café Kino, Stokes Croft, Bristol.
Tickets just £5 (£3 students/conc.). Available in advance from the Here Shop/Bristol Ticket Shop.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Katie & Kim's 'Slap Up': Michael Hurley/Avarus/Timberwolf/Dan Haywood: Dapple/The Moons of Mulagi + home-cooked food and much more... – secret Bristol location, Bank Holiday Monday 6th May

Tuck in to two sessions of music and food courtesy of five acts, including two sets by the legendary Michael Hurley and some divine home-cooked cuisine by Katie & Kim. All to be found at an amazing secret location on the first Monday in May... a bank holiday gathering to nourish the soul.


Session one: 3pm till 8pm


+ A complimentary plate of food from KATIE & KIM's KITCHEN

Session two: 
8pm till midnight 


+ A complimentary plate of food from KATIE & KIM's KITCHEN

Limited Joint Pass - £25. (All the acts in both sessions including 2 sets by Michael Hurley + one plate of food). Strictly 15 places only!
Session 1 Pass - £15 (3 acts + one plate of food)

Session 2 Pass - £15 (3 acts + one plate of food)

Tickets in advance only, very limited capacity - make your move now

Ticket Outlets:
Bristol Ticket Shop
Here Shop
Presented by Qu Junktions and /ShieldShaped/


Michael Hurley
Michael Hurley's songbook is one of the most important living, walking, talking, singing, playing bodies of work in northern American culture. He is a singer of absorbing old-style Americana songs, by turns melancholic and funny, and chock-a-snock with love, life and wolves.

Hurley, known affectionately to his fans as 'Snock', was born in 1941 in Florida. He has unleashed a string of consistently ground-flattening records on such labels as the seminal and anthological Smithsonian Folkways Records (his debut record First Songs was recorded on the same reel-to-reel machine that taped Leadbelly's Last Sessions) and the prolific omni-temporal roundabout that is Mississippi Records. Hurley's songs seem to criss-cross time and labels without convention, just like the man himself. Come track him down, it's open season, he is doing two sets.

Snock 'N Roll: Adventures With Michael Hurley (Complete Film)

Michael Hurley - Tea Song (1965)
Michael Hurley - Sweedeedee
Michael Hurley - O My Stars (1980)

Katie and Kim

Katie and Kim are two Scottish cooks who have been in and out of Bristol over the last few years whipping up delight wherever their pots hit the spot. They love to eat, talk about the food they are about to serve, gossip about the meals they could be eating and talk about the music they just heard. Always tasty and constantly up for a new challenge, Katie and Kim will be creating a complimentary plate of food for all members of the audience with extra snacks and treats on sale during the day/night.


…. beautifully splintered. The newly self-released album ‘Dusk, maybe’ is a finely measured album and one of the best heard this year. In the welcome strain and stains of Crescent, Third Eye Foundation, Flying Saucer Attack et al in his west country melancholic reverie.  However clear piano, drifting banjo pluck and emotional and dreamtime vocals lends Timberwolf a brooding clarity unheard of round here. Definitely pitch up early to to witness music from the wooded one.


Avarus like a jam. Dip your fingers into this pot of fermented Finnish free music. Epic and endless, rumbling and stumbling, space-y psychedelic folk jams from a band that conjure all manner of moods. Formed in Tampere, Finland in 2001 by members of bands The Anaksimandros and Pylon, the group expands and contracts with the weather. A rare treat to have them here. Hear Hear.

Dan Haywood: Dapple

A brand new cycle of sweet and intimate folksong from the genius Lancastrian songwriter/poet/ornithologist who birthed the New Hawks. Last seen in Bristol channelling Dylan in support of Josephine Foster, this outing sees Haywood in a gentler but no less compelling zone.


The Moons of Mulagi 

The Moons of Mulagi seem to have come from somewhere and wherever that has been it has been Funz. Recordings, rivers, sittings, places, people, lanes, gay bottles, Saskatoon and Whelk. In-the-moment and outta-site musical specifics. Highly recommended but never experienced. Virgin territory and butter for it.

Friday, 4 January 2013


just put together a mix for the year just gone. Some folks who've played /shieldshaped/ gigs, some from my favourite records of the year, and some older bits that stuck in my [y]ear.

0.00 The No-Neck Blues Band - A Daisy Chain for Richard Wright (excerpt)
concluding part of a piece that first surfaced on the Ytiu LP last year. One of my favourite groups of any time
2:40 The Bowles - Worrywort
low-slung already-defunct Australian outfit. Lot of great Australian sounds caught my ear this year.
6:00 Jason Lescalleet - Nice Ass
Taken from Jason's tour-only 7" split with Graham Lambkin. Jason played one of my favourite sets of the year at Kino. Like watching sounds fall down a well.
9:55 Rozi Plain - Cold Tap
Taken from Rozi's second full album. That's Ichi on the steel pan, also.
13:04 Le Ton Mite/Karl Blau - Track 4
McCloud stepped in to fill the void left by an ill support act. Here he is clattering with Karl Blau. A winner.
16:01 Michael Hurley - Pretty Girl on Roller Skates
was a dream finally seeing Michael play, and the Cube was a perfect venue. Mississippi issued a load of recordings made at the same time as those that appeared on his first album. I always thought that 'dance around in your bones' line was written by Waits/Burroughs; turns out it was lifted from a 1920s novelty song
22:17 Hans Krüsi - EX HK. (excerpt)
was chuffed to find this in a second-hand stall in town. Hans Krüsi was a Swiss outsider artist. The record from which this is taken collates a load of his private cassette recordings.
23:38 Harry Pussy - I Fought the Police
Standout track from the One Plus One LP, which colelcts a load of HP demos and whathaveyou.
28:00 Russell Hoban - The Lion of Boaz-Jachin and Jachin-Boaz (excerpt)
Russell Hoban died at the very end of last year. This is a reading (by Eleanor Bron) of an extract from a favourite book by a favourite writer. RIP.
32:48 Bruce Langhorne - Ending
From his soundtrack to Peter Fonda's The Hired Hand. Finally issued on vinyl this year. Bruce Langhorne was the original Mr Tambourine Man.
37:19 Anton Bruhin - Trumpi Cheng
Anton Bruhin was probably my most-listened-to artist of the last year. Here's one of his extaordinary jews-harp workouts
40:24 Josephine foster - Waterfall
couldn't resist the jews-harp segue. Opening track from one of the best records of the year.
43:43 Sky Needle - Rest in a Well
More from Oz, Sky Needle build most of their instruments themselves.
48:03 Henry Thomas - Fishing Blues
Great re-issue of early bluesman on Mississippi again. Those panpipes are made outta sugarcane; he called them quills.
50:38 Mad Nanna - My Two Kids
no-fidelity basement scuzz, from Australia again.
53:09 Derek MonyPeny - Asuf
Solo oud oddity from this Richard Bishop associate.
55:55 Al Doum & the Faryds - Ship of Joy
AD&TD completely blew me away with their Kino gig. Great guys.
1:01:25 Smegma - Portions of "son of geek" including "carnival geek"
Got lost in the LAFMS Blorp Essette box set for a couple months earlier this year. Hard to know what to pick from it - so much goodness.
1:04:33 Jacques Brodier - Chansons dans les flammes
Late entry for possible album of the year. Jacques Brodier has been making this kind of perfectly-executed dreamstate radio art since the 70s, but only just had it released this year.

Hope you enjoy. Pass it on.

And while I'm here, I heartily recommend the following:

Thursday, 8 November 2012

stop press: Le Ton Mité added to Al Doum bill...

Hey folks, things just got even more special...

very pleased to announce a last-minute addition to tomorrow's bill: Le Ton Mité is the project of a modern troubadour. The songs tell the story of McCloud Zicmuse, an artist and musician who lost his home in Olympia, USA, was stranded in France for some years, then found himself in Brussels, Belgium. Le Ton Mité's music has been compared to Moondog, Charles Ives, Caetano Veloso and Eric Satie. Mr Zicmuse sings in French as he has lived and currently lives in countries that speak this language. He is also known as an active member of the 'free music' improvising community & is seen frequently singing & playing percussion with his junkyard sonic group Hoquets. Le Ton Mité has recorded and collaborated with such groups as Maher Shalal Hash Baz, Deerhoof, Tenniscoats, Mt.Eerie,  Old Time Relijun,  l'ocelle mare, Oneone & Darugaries.
Listen to his album '"Version d'un ouvrage traduit" by Le Ton Mité:
interview on The Quietus:

Four incredible acts for just five pounds (details on all the other acts appearing below)
really recommend coming down early for this one...
keep warm and well,

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Al Doum & the Faryds, Ichi, Snails - Cafe Kino, Friday 9th November

The positive force
is the deep force that moves everything
You don't know,
but it leads you to the future choice
of peace and harmony.
Space travellers crashing in outta nowhere. Delighted to have Al Doum & the Faryds stopping by in Bristol on their first ever UK tour. Channeling the spirits of all your favourite cosmic explorers (Sun Ra, Alice Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders...), the Faryds’ sound is a hot bath of exotic groove and sweet-smelling freak-out. Come and immerse yourself…
While the six-piece hail from northern Italy, their sonics range across continental divides. Drawing on percussive tribal rhythms, highlife guitar licks, eastern winds, desert blues and, particularly, the more psychedelicised end of Arabian musics, the resultant sound is somewhere between the most liquid-grooved Embryo/Sunburned/No-Neck jams and the wilder reaches of the Sublime Frequencies catalogue.
Following last year’s private-pressed eponymous LP, their new album, Positive Force,Is co-released next month by Black Sweat Records (the band’s own label) and Glasgow’s Julia Dream Recordings (new art-label run by Andrew Ross, correspondent for the legendary Volcanic Tongue record shop).
Al Doum & the Faryds live is an experience not to be missed: transcendental and intoxicating, music for the mind and body. Feel the positive force.

Support on the evening comes from one-man-band phenomenon, Ichi.
 Hailing from Nagoya, Japan, but now based (at least part-time) in Bristol, Ichi is one of the most exciting and unlikely live performers you’re ever likely to witness. At once playful and totally sincere, Ichi takes the concept of one-man-band to its most fantastic illogical conclusion. With tape-loops, steel drum, ping-pong balls, trumpet, balloons, alarm clocks and a whole arsenal of further home-made devices, Ichi’s live sets are truly magical and guaranteed to leave you blown away.
Opening proceedings, it is our pleasure to welcome Bristol’s own Snails. A duo of Dan Weltman (Hollowbody) and Mog Fry (the Wraiths), Snails initially formed to soundtrack a budget slasher movie involving a homicidal nun. Sadly no Baftas resulted, but this bonding process led to the creation of several more lost soundtracks, and a beautiful 7” release on top underground folk label Great Pop Supplement. Evoking influences as diverse as Moondog, Basil Kirchin and Clive Palmer, their sound is sweet and melancholy; lonely and comforting.
Sitting in a conservatory, heavily blanketed, during a rainstorm, watching snails climbing on the roof.
All this at Café Kino, Stokes Croft.
Just £5 adv.
For tickets: The Here Shop or Bristol Ticket Shop