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Led Bib: The People In Your Neighbourhood

Bruce Lindsay By

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The People In Your Neighbourhood comes from Led Bib, "rock-jazzers" with a neat line in catchy grooves and prog-rock-meets-free-jazz. The London-based outfit, led by New Jersey ex-pat drummer Mark Holub, has been around for over a decade, gaining a Mercury Prize nomination for Sensible Shoes (Cuneiform Records, 2009). After a quiet couple of years since the release of Bring Your Own (Cuneiform Records, 2011), early 2014 sees a flurry of activity, with the simultaneous release on Cuneiform of The People In Your Neighbourhood and a vinyl-only live album, The Good Egg.

The People In Your Neighbourhood features compositions from each band member barring keyboards player Toby McLaren. Holub remains composer-in-chief but bassist Liran Donin gets two credits while alto players Pete Grogan and Chris Williams contribute one and two tunes respectively.

The way Led Bib approaches its influences; shifting between them, mixing them up, blending them together; means that The People In Your Neighbourhood continually surprises. The tunes shift between rock riffs, improvisation, smoky jazz stylings, electronica and even the occasional burst of reggae—"Plastic Lighthouse" gets through pretty much all of these on its own. The twin alto opening riff to Grogan's "This Roofus" sounds tailor-made for a game show theme tune, but the tune soon develops into a harder-hitting, edgier, number as McLaren's keyboard solo takes over. Williams' "New Teles" begins with another two-sax attack, this time with McLaren's electronic swoops and swooshes darting in and out—Donin's down and heavy bass riff pops up later on, to give the tune a touch of hard rock. "At The Ant Farm" starts off with Holub and McLaren's hurried, scurrying drums and keyboards: the altos join in to build on this sensation of ant-like activity, then the tempo cools as Donin's sparse bass anchors a darker, lonelier tone from a single alto. Surprising.

The People In Your Neighbourhood was crowd-funded via Kickstarter. The front cover illustration lists the occupations of some of the people who pledged cash. Psychotherapist, advertising executive, writer, archaeologist, drainage engineer and investment banker: just some of the people in Led Bib's musical neighbourhood.

Track Listing: New Teles; Giant Bean; Angry Waters (Lost To Sea); This Roofus; Recycling Saga; Plastic Lighthouse; Tastes So Central; Imperial Green; Curly Kale; At The Ant Farm; Orphan Elephants.

Personnel: Pete Grogan: alto saxophone; Chris Williams: alto saxophone; Toby McLaren: keyboards; Liran Donin: bass; Mark Holub: drums.

Title: The People In Your Neighbourhood | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Cuneiform Records


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