Daily Archives: September 25, 2013

Tony Bevan + Hákarl

Tony Bevan: bass saxophone

Tony Bevan began playing the soprano sax at age sixteen, inspired by the dislocated rhythms of Captain Beefheart and the endless repetitions of Terry Riley, and encouraged by fellow Aylesbury town boy Lol Coxhill, who was kind enough to give him his first soprano lesson. A year later he bought a tenor sax, and quickly added Sonny Rollins, Ornette Coleman and Warne Marsh to his list of influences. Around this time he also discovered the music of Derek Bailey, Evan Parker and Han Bennink via ‘Topography of the Lungs’ and thereafter he dived headlong into the world of improvised music.

Over the last four decades he has played with Sunny Murray, Adam Bohman, Chris Corsano, Derek Bailey and countless other pioneers of free music. He has a powerful sound, built around circular riffs and refrains and the sheer oomph of the bass saxophone – indeed Time Out once described him as “the world’s greatest improvising bass saxophonist”.

Alongside this he runs his own record label: Foghorn records

One of the unsung heroes of modern British music” – Ben Watson

Here’s a great piece he recorded with Derek Bailey, Sonic Pleasure and others a few years ago:


Improvising violin/ guitar/ other-ist, Hákarl is the solo project of West Country born but Brighton-based Kev Nickells. Hákarl is sometimes one and sometimes many. Shows this year have included an improvised covers set for Splitting the Atom, a 12 hour performance at the Coach House (with the Carousel Collective/ Adam Bushell/ Nil), an evening of John Cage compositions at Brighton Unitarian Church and performing the graphic scores of Lama Dalai at Supernormal festival Oxfordshire – the same festival at which he performed for 36 non-stop hours in 2011 (along with Seth Cooke, Clive Henry, Jamie Glew-Osborne, Huw Webb and Barnabas Yianni) and has been involved in curating for 2012/3.

For the Safehouse Hákarl has composed a thematic improvisation based around a corrupted interpretation of Greek ode-form – Strophe, Antistrophe, Cadenza and Epode.


The Wildcard Quartet
At the end of every Safehouse open session four members are picked at random to form a one-off quartet to play at the show at the end of the month. This is them.