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March 21, 2023

Up to their Necks in it

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The Necks will be playing this Friday February 7 at Byron Bay Community Centre, and Echonetdaily has free tickets to give away (see end of article).

They’ve recently finished one of their most successful UK and European tours ever and their 17th album Open is being hailed internationally as one of their best. Now acclaimed improvising trio The Necks are returning home for their annual pilgrimage around Australia with a tour that takes in capital cities including Perth and a return show at the Sydney Opera House.

The Necks have been playing together for over 25 years and are celebrated world-wide for creating immersive, hypnotic concert experiences over two one-hour sets, with acoustic piano (Chris Abrahams), acoustic bass (Lloyd Swanton) and drums (Tony Buck) slowly conjuring sound mountains out of thin air.

From their beginnings as a private jamming project with an adamant intention not to perform publicly, The Necks now travel the world to play. Their recent tour covered 12 countries – 19 shows on 19 consecutive nights – including sell-out shows in Paris, Gdansk, Warsaw, Aalst, and all three London shows.

In the UK they did a BBC studio recording with legendary improvising saxophonist, Evan Parker. ‘To get to play music with someone of Evan’s stature, and to find common ground with his utterly unique approach to improvisation was a huge honour, and some wonderful music flowed’, said Lloyd Swanton.

The-Necks-Before stepping on stage for a Necks concert, nothing is planned or discussed between the trio. They walk on and they start playing. The trust that has developed over quarter of a century of playing together creates a unique musical symbiosis. Audience members often remark they heard additional instruments or electronic samples during a performance, but nothing of the sort is ever used live.

‘On occasion what we’re playing sets up a weird resonance with the acoustics of the room. Not surprising, really, because Tony in particular is pretty good at sounding like three things at once. Sometimes on stage I don’t dare open my eyes because I’m sure I’d be freaked out if I saw what he was doing’, says Swanton.

In contrast to their live performances, their studio albums are often intricately crafted and discussed in the mixing process. ‘With Open we talked about making a very sparse record’, says Tony Buck. ‘Our previous album Mindset was very dense and polymetric, so we wanted to make one that was more crystalline. We wanted to create a sense of suspended time and space.’

The Necks, Australia’s perennial favourite artists-in-resonance, are at the top of their game. Don’t miss them.

See The Necks this Friday February 7 at the  – Byron Bay Community Centre.


The Necks and Echonetdaily have a double pass to give away to their Byron gig – if you would like to receive this giveaway and a free subscription to Echonetdaily, simply email your name, phone number and postcode to [email protected]


Find this and many other great gigs in Echonetdaily’s North Coast Gig Guide.



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