Friday 26 May 2023, 6pm - 9:30pm
tickets are subject to a 10% booking fee
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please note: this is a rescheduled date. all original tickets remain valid
14s+ (under 16s to be accompanied by an adult over 18)
IMPORTANT LOOP NEWS
It is with a heavy heart that we have had to make the decision to postpone the upcoming shows scheduled for October. Please note that they are not cancelled, just postponed and they will go ahead in May 2023. It was a tough decision and it ultimately fell upon myself to make the final decision, so I will shoulder the responsibility fully.
As everyone is aware, times have been hard post covid for the live scene and promoters and bands in general. Costs have literally sky-rocketed, people are finding it hard to make ends meet and bands are finding it equally difficult to balance the outgoing costs with the incoming. Things have come to a head with the case for Loop and because we have to consider our families and households first and foremost at this time, many factors have worked against us to make this tour happen and not lose our livelihoods.
On top of all that, I personally have some sort of condition at the moment where my hands are rendered numb for long periods of time. I believe it to be a trapped nerve in my neck. It’s painful but also worrying because it would affect my guitar playing tremendously. I’m not prepared to take the risk of cancelling shows because of it at very short notice. Some would say they wouldn’t hear the difference as I often play like someone who has no control or feeling. That aside, it really was the final straw in my decision. Obviously, I hope to have gotten around to actually seeing someone with a better medical background than myself and I’m put on the path to having it rectified.
May I first apologise to you the fans that have bought tickets and some of you follow parts of the tour or all of it. I’ve personally been very worried about making the announcement because I truly hope that you will all be able to reimburse your costs in travel and accommodations. It was not a decision taken likely, you know how much your support means to me and the band.
But please do not worry and assume that it’s a complete cancellation. The shows WILL go ahead in May come hell or high water and we will do our absolute best to make the shows as special as possible.
May I also apologise to the promoters and our long suffering agent who have worked hard to reschedule the dates and make sure everyone is happy with the outcome. If you can, please hold on to your tickets, for the sake of keeping live music alive, it is very important in these off-kilter times. It’s good for the promoters and good for the bands you support. All tickets are and will be valid for the new dates, so please don’t worry.
I am very very sorry to have to tell you this news, but all will be well in May and I hope it hasn’t affect you too harshly.
Please look at the list below for the rescheduled dates and I hope we will still be able to see you all again in May
LOOP - Sonacy
A brand new album from influential cult heroes LOOP. Their first new music in 6 years and first new album in 32 years.
“Style wise, it’s incredibly different, going back to thinking about guitars and guitar sounds. Obviously you have to take into consideration things like percussive elements such as drums, which I haven’t been using in my other projects; but this is the mindset that makes up LOOP.”
So says Robert Hampson, the indefatigable visionary behind inspirational sonic architects LOOP, who’s eagerly anticipated fourth LP ‘Sonancy’ (Latin for “to create noise”) is the perfect document for these strange times. Dynamic, dystopian, righteously angry and unashamedly LOOP-ian, it’s an album that marks a vital re-emergence for Hampson and co.
Formed in South London in the mid-1980s, LOOP blazed a trail with their potent mix of motorik beats and heavy guitar riffs, recording a trio of brilliant albums that set the indie charts alight before imploding in 1990 after the release of album number three, ‘A Gilded Eternity’. As critics enthused at the time, LOOP were the sound of Suicide jamming with the Stooges aboard a spaceship built by Hawkwind and piloted by CAN. They were post-psychedelic, pre-shoegaze figureheads in a world of anodyne pop jangle and baggy rhythms, and even their closest contemporaries like Spacemen 3 and My Bloody Valentine didn’t plough such a distinctive furrow as theirs.
After LOOP’s demise, Hampson pivoted away from guitars with electronic project Main, before moving to France and hooking up with fabled experimental collective Groupe de Recherches Musical (GRM). LOOP were a distant memory, one that Hampson seemed unwilling to revisit, so it was a delightful surprise when they remerged in 2013 to play and curate the All Tomorrow’s Parties (ATP) festival, followed by a performance personally requested by Robert Smith of The Cure at Meltdown Festival in 2018.
“Through that long period when I often said I wouldn’t reform LOOP, I didn’t miss it, I didn’t feel the need to have it in my life,” Hampson explains. “It was working with people like Barry Hogan at ATP and the re-mastered reissues of our original albums coming out that sparked my interest again. It took me a few years to be comfortable to say, ‘Yes, we can do this again, we’re relevant’. I’m not someone who will do something for the sake of doing something.”
Along with the live shows, there also came new music in the shape of a 2015 EP called Array 1, the first in a planned trio of EPs of protracted tracks which Hampson eventually abandoned in favour of the more direct pleasures of their astounding new full length ‘Sonancy’.
“I dropped the idea of the EP series and went in an entirely different direction. I started writing songs that were much more immediate, tighter, dare I say more aggressive – although not aggressive in the old LOOP way, but with a spikiness. It needed to sound more modern. When Main petered out, I started working with people like the GRM in France, so I went in the direction of electroacoustic musique concrète. LOOP is completely removed from that, but there are parts of the ‘Array’ EP and ‘Sonancy’ that go towards the more experimental sounds. It’s not just guitar thrash.”
“My motto has always been ‘Forward’ and I always try to do something new with each record. I always try to push different influences in there. Specifically, for this record, I wanted to counter the idea of the ‘Array’ EP, on which all the tracks were longer and drawn out. They still had the motorik element of bands like Neu! and CAN, but LOOP’s always had that. With ‘Sonancy’ I also wanted to take a post-punk sound, spin it on its head and mix it with a psych influence. A total gumbo. Which has always been LOOP, this mash up of spicy rhythms.”
Indeed, with its rich mixture of styles and cadences, ‘Sonancy’ is the sound of LOOP in the 21st century, Hampson’s intense guitar work anchored by propulsive backing in service of songs with clinically dissociative titles such as ‘Eolian’, ‘Supra’, ‘Penumbra’ and ‘Fermion’.
“People who know my music well know that from the last LOOP album onwards, my interest in chemistry, science and astronomy have come to the fore,” Hampson elaborates. “I use those titles but I use them in an abstract context. With the cutback, minimalist sound I wanted for this record, I wanted to do that with the lyrics and the titles as well. It’s very immediate. The songs are shorter in length, the lyrics more minimal than ever.”
“I’m often asked to print the lyrics but I want people to approach our records with a sense of mystery, so you don’t necessarily know what’s going on. You may call it challenging. I’m influenced by J.G. Ballard and Philip K. Dick to a certain degree. Lyrically, if you listen to it intently, there’s this dystopian outlook. There’s a lot of anger in there. I don’t like seeing the wanton abuse of power, which is what we’re seeing right now and I’m disgusted by it. I wouldn’t say ‘Sonancy’ is bleak though because I’m one of those people who believes there’s a chance for change. That may be naïve, but I always hope that people will come out of this coma they all seem to be in. I’ve imbued the lyrics with a little bit of hope.”
Hope is a powerful force, one perhaps needed more than ever today. Pandemic lockdowns stretched the making of ‘Sonancy’, recorded at long-term LOOP soundman Joe Garcia’s Bristol-based studio Joe’s Garage, from an expected couple of weeks to almost a year. Still, if recording was elongated, the experience was made easier by the interplay between the members of what is the most enduring line-up of LOOP to date.
“I formed LOOP, I’m the sole original member, I’ll just carry on, but the current LOOP line-up has been pretty stable for the last six or seven years. We have Wayne [Maskel, drums] and Hugo [Morgan, bass] from The Heads, who a lot of people know, a fantastic rhythm section, and Dan [Boyd] on second guitar.”
“I was very anti-guitar for a long time. You hear progressively through the Main period the guitar fading away. I just felt that it didn’t have any place in what I was sonically trying to do and I didn’t miss it at all. Now, having a guitar in my hands doesn’t bother me anymore as long as I can do something useful with it; and working with the current line-up we have, it’s very enjoyable indeed. Long may it reign.”
Today, LOOP stand as innovators in a musical world that has embraced and followed their defiantly individual sound – there are hundreds of contemporary neo-psych artists out there who arguably would not exist without LOOP’s pioneering music, music that continues to evolve and grow in the most startling of ways on ‘Sonancy’.
“It crosses my mind that there are a myriad of those kinds of bands out there, and if I’ve influenced anybody, wonderful. Ultimately, however, LOOP is LOOP. I wouldn’t call us space rock, I wouldn’t call us psych, I wouldn’t call us Krautrock. We’re LOOP. Whatever comes out under the name LOOP is LOOP.”
Welcome to ‘Sonancy’, a sound that is most definitely LOOP.
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