The Necks are one of the great cult
bands of Australia.
Chris Abrahams (piano), Tony Buck (drums), and Lloyd Swanton (bass)
conjure a chemistry together that defies description in orthodox terms.
Featuring lengthy pieces which slowly unravel in the most mesmerising
fashion, frequently underpinned by an insistent deep groove, the eighteen
albums by The Necks stand up to re-listening time and time again.
The deceptive simplicity of their music throws forth new charms on each
hearing. Not entirely avant-garde, nor minimalist, nor ambient, nor jazz, the
music of The Necks is possibly unique in the world today.
Chris was born in Oamaru, New Zealand but grew up in Sydney, Australia.
He became very active in the Sydney jazz scene in the early eighties
playing with modern jazz groups including Mark Simmonds’ Freeboppers and The
Keys Music Orchestra. With Lloyd Swanton he formed the 60’s modern
jazz-influenced The Benders in 1982. During its day, the band released three
albums - E, False Laughter and Distance.
In 1984 Chris recorded and released his first solo piano album - Piano,
followed in 1986 by Walk.
In 1985 Chris became a founding member of the Sydney indie rock band
The Sparklers. As a result of this, Chris began working regularly with the
singer and songwriter Melanie Oxley. Chris collaborated with Melanie, writing
songs and producing albums, throughout the nineties. There are five releases
with her: Resisting Calm (1990), Welcome to Violet (1992), Coal
(1994), Jerusalem Bay (1998) and Blood Oranges (2003).
Chris released a third solo piano album, Glow, in 2001. This was
followed in 2003 by Streaming, and then Thrown (2004), Play
Scar (2010) and Memory Night (2013).
Chris has collaborated, in both recording and performance, with many
contemporary improvising musicians including Burkhard Beins, Mike Cooper and
Anthony Pateras. He performs regularly in the improvising music scenes both in
Australia and Europe.
Born in Sydney in 1962, Tony is regarded as one of Australia's most
creative and adventurous exports, with vast experience across the globe. He has
been involved in a highly diverse array of projects. Apart from The Necks, he
is probably best known as leader of hardcore/impro band PERIL.
Early in his musical life, after having graduated from the New South
Wales Conservatorium of Music, he became very involved in the jazz scene in
Australia, often touring with visiting international artists such as Vincent
Herring, Clifford Jordan, Mickey Tucker, Branford Marsalis and Ernie Watts, as
well as Australians Mark Simmonds, Paul Grabowsky, The catholics, Sandy Evans
and Dale Barlow.
Following time spent in Japan, where he formed PERIL with Otomo
Yoshihide and Kato Hideki, Tony moved to Europe, and has involved himself in
many projects there, including the development of new "virtual" MIDI
controllers at STEIM in Amsterdam.
Tony has played, toured or recorded with, among others, Jon Rose,
Nicolas Collins, Tenko, John Zorn, Tom Cora, Phil Minton, Haino, Switchbox, The
Machine for Making Sense, Ne Zhdall, The EX, Peter Brotzmann, Hans Reichel, The
Little Red Spiders, Subrito Roy Chowdury, Clifford Jordan, Kletka Red, Han
Bennink, Shelley Hirsch, Wayne Horvitz, Palinckx, and Ground Zero.
Described by Billboard Magazine as "an outstanding and imaginative
Australian bassist and composer", Lloyd Swanton was born into a large and
musical family in Sydney in 1960.
His long-running group, The catholics, has released eight albums, all
produced and predominantly composed by him, with three receiving ARIA Award
nominations. Their album Simple was nominated for the German Deutsche
His 12-part suite Ambon, drawing from his uncle Stuart's secret
diary kept whilst a prisoner of war in World War II, had its premiere in 2015,
and is now released as a double CD.
Overseas exposure in nearly 40 countries with numerous groups includes
countless performances throughout Europe, Canada, the USA, Mexico, India, Cuba,
New Zealand, Taiwan, South Korea, Russia, Indonesia, Thailand and Japan.
For fourteen years, Lloyd Swanton hosted Mixed Marriage, a very
popular radio program which examined crossings of jazz with other musical
styles, on Eastside Radio in Sydney.
In his spare time, Lloyd is an avid follower of
Australian Football, and a keen collector of Australian Aboriginal art, ice
crushers, modernist ceramics, and books on Fellini. He is also gathering
historical information on his distant ancestor Theodore Deck, a leading name in
19th Century French ceramics.