Just under half of It’s Morning is online at the moment ahead of the latest from Led Bib which will be released at the end of September. These pre-order tracks are enough to signal an expansion in the group sound and the addition of vocals. Interesting that bassist Jim Barr of Get the Blessing/Portishead had a hand in some of the additional recording. All the tracks were recorded in the summer of 2018. The vocals of Sharron Fortnam and less so Jack Hues, from Wang Chung, are an acquired taste but the obvious question is are they acquirable and do they match and fuse with the essential Led Bib sound? You dear listener decide.
Full declaration I am a long time fan of Led Bib. However I would not claim to like every record they have made and I will suspend thinking about It’s Morning for a while even if what is available at the moment is quite a lot to gain a good idea of the new album. If you are new to the band, basically they play in a highly customised Ornette Coleman language borne out of a two pronged saxophone attack densely coloured by alto sax with a blues connotation deep down in the sound and a punk sensibility mainly exhibited by the understanding between bass and drums skewering obvious metre and generally playing full on loud and fairly dissonant.
Go straight off to Sensible Shoes which remains a classic and then have a listen to the earlier Sizewell Tea which also was excellent. The band while a proper band in the sense that it is more than the sum of the individual parts is the vision primarily of drummer Mark Holub who is an excellent composer and the band are completely non conformist and remain even after their long time ago Mercury success outsiders, not self consciously so, but just that is what their music is about. Their appeal is that it is attractive to outsiders everywhere. They are not in it for the bantz, or the pose, the heritage nostalgia or simple gigging... even to their most hostile critics the cacophony. Again I reiterate free-jazz in its classic sense is not always better live than on record although some supporters of the style claim that it is. It can be. However bands like Led Bib know how to make studio sounds vivid more than most. It’s Morning is ambitious and does not play safe. Their latest artistic departure is to be welcomed if only for that fact whether or not it actually succeeds artistically in the end. SG