Andy Holden with special guest Bobbie-Jane Gardner: The Grubby Mitts: The Politics of Friendship Tour

1 August 2014, 7–11pm

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A Digbeth First Friday event with Special Guests Bobbie-Jane Gardner and more.

This Summer Andy Holden and his band The Grubby Mitts toured the UK performing only at artist-run spaces.

The band use the form of the rock tour as a way of curating a series of events exploring the concept of friendship, and performed live a body of music they have been writing and recording for the last seven years.

The music is described as post-MI!MS: short loops, repeated phrases, post-everything, and non-hierarchical; a delicate balance of pessimism and optimism, irony and sincerity, electronics and melody, art and pop. The band perform with numerous objects, such as a marble, alongside a more traditional band line-up of guitars, drums, samplers, keyboards, and saxophone.

For this tour Andy Holden’s video projections were combined with new projections by a selection of artists who were linked to the spaces in which the band performed. For each event a designer was commissioned to create a new poster, which provided an the archive of the project. The band have played in nine artist-run spaces around the country, linking these together for the first time and transforming each space into part concert venue, part exhibition; with banners, posters, projections and specially selected support acts. The tour was filmed, creating the basis of a new video work by Holden, also provisionally titled The Politics of Friendship.

 To celebrate the tour the band are giving away a free MP3, a re-mastered version of their debut single, To a Friend’s House the Way is Never Long.

Link to free download https://soundcloud.com/losttoysrecords/to-a-friends-house-the-way-is-never-long

At Grand Union, Birmingham based musician and composer Bobbie-Jane Gardner performed her brand new composition Many hands make light work, with musicians James Douglas, Anton Clarke and Laurence Hunt. This beautiful work encompassed the sounds of cooking, mixed with performance on musical instruments.

Many Hands Make Light Work is a response to the Grubby Mitt’s The Politics of Friendship tour.  Friendship, in my view, is an important facet of life; heart to heart bonds are what sustain human beings; when the chemistry is right it can uplift, when out of kilter it can cause suffering. 

This work reflects the notion of sharing the load; when shared, certain tasks may more enjoyable when done by oneself. 

The musicians not only perform together but also divide the preparation and cooking of a meal.

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