2004

Ascension Band 2004

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The post-punk big band Ascension Band convened in 2003-2005… here’s the 2004 lineup performing at the Meatwaters Festival at Happy in Wellington.

Nigel Patterson – hammond organ & conductor
Dave Edwards – guitar & electronics
Mike Kingston – guitar
Jesse Toews – bass
Warwick Donald – bass
Antony Milton – violin & electronics
Damian Stewart – laptop
Jason Secto – cornet
Simon O’Rorke – percussion
Myles Climo – drums

The following year we won best music award in the 2005 Wellington Fringe Festival

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Ascension Band 2005

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“With elements of punk, post-punk, jazz, classical, straight rock, opera and music hall, the Ascension Band are that rare thing: Something Wholly Other. They retain avant garde cred and still manage to rock harder than AC/DC.” – www.varsity.co.nz 

This riff

by organist/conductor/arranger Nigel Patterson (The Black Seeds, The Manta Rays, Fly My Pretties), guitarist & organiser Dave Edwards (fiffdimension, The Winter), and over a dozen musicians on guitars, basses, drums, electronics, keyboards, trumpets and vocals, was the seed that grew into a full scale electric symphony: Evolution.

“The 50-minute piece of music, broken down into six movements, was performed live over a few nights for the Fringe Festival in 2005; the group taking out the Best Music Award. 

“It was stunning. Discordant guitars were choked, drums clattered and crashed, voices mingled with percussion and keyboards – but this form of free-improvisation had a structure to it. It had movement, it had a plan. It was a great beast of a song that writhed and wriggled and often managed to run downhill, away from the players – in the best possible way. 

“Here, the show has been recorded onto a CD for posterity – and it begs discovery. It’s an intense listen – but that’s to be expected from a group of players who took their name from one of John Coltrane’s toughest listening albums.” – Simon Sweetman

Dave Edwards – electric guitar & electronics
Nigel Patterson – hammond organ & conductor
Will Rattray – electric guitar
Bell Murphy – bass
Warwick Donald – bass
Murray Stewart – keyboards
Damian ‘Frey’ Stewart – laptop
Ryan Prebble – tone generator
Sam Jenks – trumpet
Felicity Perry – vocal
Atushi Iseki – vocal
Matt Baxter – drums
Greta Welson – drums
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Gleefully Unknown: 1997-2005

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“Whilst shopping from fiffdimension make sure to get hold of ‘Gleefully Unknown’, a best-of compilation of Dave Edwards’ music from 1997 to 2005.   Rough outsider folk-blues mysteries, dissonant rock textures, electric and acoustic improvisations…

“Edwards strikes me as one of the most overlooked musicians from the fertile lands of New Zealand and if you need a fresh start this might very well be the place.” – Mats Gustafsson, The Broken Face

Now available from Spotify, Bandcamp etc

A compilation of songs, spoken word and instrumentals from the first half of my gloriously unsuccessful career to date:

by Dave Edwards (acoustic & electric guitars, harmonica, bass, banjo, vocal)

with

Mike Kingston (cello, acoustic guitar),

Paul Winstanley (fretless bass, turntables),

Simon Sweetman (percussion),

Nigel Patterson (hammond organ),

Cylvi M (percussion),

Simon O’Rorke (percussion),

Francesca Mountfort (cello),

Jeff Henderson (clarinet),

Blair Latham (alto sax),

Sam Prebble (violin, percussion),

Chris Palmer (electric guitar),

Chris O’Connor (drums),

Antony Milton (violin, keyboards),

Frey (laptop),

Dean Brown (drums)

and more…

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Featuring tracks from the albums

Scratched Surface (1997-1998)

in the non-idiomatic idiom in Norway (1999/2014)

The Marion Flow (1999-2001)

Mantis Shaped and Worrying (2002)

The Winter: Parataxes (2003)

Loose Autumn Moans (2003)

Live 2004 (2004)

After Maths & Sciences (2005-2006)

… if you enjoy this, try the sequels Fame & Oblivion: 2005-2012 and Other Islands: 2012-2018