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Music Editorial

gira18.jpg This is the Swan

Michael Gira (of the brilliant Swans) is playing two dates in the UK in February: one in London, and one in Newcastle. And – get this! – he has promised to make the Newcastle date much better than the London one. Fancy that!

Over the last few decades, Swans have been your go-to band if you’re hankering after experimental rock, and in the eye of their particular storm has always been singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Michael Gira. He’s now strapping on his metaphorical billycan and backpack and heading for pastures new: “I’m looking towards what comes next. I’m currently writing new material for the next phase of Swans, some of which I’ll perform on my upcoming solo tours. Sitting there alone on stage with a dead piece of wood and some wires and just my voice is a challenge I set for myself a number of years ago, trying to fully embody the same thread that’s run through the music all along, with the simplest means. I thinking I’ve gotten pretty good at it over time. I play the guitar my own way. It provides the context for the voice and words, and just as in the music of Swans, when all elements (known and unknowable) combine, it can lead to something beyond itself, which is always the place I’d like to go: somewhere else. I hope to see you there.” You will, mate, you will.

Micheal Gira + Okkyung Lee, Tuesday 20 February, Boiler Shop, 20 South Street, Newcastle, 7pm, £15. boilershop.net