On Friday 29 August 2008, No-Man took to the stage at the Bush Hall, Shepherds Bush. It was the first formal No-Man gig since 1993. The following week the band played a couple of dates in Holland and Germany, on 03 Sept and 04 Sept 2008.
No-Man are singer Tim Bowness and instrumentalist/producer Steven Wilson. The live band for these gigs was derived from Tim's backing band from his solo gigs a couple of years ago, comprising Steven Bennett on keyboards, Steve Bingham on violin, Mike Bearpark on guitar, Pete Morgan on bass, and some obscure improvisationally-inclined character on electronic drums.
We rehearsed for this sporadically over our luke-warm summer, starting as a basic quartet of TB/Bearsy/MorganTheBass/moi, adding the Maestro Binx Binksy Bingham (whom I subsequently grabbed for an Improvizone gig), hauling over Baron Bennett from Sweden, and finally pitching our progress to SW over a few days of intensive rehearsals leading up to the Bush Hall show. On the Friday we ran through the set once in front of BBC cameras, ready for filming the show proper that evening. A live DVD/album is planned.
The Bush Hall gig itself sold out three weeks after tickets went on sale back in May. I cannot express adequately how much the whole thing was a major thrill for me, not least while I struggle to grow an audience willing to watch a group of unknowns improvise really cool stuff, and to have the opportunity to play live some of the terrific No-Man catalogue of songs.
I scribbled a few sides of A4 over that intensive two weeks of four days of rehearsals, three gigs, some Channel Tunnelling, motorwaying and other stuff between, and may or not write them up as episodic blog-diary entries in the days to come. Or I might not bother. We'll see.