Chapter 1

Now Then

A note.

A column of air, vibrating.

A continuous, seemingly unending middle "C", somewhat metallic.

The breath which gives the note life is circular.

Lungs and cheeks are fully inflated,

like those of an aboriginal didgeridoo player,

or an over-excited bull frog in the wet.


It's a rolling ocean of sound.

It is made rounder and deeper by the resonating rumble of a deeply hollow bass.

The woody thud of the accoustic upright and the creak of the peg that tightens each string.

It too finds middle "C" and Serious Nods are exchanged.


Xero Slingsby is helping Louis Colan to Tune Up his Double Bass.

Behind them and behind the glinting, glistening drum set

sits Harvard Gene Velocette, fidgeting, chewing,

touching crash cymbals and running his fingers up and down his sticks.


All three are acutely aware that the Essence of Jazz cannot be distilled and bottled, but they are about to give it their best shot.


Xero Slingsby and The Works are attempting to tap into that which is Unfathomable.



Every now and then a recording is released to the world which captures a Talent, a Place and a Moment:

We each have our own favourites.

If you are a Jazz afficianado, yours might be “Round About Midnight” by Miles Davis; “Giant Steps” by Coltrane; or Eric Dolphy’s Copenhagen Concert;

Or you might be a Beatles’ “Revolver” or “Sergeant Pepper” person;

The Clash's "London Calling" does it for some; Patti Smith's "Horses"; Bob Marley’s “Natty Dread”; Ani Difranco’s “Little Plastic Castle”; Tom Waits' "Swordfishtrombones"  for others

or perhaps The Hotel Mande Sessions in Bamako by Ali Farka Toure and Toumani Diabate ;


They are all recordings that somehow move the goalposts and transcend all previous pigeonholes.


Recordings which redefine the lay of the musical land.

For me, it's this one....


It is Midnight. March 23rd. 1985. Cafe Click. Essen. All the way from West Yorkshire to West Germany


It is time for “Shove It!” to be recorded.                            


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