The motorik rhythms of the legendary German group NEU! have inspired generations of musicians, but their music hasn’t been performed live for 35 years. The wait ends at last : NEU! guitarist Michael Rother - joined by Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth) and Aaron Mullan (Tall Firs) - will play a handful of concerts this Autumn.
The legendary German group NEU! released only three albums between 1972 and 1975 (Hallogallo was the opening track of their first), but their influence has been out of all proportion to their modest commercial success: they have been lauded by David Bowie, Hawkwind, Iggy Pop, Sonic Youth, Radiohead, U2, Wilco, Primal Scream, and many others.
Michael Rother and Klaus Dinger first came to the public’s attention in the psychedelic-leaning 1971 version of Kraftwerk. The pair soon left to form NEU! and the trio of Rother, Dinger, and producer Conny Plank went on to create their own musical universe. They quickly made an unforgettable contribution to German rock, synthesizing rock rhythm and energy with distinctly non-American timbres and flavours – and using what was then some of the latest studio technology. Rother and Dinger parted ways after the third NEU! album. The pair regrouped in 1985-86 but were never able to complete another album to their mutual satisfaction; in 2008 Klaus Dinger passed away.
In May 2010 Gronland Records released a box set of the first three LPs with much bonus material; this tour will be the first live presentation of this music in more than 35 years. Inspired by revisiting these recordings, Rother has invited the following musicians to visit the NEU! universe with him: Steve Shelley (drums, Sonic Youth) and Aaron Mullan (guitar, Tall Firs). They will perform only a limited number of concerts this year – this is one of only three UK concerts - performing NEU! music as well as some selections from Rother’s work with Harmonia and his solo albums.
'Clear-sighted, effortlessly propulsive, [NEU!'s music] feels like recording started in the middle of a telepathic jam that has already been running smoothly for hours, even days.' - Uncut Magazine
The catalyst to regroup with new members Shigeru Ishihara and E-da (a former Boredoms drummer) and record new material came after the band were asked to play Warp20 in Paris in 2009, as guitarist Mark Clifford explains: 'We always said that we wouldn't record a new Seefeel record unless we could present something that we felt was new. When Quique was re-issued a couple of years back myself and Sarah did some interviews together and we talked about recording new material. We exchanged a few ideas which were OK and things slowly got into gear but it was being asked to do the Warp20 show in Paris that really forced us to step up a couple of notches and since then, with the addition of E-da and Shige, things have developed and grown.'
Post-show ClubStage: DJ Tango-Mango with Jim Backhaus
Please note, Benjamin Curtis will no longer be performing at Hallogallo 2010