Led Bib: The People In Your Neighbourhood

The UK jazz rockers’ sixth album in a decade.

You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

It’s unusual in jazz for line-ups to have any kind of extended continuity from album to album, but this Mercury Prize-nominated outfit have managed to hold onto the same personnel for the last 10 years. A close bond and powerful unity develops over such a period, a quality that’s abundantly obvious during this vibrant live-in-the-studio recording.

Such longevity also recruits fans willing to invest in the band via Kickstarter, and that’s how this album came to be.

Like previous Led Bib offerings the material here is wide-ranging in scope: from ballsy rock and dub-tinged ruminations to boisterous avant-freakery. The bulk of the writing comes from Mark Holub, whose crisp drumming anchors everything, and when Tony McLaren’s not exhorting his electric piano to perform wildly coruscating sonar pings and other electronic exoticisms, his left hand adds grit and punch to Liran Donin’s already waspish bass work.

Driven by the rattling interplay between Pete Grogan and Chris Williams’ turbo-charged alto saxes, they deliver a hybrid fusion with resplendently rough, pointy edges, with a riotous desire for exploration that’s still undiminished a decade in.

Sid Smith

Sid's feature articles and reviews have appeared in numerous publications including Prog, Classic Rock, Record Collector, Q, Mojo and Uncut. A full-time freelance writer with hundreds of sleevenotes and essays for both indie and major record labels to his credit, his book, In The Court Of King Crimson, an acclaimed biography of King Crimson, was substantially revised and expanded in 2019 to coincide with the band’s 50th Anniversary. Alongside appearances on radio and TV, he has lectured on jazz and progressive music in the UK and Europe.  

A resident of Whitley Bay in north-east England, he spends far too much time posting photographs of LPs he's listening to on Twitter and Facebook.