Prescott: One Did

Oddball brilliance from ex-Stump bass maverick Kev Hopper.

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Despite a lengthy and varied career, Kev Hopper remains best known for his stint as bassist with quirky, Beefheartian indie types Stump during the mid to late 80s. Anyone who thrilled to that wonderful band’s wildly idiosyncratic sound should find Hopper’s new band distinctly enthralling, not least because his trademark dismantling of four-string norms is firmly at the forefront of Prescott’s cock-eyed, semi-improvised jams.

Aided by Scritti Politti alumnus (and our Fad Gadget columnist) Rhodri Marsden on keyboards and Frank Byng on drums, Hopper revels in angular mischief throughout One Did’s 11 gleefully perverse instrumentals.

Those stretched bass harmonics and skittering, lop-sided funk riffs guide rather than dominate his compadres’ endlessly inventive backdrops, which owe a fair amount to both Beefheart and The Residents at their most wickedly playful.

The finest moments here – the tense, Can-like shuffle of Didism; the twitching, cinematic jazz menace of Philby Flies – are throwbacks to Stump’s heroically non-conformist clatter, and a tantalising glimpse of what’s in store if Hopper continues this joyously wayward course.