Saturday, March 14, 2015


Last week we had the pleasure of seeing in Glasgow one of the central figures of the No Wave movement of the late '70s, James Chance, who along with his Contortions played a gig in one of the cities finest little venues, Stereo. Led by vocalist/saxophonist Chance, they played a set that combined the improvisational free jazz of Ornette Coleman with some jagged, angular funk riffs that were straight out of James Brown. There were also some parts that reminded of Gang Of Four and Pere Ubu, with Chance throwing some very interesting shapes throughout. One of the most unique sounds I have encountered live, this was evidence, if any was needed, that white men can play funk music and that the spirit of the hardest working man in show business lives on in James Chance. Highlights included a blistering version of Gil Scott Heron's Home Is Where The Hatred Is, which although far removed from the original manged to retain the sincerity of one of Heron's finest tunes. There are not many artists left out there quite like James Chance which is all the more reason we should cherish them.

Contort Yourself


  1. Hey, Scott. Do you have the 'No New York' comp that Brian Eno put together? That's the only place I have ever heard this cat, but I really dig the song you posted today. Must explore more.

    1. Hi Brian, yeah that was where I first came across him. There was an excellent collection that came out about 5 years ago that pulls together all his best work. Highly recommended.

    2. Thank you, Scott. I'm on it.

  2. I was listening to a James Chance track just recently, on a comp. Great in small doses.
    Swiss Adam

  3. Think he is one of those performers that is best seen live SA. It's rare that I would listen to a full album of him in the house but live he knows how to put on a show...