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Live Jazz Review Sloth Racket, Lescar pub, Sheffield

Quintet create a startlingly good racket

SLOTH RACKET are a trans-Pennine band with a northern muse and earthy sound all their own.

There are the rattling drums and chinking guitar of Mancunian brothers Johnny and Anton Hunter, the throbbing bass of Sheffielder Seth Bennett and a sibling two-saxophone format of Macclesfield altoist Sam Andreae and Northamptonshire baritonist and composer Cath Roberts.

Touring the country promoting their startling new album Dismantle Yourself, they arrive in Sheffield to play at the Lescar pub in the city’s Hunter’s Bar area.

It must have been named for the Hunter brothers as they and the plangent Bennett lay down a scuttling, delving rhythmic foundation while the saxophone duo plough into their repetitive riffs.

The pealing, adenoidal notes of Andreae and Roberts’s guffawing horn create colloquies, exchanges and improvisational passages of intense and audacious flight.

On Terraforming, the two saxophones, free and untethered, create sounds on the wing, with Bennett’s pulsating bass a pillar to their collective cry, while at the end of A Glorious Monster the quintet move from rumbustiousness to quietude and finally silence.

Sloth Racket conjure a sonic amalgam of riff, composition and free improvisation which challenges the ears and consciousnesses. Go and hear them in the coming weeks, when they play venues in London, Cambridge, Norwich and Ramsgate.

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