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Thursday 16th January

Julie Kjaer (alto sax) Hannah Marshall(cello) Rachel Musson (tenor sax) +

Dirar Kalash (guitar) David Birchall (guitar)

Tuesday 28th January

Kimchi Moccasin Tango (Karl-Hjalmar Nyberg tenor saxophone Karl Bjorå guitar Dag Erik Knedal Andersen drums and percussion)

David Birchall (guitar) Fran Comyn (percussion) THF Drenching (Dictaphones) Adam Fairhall (keys) Michael Perrett (bass clarinet)

£6 @ Peer Hat 8pm doors

Sunday 9th February

Phil Minton’s Feral Choir +

Mariam Rezaei (turntables) David Birchall (guitar) Andrew Cheetham (percussion)

If you are interested in being part of Phil Minton’s Feral Choir come and join us for workshops on the afternoons of Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th February.

Email us at for details.

Thursday 19th March

Sarah Gail Brand (trombone) Mark Sanders (drums) +

Sasha Elina (flute/voice) David Birchall (guitar) Andrew Cheetham (percussion)

We’re super proud to say that these gigs are…




Tuesday 10th December

Toshimaru Nakamura/Sam Andreae/

David Birchall/Otto Willberg
Based between Tokyo/London/Manchester this is part of the groups first ever UK tour following meeting and good vibes in Tokyo in 2017.

Shakeeb Abu Hamdan

Based in Beruit Abu Hamdan is touring the UK showcasing this new work for amplified percussion

Andrew Cheetham

Andrew is from Lancashire. He drums on loads of stuff you hear on the Radio 6 that you probably never realise is him. He also has what he describes as “a special interest in improvisation” which we’ll get to hear more about during this solo set.

*****details to follow but as part of the Nakamura/Andreae/Birchall/Willberg tour we will present a FREE soldering workshop with our colleagues at Noise Orchestra on the day of this this gig*****

8pm @ The Peer Hat, 14-16 Faraday Street, Manchester £6

8pm doors starting at 8:30pm

We’re proud to say that the Nakamura/Andreae/Birchall/Willberg tour and workshop is…


Tuesday 12th November

Hannah Marshall

Hannah Marshall 1

We’re super happy to welcome back London based cellist Hnnah Marshall to Curious Ear this time for a rare solo performance. Hannah has been a regular member of Alexander Hawkins ensembles as well as performing with Luc Ex, Veryan Weston, Fred Frith, Barrell Strring trio with Ivor Kallin and Alison Blunt and one of my favourite ever improvising trios alognside Julie Kjaer and Rachel Musson.

Leila Bordreuil


Thanks to our friends over at Cusp Editions we’re excited to host French born New York based cellist LB in Manchester for the first time as part of her European tour. From Lelia herself:

“The name drop:
As per the tradition of improvised music, Leila has maintained a very active concert schedule sharing the stage with a wide range of  artists including Marina Rosenfeld, Eli Keszler, Tom Chiu (Flux quartet), Anthony Coleman, Peter Evans, Nate Wooley, SENYAWA, C. Spencer Yeh, Toshimaru Nakamura, Tetuzi Akiyama, Susan Alcorn, Ingrid Laubrock, Zeena Parkins, Bill Nace, Lee Ranaldo, Weasel Walter, Kim Gordon, Chris Corsano,  and more.
Notable venues where she has performed include The Whitney Museum, The Kitchen, MoMA PS1, Issue Project Room, the Stone, Roulette, Pioneer Works, Cafe Oto (London, UK), All Ears Festival (Oslo, NO), Ausland (Berlin, DE), Ftarri (Tokyo, JP), the Heresy Series for Women in Sound (Manila, PHL), and many basements across the U.S.
Leila is a 2017 MacDowell Fellow in Composition, and was a 2016 artist-in-residence at Issue Project Room.”


Adam Fairhall/David Birchall/Michael Perret

Manchester/Cheshire trio of familiar faces in unfamiliar territory: amplified Georgian accordian (the place not the historical era), amplified ebow guitar and unamplified bass clarinet explore densities of harmonics and long tones as a starting point for their performances. Adam is perhaps best know as being an expert player of ALL the jazz musics on piano, David as the co promoter of Curious Ear and Michael as an award winning Guardian journalist.

Hear the group here

@ The Peer Hat, 14-16 Faraday St, Manchester, M1 1BE

8pm doors kick off 8:30pm sharp with 3 ACTS on

£6 doors cash or card (i will charge the card machine this time)

IMG-3541IMG-3540Our Autumn season is coming into shape:

5th September


NICK BRANTON(saxophone & clarinet)/MICHAEL METCALFE(drums)

ANDREW CHEETHAM (solo percusssion)

£6 on the door @ The Peer Hat

8th October



£6 on the door @ The Peer Hat

12th November


DAVID BIRCHALL(guitar)/ADAM FAIRHALL(accordian)/MICHAEL PERRETT(bass clarinet)

£6 on the door @ The Peer Hat

10th December

TOSHIMARU NAKAMURA(no input mixing desk)

SAM ANDREAE(alto sax)


OTTO WILLBERG(double bass)

£6 on the door @ The Peer Hat

Tuesday 11th June

Eugene Chadbourne +

Andrew Cheetham

Eugene by Todd Turner

Eugene Chadbourne (Doc Chad) is a world famous musician whose amazing guitar works in experimental rock, jazz, country, folk have seen him innovate and collaborate with the likes of Camper Van Beethoven, John Zorn, Aki Takase, Jimmy Carl Black, and the Violent Femmes and many others. Eugene is a music lover who listens to the world with an open mind, which is reflected in his sets. A typical one could include the music of Thelonious Monk, Eric Satie, Merle Haggard, Phil Ochs along with his own. He is backed up tonight by Curious Ear’s very own Andrew Cheetham on drumset.

plus splendid music from::

Matt Wand (sampler) +

Richard Harrison (percussion)

£6 on the door @ The Peer Hat, Faraday St, Manchester

Tuesday 4th June

Phil Minton + Roger Turner


Phil Minton comes from Torquay. He played trumpet and sang with the Mike Westbrook Band in the early 60s – Then in dance and rock bands in Europe for the later of part of the decade. He returned to England in 1971, rejoining Westbrook and was involved in many of his projects until the mid 1980′s.

For most of the last forty years, Minton has been working as an improvising singer in lots of groups, orchestras, and situations. Numerous composers have written music especially for his extended vocal techniques. He has a quartet with Veryan Weston, Roger Turner and John Butcher, and ongoing duos, trios and quartets with above and many other musicians.

Since the eighties, His Feral Choir, where he voice-conducts workshops and concerts for anyone who wants to sing, has performed in over twenty countries.

“Phil Minton is best known for his startling vocal improvisations. On his new solo CD, this sensible looking man proffers 37 thin slices of his unfettered soul. Not long ago these croaks, burps, high-pitched exhalations, deep-throated drones and shreds of garbled half-language would have seen Minton either burnt or hailed as an emissary of God.” – Stewart Lee, The Sunday Times

Over decades Roger Turner has brought the renowned volcanic power and finely honed precision of his drum work to ensembles that have often forged real connections with musicians both sides of the Atlantic. In addition he has worked extensively in the microscopic laboratory of the acoustic duo situation where he acquired a highly developed sense of detail and of dynamic control. One of that select group of world-class players who have collectively redefined the language of contemporary percussion. In Turner’s hands minute inflections of tension can shape the group’s musical direction and galvanise a new level of audience experience.

Sippy Cup

SIPPY CUP is a duo, a duo of two people, firstly a woman and then also a man, who operate in ALL MEDIA and under ALL KNOWN CONDITIONS, impervious, with anything to hand. Nature is not easily diverted or waylaid. Look at moss. Look at moss, for instance.

Yet this is not a calcified imperviousness. Nor is it an unreflective mechanical imperviousness seeking to falsely replicate objective processes as “expression”. Don’t get it twisted. It is the autonomous imperviousness of responsible decision-making, lodged like a gleaming shard right in the heart of chaos. A jaunty cap. For LOOK, they retain full access to their archaic reserves of spontaneity. Listen, little man! And these reserves appear seemingly inexhaustible. Inexcusable. It is a deep well. Ineluctable. A deep well, like a deep mossy well, for instance. And for this they are the envy of all around. Everyone that’s around.

Honkey Zontal Picnic


£6 on the door @ Hive/Retro Bar, 78 Sackville St, Manchester 8pm doors

Thursday 18th April

Alex Ward’s Item 4

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The Alex Ward Item Series was launched in September 2017 at Cafe Oto with the debut performance by ITEM 10, Ward’s first foray into the world of composition for large ensemble. Now follows the second group in the series – ITEM 4, a quartet consisting of Alex on clarinet and guitar, Charlotte Keeffe on trumpet and flugelhorn, Otto Willberg on double bass and Andrew Lisle on drums. All the members were also participants in the Item 10 performance (the Item Series being conceived as a pool of musicians from which various sizes of ensemble can be drawn for different musical ends), and are amongst the most idiosyncratic and distinctive improvisers on the current UK scene. In writing for the group, Alex’s aim was to exert as minimal limitation on the players’ interaction and invention as possible, while still giving rise to a music distinct from that which would come about through pure improvisation – in this case, the means to achieving this was a conception of compositional materials as akin to emotional landmarks in an otherwise wide-open terrain… concentrates of melodic/harmonic information whose structural and affective characteristics resonate through the musical whole without controlling or defining it. This is the first perfromance of the group outside London.

David Birchall/Dr Syed Kamran Ali

Debut performance from this new modular/homemade sampler duo unit. Expect erratic lighting, almost the chance to dance and large cloaks.

Andrew Cheetham

Solo percussion performance

@ The Peer Hat, 14-16 Faraday St, Manchester

8pm doors £6


December 11th

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Alex Ward & Andrew Cheetham

+ one more

@ The Peerhat, 14-16th Faraday Street, M1 1BE

£6 on door from 8pm

Tuesday 13th November


Colours & Shapes Film

Colours & Shapes: Portraits of Free Improvisers (Trailer) from John Macedo on Vimeo.

Shelley Owen + Arvind Ganga



Benedict Taylor + David Birchall + Andrew Cheetham

@ 3 Minute Theatre (Just inside bottom of Afflecks) Oldham Street, Manchester


Tuesday 9th October

Chris Corsano



Julie Kjaer Hannah Marshall

David Birchall Andrew Cheetham


@ The Peerhat, Faraday Street, Manchester, 8pm doors, £6