Blackest Ever Black's marked its fifth anniversary in 2015 with events at the ICA in London and Berghain in Berlin. The former featured an unforgettable performance from Mick Hobbs' Officer!, the shapeshifting group's first in twenty-odd years. For this show Hobbs was joined by longtime collaborators Mary Currie of Flaming Tunes (voice, shruti, theremin, glock) and Joey Stack (keyboards, voice), with Tilly Bean on bass, Ed Bernez on drums and Lydia Fischer contributing flute, trumpet and baritone horn.
The setlist comprised songs from Dead Unique, the "lost" 1995 album by Officer! which Blackest Ever Black released in 2014, a smattering of earlier classics (including 'Life At The Water's Edge' and 'Dogface) and heart-rending covers of 'Beguiling The Hours' and 'The Best Weapon' from Mary Currie and the late Gareth Williams' peerless Flaming Tunes album.
The show was recorded, and has been beautifully mixed for release by Deerhoof's John Dieterich, with a couple of overdubs from Jeroen Visser (baritone sax on 'Dogface') and Bill Gilonis (guitar on 'Shrug'). Mastered by Noel Summerville, the LP is co-released by Blackest Ever Black and Hobbs' own Life & Living Records in a strictly limited edition of 300, with artwork by Li Williams.
We're very pleased that Mick Hobbs will be returning to the stage with Currie, Stack and a significantly expanded ensemble for an Officer! gig at London's Cafe Oto on July 27, 2016, with support from Af Ursin and Carla dal Forno.
released August 12, 2016
All words and music by Mick Hobbs, except:
'Probe Miguel' - traditional / Hobbs
'Beguiling The Hours' - Gareth Williams / Mary Currie
'The Best Weapon' - Gareth Williams
After the event:
Jeroen Visser - baritone sax on 'Dogface'
Bill Gilonis - guitar on 'Shrug'
Recorded live at "Five Wretched Years of Blackest Ever Black", Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, September 26th, 2015
Live front of house mix - Elli Dorman
Digital multi-track & special services - Andrew Jacques
Mixed by John Dieterich in Albuquerque, NM
Mastered and cut by Noel Summerville
Album artwork/typography - Li Williams
Thanks to Matt Williams, Ben Moon, Elli Dorman and Kiran Sande