Bex Burch - gyil
Ruth Goller - bass
Jim Hart - drums
Following the acclaimed release of Do Not Be Afraid and a busy tour that took them from UK to Europe and back, including a stellar performance at Womad captured by BBC Radio 3, Vula Viel return with a new album. The band continue their sonic explorations around the gyil, the wooden xylophone of the Dagaare from Upper West Ghana, on their brand new set, What’s Not Enough About That.
Picking up from early 2019’s Do Not Be Afraid, the new album breaks new ground as Bex Burch (gyil), Ruth Goller (bass) and Jim Hart (drums) continue to forge their own unique fusions. While Do Not Be Afraid developed ideas around disciplined ‘rhythm wheels’, rhythm patterns in regular cycles set to the band’s angular instrumentation, the new tracks stretch out the band’s sound, at times delicate and at others moving into raw post punk soundscapes.
Extensive touring brought the band from London’s most revered alternative venues such as Café Oto and Vortex Jazz Club to the stages of Cheltenham Jazz Festival and WOMAD, the British countryside plus our mainland European dates including Moers Festival, Bezau Beatz, Willisau Jazz Festival and Artist in Focus at Music Meeting, to take the Vula Viel sound to Germany, Austria, France, Switzerland and the Netherlands in Europe for a string
of packed jazz festivals – a busy year that cemented the unity of the trio and nurtured their artistic growth.
“My journey with the gyil has always been rooted in the Dagaare traditions”, explains Burch, “but through playing live and developing a tight chemistry together, the band is constantly pushing its own boundaries and finding its own new directions. On this album, I wanted to bring more space into our music and echo feelings and emotions through the ebb and flow of the tracks – reflection, hope, urgency, determination, anger.”
This concert will include an opening set from Leeds-based quartet Rafe's Dilemma. Featuring Nel Begley, Jamil Sheriff, Katie Patterson and Pete Turner, Rafe's Dilemma pull together influences from jazz, electronica and rock. Originally formed in 2017 as a commission for Bolton Worktown Festival (2018) the band went on to release their debut album Rafe’s Dilemma with an accompanying Arts Council England supported tour (2019). They are currently part of Jazz North’s Northern Line Scheme 2019/20 and are writing new material with the endorsement of award winning playwright Leo Butler.