Swans & More, Live In London

Michael Gira's mighty SWANS to play at and curate first edition of Mouth To Mouth at Koko in April, alongside Mercury Rev, Ben Frost and more; UPDATE: further live dates announced

Swans have just announced that they will be curating and performing at an annual series of festivals, beginning with a one-day event next April.

The band will also be headlining the show, which takes place on April 4 at Koko in Camden – get hold of tickets here – topping a bill that includes Mercury Rev Tettix Experiment, Ben Frost, Xiu Xiu and more to be announced.

UPDATE: The band have just announced four additional live dates in England, where they’ll be supported by Xiu Xiu:

APRIL 2013

Mon 1 – HMV Institute, Birmingham

Tue 2 – Concorde 2, Brighton

Fri 5 – Stylus, Leeds

Sat 6 – Arnolfini, Bristol

The ethos of the Mouth To Mouth events is "concentrating on urgent performance – orientated music, irrespective of arbitrary genres or styles", with Michael Gira adding: "This is the first installment in what we hope to be a yearly festival, focused on disparate music and genres. Artists are chosen based on their ability to resuscitate, set fire to the air, or to mesmerize. All of the performers chosen for this year’s festival I find personally to be compelling in this regard. The goal: joy!"

This is Christmas come early, essentially, not only for the fact their album The Seer came top in our end of year list, but because Swans live are nigh on the most formidable act you’ll ever see.

Writing about their recent three hour-long set at Koko for his Quietus column, John Calvert says: "As Gira is at pains to repudiate, Swans are labelled nihilist. But live, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Because, here they are building. It’s all about the collectivist struggle: these new Soviets and the cult of disciple and toil and self-mastery, all for the greater good and the utopia. The utopia of musical nirvana, or spiritual transcendence, or just forgetting about your shit job for a couple of hours. Every downstroke requires an aching physical exertion and every rhythm-as-lead thrashing is drenched in sweat. Every bass string is pulled with the biceps, and every drum beat struck with Herculean intent. While their sound is a group effort, a hive-mind deal, every member’s individual personality is distinct within the machine […] Swans literally do wield the power to create and destroy universes."

Before April comes around, here’s a microcosm of Swans’ cosmic brute force to enjoy:

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