Animal Society is a riotous new sound in UK jazz, somewhere in the void between Rage Against The Machine, Pat Metheny and EST. Ringleader Joe Williamson, guitarist and winner of Young Scottish Jazz Musician Of The Year 2018, presents bold new music – 21st-century electric jazz with the uncompromising power of a stadium rock band.
The band's debut EP, ‘RISE’ makes a strong statement, with a sound rich in detail and full of warmth and character, with towering riffs and hook-driven melodies front and centre. Their exciting live shows are full of joyful musical interplay and soaring improvisations, by 5 musicians at the forefront of the new wave of Scottish jazz.
The band features not one, but two keyboard players – Alan Benzie (winner of the Billboard Prize at Berklee College of Music, USA), provides lush jazz voicings and solos, and newest member Craig McMahon (Pronto Mama) provides a touch of the electronic, including powerful synth basslines and ethereal sound effects. Graham Costello (known for his own group, STRATA) creates a firestorm behind the kit, propelling the music forward, whilst Gus Stirrat’s electric bass pins it all down.
Guitarist Joe Williamson writes all the music here. Many years before being awarded Young Scottish Jazz Musician of The Year at the Glasgow Jazz Festival 2018, Joe's love for music was cultivated by many hours listening to metal and punk as a teenager and jamming in the local folk music community. After discovering jazz, Joe moved to Glasgow and established a reputation as a fresh musical voice on the guitar and a sophisticated composer, winning the Peter Whittingham Jazz Award and releasing two albums with collaborative quartet Square One. Animal Society brings together these diverse influences and much more in a fresh take on the heavier side of jazz-rock.