MARTIN J TICKNER
CREATIVE / ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
An Experiment On A Bird In The Air Pump
Martin J Tickner managed the three girl rock band from it's inception 1st E.P launch until their 1st Album when they split.
An Experiment On A Bird In The Air Pump, described by the NME as
'The Jesus and Mary Chain meet Kim Gordon in a post-apocalyptic world’.
The trio suddenly disbanded 18 months after forming and recording a debut album with the legendary Steve Albini (Nirvana, PJ Harvey, The breeders) in 2010. Their explosive live shows included a live accompaniment to renowned British fashion designer Giles Deacon’s 2009 A/W collection for London Fashion Week.
London Fashion Week
’90s, the New ’80s?
In a green-lit, smoke-filled outdoor space, London’s only remaining provocateur, Giles Deacon, showed a collection that gave you goose bumps. The International Herald Tribune fashion critic Suzy Menkes complained of the loud noise, which was in fact a musical performance by the band An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump D-Bird C-Bird X-Bird (phew). But I think the ear-splitting sound was the point. Deacon combined the urgency of a punk concert with the craftsmanship of a Chanel show. Afterward, he said he had wanted to update some of the looks he had done throughout his career — his use of wool with fur, for example. But it all felt very new. And at the very least, he’s got his head in this decade.
An Experiment On A Bird In The Air Pump are 'a kind of noisy Ronettes meets the Banshees girl-group'
'An Experiment On A Bird In The Air Pump scare us. They're the authentic face of the gothic post-rock lot with an impressively arty name to match, and look like they could properly do us over if we met them in a dark alley. Watch them through your fingers. Like we said, this year is all about bands who'll change your life: prepare to fall in love.'
'Now if you haven’t had the pleasure of seeing these ladies live let me give you a quick summary; imagine the combination of Return To The Thunderdome ascetics with the sound of Jesus And The Mary Chain being banged out by an exotic trio of instrument swapping sirens.
Two bass guitars and a set of primitive drums, played standing up, are their only tools with which to do battle as each secretly titled member, only known as C, D and X Bird – to add a shroud of mystery – take it in turns to sing.
Sounding like The Strangeloves era 60s garage pop crossed with Sonic Youth, the opening track ‘Smear’ begins with a trebbly screeching bass before a raw tribal drum beat kicks in. D-Bird supplies the vocals, which are at their most serene and vulnerable as she sings of having no one to reject and cutting away the tears and smears of the title. Grunge influenced but far too cool in comparison with those Seattle losers.
‘Silent Hour’ has a swap around with a moodier and more paced tempo as X-Bird now takes on vocal duties. The drum beat in all its primitiveness is straight out of Ben Hur – imagine our main character chained to the oars of a Roman galleon as the beat keeps up a rhythm of strokes for the poor unfortunates to row with. A harsh wall of sound is built from the fuzz and phaser heavy duo of basses, which brings to mind a looser Spaceman 3. Our final track ‘Only In Death’ is a more up-tempo number, which sounds like a steroid pumped Karen O, as C-Bird yelps her way through. Plenty of noisy and distorted bass lines with all their slides create an infectious and powerful slice of edgy grunge, the highlight of the EP.
The sound of discourse on this track has been delivered at this a most opportune moment. As our bleak landscape of Capitalist market failure slowly rebuilds into the same as it ever was depressing inevitability. An Experiment... are the perfect band to feel angst with. At least for a while they rally the troops for a brief but encouraging moment in these bleak times if nothing else. Purchase this record and soak up the non-conformist nature of the UK’s best and most uncompromising underground band.'
- were chosen as one of only two music blogs to receive pre-released version of the girls ‘Buy A Life’ EP. Unfortunately the band called it a day a few months later – nothing to do with us!
An Experiment on a bird in the Air Pump was a girl band active in London's nu-rave scene in the late noughties.
A Filipino/South Indian trio, two of them sisters, according to the Guardian, 'they formed in spring 2008 when the former film students dared each other to see how many one-minute songs they could write in a week before their first-ever show'.
The band was named after a 1768 oil-on-canvas painting of the same name by Joseph Wright of Derby.