Animal Society – May 13th


This is another group of pianist Alan Benzie, this time on keyboard and alongside yet another keys player, Craig McMahon. This all-star line up from the new-wave of Scottish jazz is led by guitarist and composer Joe Williamson and also features the stellar Graham Costello (drums) and Gus Stirrat (bass).

Animal Society is a protean fusion group shaking up the UK jazz scene, occupying a space somewhere between System of a Down, Pat Metheny and EST. Williamson’s influences of metal and prog-rock music underpin a vibrant electric jazz sound with hook-driven melodies, soaring improvisations and joyful musical interplay.

Their rich soundscapes are bold but not without delicacy. Imaginative, collaborative, and narrative-driven compositions produce music that is intricately detailed while maintaining an intense and exciting momentum. Ethereal synth and electric FX from McMahon’s side of the keys double-bill bestows a spiritual flip-side to the heavy electric guitar, bass, and pounding drums, while Benzie’s softer melodic keys keep the sound dynamic and clear.

With so much going on, it would be easy for a lesser band to devolve into a muddled, opaque sound, but Animal Society’s sophisticated compositions instruct each voice with a light and steady hand, allowing an intense and robust sound to develop while retaining its dynamism and identity.

Follow Animal Society on Facebook for more updates, and find more of their music on Bandcamp.

If you like something a little heavier, check out Joe Williamson’s Spotify playlists for Heavy Jazz, or their metal music playlist of Animal Society Influences.


Speaking of Spotify… Did you know, you can add your own music files to your Spotify Library?

Say, for example, you wanted to buy music from a local artists or small business, such as, oh… I don’t know… maybe our new 23-track compilation ‘To The Jazz Bar With Love’?

A few people have asked if this album will be available on Spotify, so here’s how you can easily add the downloaded files to your existing Spotify Library, keeping all of your music in one place and making the most out of those epic playlists.

Here’s how you do it (it’s really easy)

  1. Open the Spotify desktop app and click the arrow next to your name, then go to Settings.
  2. Scroll down and you’ll find a section called Local Files.
  3. Toggle the button to ‘Allow Local Files’ and then hit ‘Add a Source’.
  4. Navigate to whatever folder your music is stored on and click OK.
  5. Now you will have a new section of your Library, dubbed ‘Local Files’.

To listen to these on other devices (e.g. your phone):

  1. Create a new Playlist and add all of the songs.
  2. Set the playlist to Download on both devices whilst connected to the same WiFi network – using the toggle button at the top right of the playlist.
  3. When the songs appear in the new device (it might take a minute) you will be able to listen to them on your new device and add them to any playlist you like.

Using this method you can continue to use Spotify’s convenient applications whilst also supporting your favourite artists by purchasing their music.


You can continue to support us and the professional musicians who are struggling right now, by donating what you might usually spend on an entry fee or a drink, or any other amount that you wish. Professional musicians and all hospitality/event staff are facing an incredibly difficult time, having seen months of steady work disappear over-night. Any donations would be extremely appreciated to help us to continue to pay our staff through our closure and support our local event staff community in any way that we can.

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