The American band Swans is playing in Budapest again

Party Zone

Swans will perform again in the Hungarian capital. The cult formation of the New York underground/no-wave scene of the eighties will give a concert on Saturday, November 4 at the Akvárium Klub.

The last time the group visited Budapest was seven years ago, this time they are presenting their sixteenth album, The Beggar, released this summer, the organizer Fekete Zaj Fesztivál announced.

Swans was founded by Michael Gira (guitar, vocals) in 1982, nowadays he is the only one left from the line-up of forty years ago, while dozens of members have changed over the decades.

Swans was a dominant player in the New York no-wave scene until 1997, and among its albums at that time, Children of God (1987) and White Light from the Mouth of Infinity (1991) stand out. The post-punk group had a decisive influence on the next generation of American musicians.

For thirteen years, Swans was also a member of Michael Gira’s partner at the time, the singer Jarboe, famous for her experimental spirit and astonishing singing style, who later performed several times solo in Budapest.

The band leader disbanded Swans in 1997 and first formed a new formation called Angels of Light, then made solo albums. Then, in 2010, he decided to activate Swans, adding new members along with his old partner, guitarist Norman Westberg, and focusing on fresh musical foundations and concepts different from the roots. The music became more progressive and harder than before.

The Swans last performed in Budapest in 2016 (at the A38) and were supposed to return in 2020 with the album Leaving Meaning, but that concert was canceled due to the coronavirus epidemic. The new, sixteenth Swans studio album released this summer, The Beggar, is a double material; the second disc also features a 43-minute song, The Beggar Lover (Three).

“The tours of the previous Swans album were canceled due to the epidemic. The sudden forced isolation confused people, so I decided to write new songs. The songs came relatively easily, but the situation made me realize that maybe these would be my last compositions. When we went to Berlin to record the record, I had the same feeling as when the film changed from black and white to color in Oz, the wonder of miracles,” quoted Michael Gira in a previous statement from the management.

On November 4, the former Swans guitarist Norman Westberg will play solo in front of his former band in the Great Hall of Akvárium Klub.

Swan’s current members are Michael Gira (guitar, vocals, keyboards), Dana Schechter (guitar, keyboards, bass), Christoph Hahn (guitar), Chris Pravdica (bass), Larry Mullins (drums, mellotron, percussion) and Phil Puelo (drums).


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