Drummer and composer Mark Holub formed Led Bib in 2003 for a university masters project. Made up of his Middlesex university friends, the five piece played its first gig at London’s Klinker Club on February 24th 2004 to ten people in the backroom of the North London pub. Five years later they were performing on primetime TV to millions, having been nominated as a Mercury Prize album of the year. Theirs was a full gas acceleration to that point.
Having had their first album met with widespread critical praise in May 2005, they also won the Peter Whittingham Jazz Award in the same year. A second album, Sizewell Tea released in 2007 through iconic London label Babel brought more interest, bigger features and better reviews. There was a notable shift in numbers too, audiences grew as fans cottoned on to a new jazz movement, of which Led Bib was a frontrunner, ditching the noodling and pulling more into rock territory. As they drew references from across the musical spectrum Beefheart and Zorn, Pink Floyd and Miles Davis so too did they draw in a larger swathe of interest, drum and bass heads, jazz a cionados, death metalists and folk, world music and pop fans were, in equal number, their audience.
A limited edition live release appeared in 2008, but it was the release of their 4th album Sensible Shoes that saw them experience widespread acclaim following the announcement that they were chosen as an Album of the Year in the 2009 Barclaycard Mercury Prize. The ensuing media storm saw them reach in excess of 20 million people as they performed on TV & Radio sessions including Channel 4 TV News with Jon Snow, playing live on BBC 2 and found a befuddled and unlikely pundit in Holub being asked to explain the likes of “what is jazz?” to the masses of early morning BBC breakfast radio listeners.
In 2011 the group released Bring Your Own, their second album for US based Cuneiform Records. Quickly hailed as a stand out success it gained 4 and 5 star reviews across the board. 2014 saw the release of two new albums to celebrate their 10th anniversary, the studio album ‘The People in Your Neighbourhood’ and the limited edition live vinyl ‘The Good Egg’, both hailed as modern classics and their best yet. 2017 sees the band release their eagerly anticipated 6th studio album and first with genre defying London label Rare Noise Records, a tour of Europe and the UK will be done in support.
“Rarely have two saxes, keyboards, bass and drums sounded so dangerous yet so compelling.”
— The Guardian
“a lean, mean, improv-rocking jazz machine”
“Jazz and punk rock got in a fight, made up, got married and had an offspring named Led Bib”
Line up: Mark Holub – drums; Liran Donin – bass; Toby McLaren – keyboards; Chris Williams – alto sax and Pete Grogan – alto sax
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Hear them on these clips:
Pictures from the gig by Brian Homer https://www.flickr.com/photos/56656997@N05/albums/72157683461936605