Sloth Racket – Exabout: Live In Ramsgate

Release date: 23rd November 2020 (digital album and t-shirt)

One September evening in 2019, a roomful of people climbed up a ladder by the sea for a special gig. It was the seventh night of Sloth Racket’s Dismantle Yourself tour, hosted by Extra Normal Records at Arco Barco, a flexible studio/co-working/venue space. We were sharing the bill with Evan Parker playing solo, there were some sort of delicious cakes for sale at the bar, and a carful of our mates had driven out to eat seaside chips and catch the gig. Our music sounds different every time it’s played, and this is how it sounded that night in Ramsgate, with all those things taken into account.

The usual way we do things is this: I write the scores that form the skeletons of our music, we tour them, then we record. In 2019 it was the other way around: we turned up to a studio in snowy northern England in early February, recorded a batch of my new music we’d never played before, and *then* toured it (and released it, as Dismantle Yourself) later in the year. So when we arrived in Ramsgate we were deep into the process of deconstructing/constructing something out of the pages from February, chewing on it every night on tour. Recorded by Anton Hunter and mixed/mastered by Alex Bonney, this set contains three live versions of Dismantle Yourself compositions, and one piece – the title track in the opening pair – that wasn’t on the studio release and came into its own on tour.

Writing this now in October 2020, with all the band’s work this year cancelled and an uncertain 2021 looming, I find myself feeling a weird sense of nostalgia for a gig and tour that only happened 13 months ago. Spread out across the UK in different lockdowns, it will be a while until we can meet in person as a band; the cycle of albums and tours has been paused, but I am still writing new material. The release of this live album falls where our 2020 tour would have been – I hope it can serve as a statement of intent for the sloth tours of the future.

(‘Exabout’ is what Seth Bennett’s phone said when it wanted us to exit a roundabout on tour.)

– Cath Roberts


Sam Andreae – alto saxophone
Cath Roberts – baritone saxophone
Anton Hunter – guitar
Seth Bennett – double bass
Johnny Hunter – drums (and, for one night only, piano!)

Compositions by Cath Roberts.

This music was played live at Arco Barco, Ramsgate on 18th September 2019.

Recorded by Anton Hunter.
Mixed and mastered by Alex Bonney.
Album artwork and t-shirt design by Cath Roberts.

Luminous Label 2020 | LU013

Digital album and t-shirt available now.