DEAD DAYS BEYOND HELP
ALEX WARD: guitar/vocals
JEM DOULTON: drums
Dead Days Beyond Help formed in 2006, and played their first show in February 2007. Their early repertoire comprised instrumentals and songs written by Alex, which the duo arranged and learned to play mostly in the spacious front room of Jem's then-residence in Clapton; but from mid-2009 onwards, all of DDBH's material has been written collaboratively by Jem and Alex in their weekly rehearsals in a succession of small windowless rooms around north/east London. Their debut studio album ACCESS DENIED! documents the first period, while its follow-up THE GAME FACE covers the transition to the second phase, fully represented on the next instalment SEVERANCE PAY. Their live performances, which are always structured spontaneously by the two musicians without use of a set list, feature material from both eras of the band, combined with instrumental improvisations and cover songs (these latter aspects of their live sets are documented on the CD-R release UNWRITTEN RULES, recorded at various performances during the first 3 years of the band's existence; while the limited edition release THE VERBING is constructed from entirely improvised material). The instrumental compositions which form the heart of their repertoire are guided by no generic or formal constraints besides the parameters of the guitar/drums duo format, and what the two musicians can physically push themselves to achieve in real time performance.
In addition to their regular appearances as a 2-piece, Dead Days Beyond Help have also performed a number of primarily improvised live collaborations with various guest musicians including Steve Beresford, Chris Cundy, Shabaka Hutchings, and Alan Wilkinson. (The studio recordings of some of their composed material also occasionally feature guest musicians - but in these cases the guests' contributions consist of strict doublings of the original material on different instruments, in keeping with the determination that the compositions should be instrumentally complete and self-sufficient in their duo forms.) Bands DDBH have played shows with have included Poino, Nøught, Cellular Chaos, Zea, Child Abuse, Sal Mineo (Eugene Robinson/Xiu Xiu) and The Devil.
UNWRITTEN RULES (no label CD-R, recorded 2006-2009, released 2009 - live improvisations and cover versions)
ACCESS DENIED! (Copepod POD04, recorded 2007, released 2009 - studio album no. 1)
THE VERBING (Copepod POD05 CD-R, recorded 2008, released 2011 - improvised album, limited edition of 100)
THE GAME FACE (Copepod POD06, recorded 2009-10, released 2012 - studio album no. 2)
SEVERANCE PAY (Believers Roast BR14, recorded 2012-13, released 2014 - studio album no. 3)