Biographies
The Necks

The Necks are one of the great cult bands of Australia.

Chris Abrahams (piano), Tony Buck (drums), and Lloyd Swanton (bass) conjure a chemistry together that defies description in orthodox terms.

Featuring lengthy pieces which slowly unravel in the most mesmerising fashion, frequently underpinned by an insistent deep groove, the sixteen albums by The Necks stand up to re-listening time and time again.

The deceptive simplicity of their music throws forth new charms on each hearing. Not entirely avant-garde, nor minimalist, nor ambient, nor jazz, the music of The Necks is possibly unique in the world today.

Chris Abrahams

Chris was born in Oamaru, New Zealand but grew up in Sydney, Australia.

He became very active in the Sydney jazz scene in the early eighties playing with modern jazz groups including Mark Simmonds’ Freeboppers and The Keys Music Orchestra. With Lloyd Swanton he formed the 60’s modern jazz-influenced The Benders in 1982. The band broke up in 1985 after having released three albums - E, False Laughter and Distance.

In 1984 Chris recorded and released his first solo piano album - Piano, followed in 1986 by Walk.

In 1985 Chris became a founding member of the Sydney indie rock band The Sparklers. As a result of this, Chris began working regularly with the singer and songwriter Melanie Oxley. Chris collaborated with Melanie, writing songs and producing albums, throughout the nineties. There are five releases with her: Resisting Calm (1990), Welcome to Violet (1992), Coal (1994), Jerusalem Bay (1998) and Blood Oranges (2003).

Chris released a third solo piano album Glow in 2001. This was followed in 2003 by Streaming, and Thrown in 2004.

Chris has collaborated, in both recording and performance, with many contemporary improvising musicians including Burkhard Beins, Mike Cooper and Anthony Pateras. He performs regularly in the improvising music scenes both in Australia and Europe.

Tony Buck

Born in Sydney in 1962, Tony is regarded as one of Australia's most creative and adventurous exports, with vast experience across the globe. He has been involved in a highly diverse array of projects. Apart from The Necks, he is probably best known as leader of hardcore/impro band PERIL.

Early in his musical life, after having graduated from the New South Wales Conservatorium of Music, he became very involved in the jazz scene in Australia, often touring with visiting international artists such as Vincent Herring, Clifford Jordan, Mickey Tucker, Branford Marsalis and Ernie Watts, as well as Australians Mark Simmonds, Paul Grabowsky, The catholics, Sandy Evans and Dale Barlow.

Following time spent in Japan, where he formed PERIL with Otomo Yoshihide and Kato Hideki, Tony moved to Europe, and has involved himself in many projects there, including the development of new "virtual" MIDI controllers at STEIM in Amsterdam.

Tony has played, toured or recorded with, among others, Jon Rose, Nicolas Collins, Tenko, John Zorn, Tom Cora, Phil Minton, Haino, Switchbox, The Machine for Making Sense, Ne Zhdall, The EX, Peter Brotzmann, Hans Reichel, The Little Red Spiders, Subrito Roy Chowdury, Clifford Jordan, Kletka Red, Han Bennink, Shelley Hirsch, Wayne Horvitz, Palinckx, and Ground Zero.

Lloyd Swanton

Described by Billboard Magazine as "an outstanding and imaginative Australian bassist and composer", Lloyd Swanton was born into a large and musical family in Sydney in 1960.

His long-running group, The catholics, has released eight albums, all produced and predominantly composed by him, with three receiving ARIA Award nominations. Their album Simple was nominated for the German Deutsche Schallplattenkritik Award.

Overseas exposure in nearly 40 countries with numerous groups includes countless performances throughout Europe, Canada, the USA, Mexico, India, Cuba, New Zealand, Taiwan, South Korea, Russia, Indonesia, Thailand and Japan.

Swanton is a three-time winner of Best Bassist in the Australian Jazz and Blues Awards.

International artists with whom he has performed throughout Australia include Dewey Redman, Nat Adderly, Clifford Jordan, Vincent Herring, Sting, Jimmy Witherspoon, Margie Evans, Sheila Jordan, Billy Harper, Barney Kessel, Andrew Hill, George Coleman Jr., John Hicks & Carlos Ward, Darrell Grant, Gary Bartz, Phillip Johnston, Jim Black, Tobias Delius, Marilyn Crispell and Molly Ringwald.

Lloyd appears on over ninety albums, including several ARIA Award winners, and has produced four ARIA Award winners by Bernie McGann. Over eighty of his compositions or co-compositions appear on record.

He has composed film and TV scores, including The Beat Manifesto, winner of an Australian Guild of Screen Composers Award for Best Short Film Soundtrack.

For the past twelve years, Lloyd Swanton has hosted Mixed Marriage, a very popular radio program which examines crossings of jazz with other musical styles, on Eastside Radio in Sydney. Listen here.

In his spare time, Lloyd is an avid follower of Australian Football, and a keen collector of Australian Aboriginal art, ice crushers, modernist ceramics, and books on Fellini. He is also gathering historical information on the WWII Japanese prisoner-of-war camp in Ambon, where his uncle Stuart died, and on his distant ancestor Theodore Deck, a leading name in 19th Century French ceramics.