Shards of Delicate Noise

Sir Richard Bishop of Sun City Girls

I posted something on here in dedication to the Sun City Girl's Charlie Gocher back in February. Here's a link to that post if you're interested in checking it out. I'm not sure if the links are still up for the music, but let me know and I can re-up them.

I have been alerted by someone that the link for the Sun City Girls live show from La Sala Rossa is no longer active.
Here is a reup of that show:

Sun City Girls- La Sala Rossa Disc 1

Sun City Girls- La Sala Rossa Disc 2

Sir Richard Bishop's solo stuff is worlds away from the avant garde experimentalism of the Sun City Girls. Still, he is the only person I know of that can play an acoustic guitar so loud that you'll be reaching for your earplugs. I have seen him live about four times now, but there is really no way of explaining the beauty and noise created by his gifted hands. He is equal parts John Fahey, Django Reinhardt, Manitas De Platas and Fred Frith, but this only scratches the surface of his sound. You have to experience his music in a live setting to truly appreciate the multiple sheets of sound that resonate from his acoustic guitar. One minute he is playing a mellow ballad which slowly unfolds into a mind-bending journey into dynamics and rapid-fire riffing.

Yesterday, I witnessed an amazing Sir Richard Bishop live performance at Exiled Records in Portland, Oregon. He performed at Exiled Records last year around September too, so I think it is becoming an annual thing. He started off the set looking bedraggled and that he had less than 40 winks the night before. Nevertheless, he delivered a masterful set of inspired covers as well as songs from his various albums. This was a decidely mellow set by Richard's standards, and he even admitted to the crowd that he was in a mellow mood. He did an Ennio Morricone cover, a few Django Reinhardt covers including "Echoes of Spain", and two Sun City Girls songs.

However, the highlights for me were the two lengthy improvisational workouts towards the end that aren't available on any of Richard's records, at least not in their entirety. These two pieces began with a mellow tempo that culminated into a series of dynamically soul-stirring finger-plucking exercises. Then, the whole thing explodes into a frenzy of start-stop riffing that would make Thurston Moore and Nels Cline proud. The entire standing-room only crowd at Exiled Records clapped exuberantly with their mouths held agape after such an astonishing performance.

After the show, I was inspired to figure out what the two improvisations were at the end of the show. I was able to find Richard's show from last year's Exiled Records in-store performance as well as his performance from the 2006 Halleleuwah Festival at Disjecta. I was pleased to find out that both of these performances featured the improvisations that I heard at Exiled Records yesterday. The sound on both of these recordings is excellent and I highly recommend that you download them for your listening pleasure. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that Sir Richard Bishop has a new slab of wax coming out on Drag City on September 25th entitled Polytheistic Fragments.

Sir Richard Bishop-Exiled Records- 9-2-06

Sir Richard Bishop- Halleluwah- Disjecta- 9-1-06

Your comments are always appreciated!


DJ Tone said…
Hey man,

Thanks for stopping by my blog... I like what you have going on here, too! In fact, I've linked you up in my blog roll :)

Anonymous said…
Hmm, looks like the other Sun City Girls' links are dead
Kevin said…
Thanks for letting me know that they are down. Sometimes the file-sharing programs like Sharebee or Mediafire will leave up the files for a long time. I am reuploading these files via massmirror, so you will have your choice between 4 different file-sharing programs. Please let me know what you think of the La Salla Rossa show.

Take care, Kevin
Kevin said…
Well, I have attempted to re-up the Sun City Girls live with MassMirror but they are having problems. Part 2 can be downloaded via Badongo so far, but the rest of the links say uploading. So, I will attempt to use Sharebee to upload part 1 and see what happens there. Just wanted to give you a heads-up that I am working on it.

Thanks, Kevin
chiaroscuro said…
hello. thanks for this, a really great you maybe have big swifty's album akroasis, i would be very grateful if you posted that one. cheers from belgrade, m.
Kevin said…
Hi Chiaroscuro. I have never heard of Big Swifty's album called Akroasis. What type of music is this and is it out of print or still available? I usually only post full albums from really rare or out-of-print records if I have them. Thanks for stopping by and I hope that you keep checking back.

Best, Kevin
Metagnathous said…
Thank you for these. Anything by Sun City Girls or Sir Bishop solo are welcome. A fine post.
chiaroscuro said…
I think it is available only here:

An accurate description of their music he posted, except band is from Florida.

I really adore Bishop's playing...

keep up with the good work, all the bests.
lessardonic said…
thanks for this! sir richard and scg are the shit!
Kevin said…
Metagnathous and Lessardonic: I'm glad that you are digging the Sir Richard. Please keep checking back for more rare gems.

Best, Kevin
Anonymous said…
Thanks! I've had the pleasure of seeing SRB play a coupla times, so it's nice to hear these live sets!
L said…
I'm very curious about Bishop's music - I adore all of the guitarists & instuments that people associate with him - Django Reinhardt, the oud, Manitas de Plata (My goodness, I haven't listened to him since I played my LPs so many years ago!) Thanks for making these performances avail. - LD
gregoriograzi said…
thanks for the bishops ... I make it a point to hit exiled when I'm in Portland visiting family ... I love the live shows
Ben said…
hi kevin,

stumbled blindly into your blog through a link from the grown-so-ugly site. really enjoying some of the found sounds and particularly pleased to find some live rick bishop. is there even a small chance you could re-up the halleluwah link as it seems to be down. i have some other rick bishop/scg recordings you might be interested in. just drop me a line.

Kevin said…

I was ecstatic to find these out there, especially the Halleluwah set since I was there to witness the majesty of his guitar playing.

l: I agree that Manitas De Platas is one of the most fantastic musicians out there. I found a couple of his records for 3 or 4 dollars. Sir Richard's sound and influences are definitely all over the map stylistically. Manitas, Django, John Fahey, Sandy Bull, Jack Rose, etc. you should definitely check out his catalog.


Yeah Exiled is a great record store, and the owners are really friendly and know their music. I try to stop in there at least once a month. Glad you liked the shows.


This is what I would like for this blog- more encouraging thoughts and feedback from folks like yourself. Having a community of people who share music and talk about it is why I started this blog in the first place. I would definitely be interested in checking out some other Sir Richard shows or SCG, and I would be happy to re-up the Halleluwah link for you. Just give me til the weekend.

Best, Kevin
Ben said…
Hey Kevin,

Great stuff, appreciate your efforts! Let me know if there is any SCG/Rick Bish stuff you're after, I have most. Can't remember what shows I have as the discs are at home, but off the top of my bonce, there's the Shaw Library set by Rick and a SCG recording at Instal in Glasgow. If you have any others not already on your site sure would like to hear them,


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