Waterless Hills is a project led by drummer Andrew Cheetham, currently playing with Richard Dawson, Kiran Leonard, Irma Vep, Yerba Mansa, Desmadrados Soldados de Ventura etc. The ensemble features himself plus two further members of the Manchester Underground wrecking crew – dbh (Kiran Leonard band, Irma Vep band, Jim Ghedi band, his own bad self) on violin; Gavin Clarke (DSDV) on bass – all joined by Cambridge-based avant-folk musician C Joynes on electric guitar.
Their album ‘The Great Mountain’ (Cardinal Fuzz / Feeding Tube Records) was recorded in one day direct to 1/4” tape at Hallé St Michaels, Manchester. All tracks were wholly improvised, and the tapes document a slowly-evolving interplay and, at times, ‘on-the-edge’ exchange between the players. The results were eventually shaped into an imaginary soundtrack for an orientalist western loosely themed around Freya Stark’s 1935 travelogue ‘The Valleys Of The Assassins’ and the surrealist occult art of Ithel Colquohoun. The album itself is closely paired with Waterless Hills’ debut release, an 8” lathe of two pieces captured at the same session and released in an edition of 99 copies on All Saints Day 2019 by Sonido Polifonico (www.sonidopolifonico.co.uk). This debut release garnered spins on the BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction, Stuart Maconie’s BBC 6 Music show Freak Zone, and Jeff Conklin’s Avant Ghetto show on WFMU, together with four star reviews from Mojo, Uncut and Wire magazines.
Following the Feb 2020 release of ‘The Great Mountain’, the ensemble undertook a brief UK tour between 13th-16th March 2020. Recordings made at those concerts in Sheffield, London, Newcastle and Manchester were captured on their self-released cassette ‘Plague Road’, a 60-minute live document of performances during the last four days of live music prior to the closure of all UK venues under COVID 19 lockdown.
The group has met with each other twice to date: once in 2017 for two days when they jammed and then recorded their debut album, and next in March 2020, when they undertook the tour described above.
- An Untidy Country Of Glaring Limestone
- The Law Of Hospitality
- Horns Lit By The Rising Sun
- The Garden Of The Tribe
- An Insect Which Eats The Moon
- They Squatted By The Tank In The Light Of A Lantern
- The Ghost Of One In The Darkness
- The Eastern Side Of Walantar