Friday 4 March 2011


North London avant garagistes Monkey Island are relaunching last year’s Luxe et Redux album with a free gig on Friday 11 March at vintage clothes emporium Paper Dress, 114-116 Curtain Road in the heart of London’s Shoreditch. They’ll be supported by Cabaret Scene and Clicky Bones with a guest spot from rapper Nu2ral.

The relaunch coincides with an exhibition of singer/guitarist Pete Bennett’s paintings, curated by Billy Childish, whom Pete met while repairing Billy’s knackered old amps.  The exhibition, shared with artist Jeannine Guidi, goes under the banner Unseen Paintings and is at the L-13 Light Industrial Workshop, 31 Eyre Street Hill, Clerkenwell, London EC1R 5EW from 8 April until 8 May.

Emerging out of the 90s London garage scene, Monkey Island’s first few singles were released by early champion John Robb, gaining plaudits in The Guardian, Melody Maker and Metal Hammer and airplay from Mark Radcliffe, Steve Lamacq, Rob da Bank and the great John Peel.

A self-produced third album pulled more mainstream press on board with glowing Kerrang! and NME reviews, and was acclaimed outside the UK in Italy where, several tours later, they have a phenomenal underground reputation. Their recent December dates coincided serendipitously with the failed bid to oust Silvio Berlusconi and soundtracked the resulting demonstrations.

A fiercely independent attitude and a constant reinvention has kept the band alive where contemporaries have fallen, Bennett reconstituting the band for Luxe et Redux as a fresher more feral outfit with two new collaborators, whipsmart drummer Sam St Leger and rigidly grooving bassist Andrew Speakman.

Luxe et Redux is available on Imprint Records distributed by Cargo.

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