Stirling’s annual event dedicated to inventive new music and sound

25, 26, 27 & 28 April

The Tolbooth, Stirling

Le Weekend makes a return to the Tolbooth, where it started out five years ago. After a radical £6m refurb, the Tolbooth is all set to become one of Scotland’s leading new music venues.

After last year’s sell out festival, this year's event really gets back to basics with a line-up that’s come straight out of the history books. Genuinely premiering the most original and thrilling music that sticks it's neck out, Le Weekend continues to bring together the most influential of musicians who’ve shaped generations in their path. From the heavyweights of the free jazz scene to the most revered artists of the Japanese underground.

Despite claims made on the artistic supremacy of Scotland by Glasgow and Edinburgh, Stirling hosts an event that the capital and its west coast rival would love to get their cultural mitts on. Le Weekend is a world class festival of musicians whose boundaries stretch that little bit further.

Metro, 24 May 2001

Captivating, engrossing, oddly poignant – you have to pinch yourself, this is all happening in Stirling.

The Herald, 26 May 2001


Thursday 25 April

Shizuka, 7.30pm

Shiuzka are a four piece who specialise in dark, atmospheric psychedelia, fronted by mysterious female vocalist Shizuka Miura. Shizuka have close links with Keiji Haino’s Fushitsusha and are totally explosive, an unholy marriage of metallic Neil Young-styled string wrestling and ethereal energy.

David S. Ware Quartet, 9pm

Preeminent American Jazz critic Gary Giddins wrote in August 2001, Let¹s be bold: the David S. Ware Quartet is the best small band in jazz today. (...) every time I see Ware's group or return to the records, it flushes the competition from memory.² What more can you say? Widely acknowledged as the heir to John Coltrane's Quartet, other influences include Albert Ayler and Sonny Rollins. Amongst Ware's fans are Branford Marsalis (who signed him for two albums on Sony) and avant-rockers Sonic Youth (for whom the Quartet 'warmed up' one massive NYC performance). Ware's tenor is so

full-bodied and deeply sensual it bypasses the intellect straight to the heart.

Friday 26 April

An audience with William Parker, 6pm

William Parker, one of the most inventive bassists since Mingus outlines his mystical world view - children and non-musicians are particularly welcome. Expect to have your whole world-view turned upside down!

William Parker & Hamid Drake Duo, 8.30pm

These two masters of their chosen instruments will perform a very special fully improvised set to heat The Tollbooth up for the full blown Quartet at 9pm. Hamid makes a welcome return to Le Weekend after his inspiring performance last year with Peter Brötzmann.

William Parker Quartet, 9pm

William Parker, hailed as "the most consistently brilliant free jazz bassist of all time," is here featured as leader of his new Quartet. Parker's compositions will be performed in full conjunction with the stellar talents of alto saxist Rob Brown, drummer Hamid Drake, and trumpeter Lewis Barnes. Having performed and recorded from the early '70s forward with a vast array of avant jazz luminaries (his discography as accompanist now numbers well over 100 titles), it was in the '90s that his gifts as a composer and bandleader first came fully to light. His latest works have been described as "confirming the durability of creative jazz at the turn of a new century."

Saturday 27 April

The Wire presents an afternoon of free jazz screenings, 2pm

The Wire presents an early evening audio-visual event on the free jazz underground with rare film footage never seen before in Scotland.

Maher Shalal Hash Baz, 7.30pm

Tori Kudo’s band Maher Shalal Hash Baz sound like nothing else you’ve ever heard. Kudo favours non-professional musicians for their spontaneity and joyous visions and the results are disarmingly beautiful.

The most unimpeachably outside set of humanly-breathed joy this side of (Captain Beefheart’s) Trout Mask Replica. The Wire

Keiji Haino, 9pm

Haino is the founding father of the Japanese experimental music scene. His music is rock based but draws on the energies of free jazz and the emotive power of Japanese theatrical and folk traditions. He talks of his music in shamanistic terms and often meditates for hours before performances. Having never played in Scotland before despite touring the globe extensively, this is a unique chance to see Japan's most respected underground musician in solo performance – feted by everyone from Otomo Yoshihide to Derek Bailey and John Zorn.

Sunday 28 April

Fushitsusha, 8pm

Keiji Haino’s proto-rock group Fushitsusha have been called the heaviest power trio in the world and are the most legendary group to come out of the Japanese underground. Tonight’s show is a special 3 hour set, prepare to have your whole concept of rock music turned inside out.

Right now Fushitsusha are the greatest rock band on the planet. Melody Maker

This year Le Weekend has been co-curated by David Keenan.

Le Weekend is funded by Stirling Council, The Scottish Arts Council and Visiting Arts.

Le Weekend is supported by The Wire magazine.

All Tickets:

£12 / £8 - one day ticket

£20 / £13.50 - two day APEX ticket

£39 / £26 - festival pass with entry to all events

Box Office 01786 274000 Info 01786 274141

N.B. Times stated are approximate and may be subject to change.