When avant-jazz legends The Necks take the stage, not even the musicians know what will happen. Each live set is a completely unplanned event. There’s not even talk beforehand about coming to a consensus on structure, chords or mood.

“It would ruin it. It really would,” says bassist Lloyd Swanton to Limelight

“The product we’re delivering is the process. In a way, whatever delights people experience along the way is secondary. That’s great, but we’re not actually about delivering anything other than just this process of us trying to work out something on stage over the course of an hour.” 

The Necks

The Necks – Tony Buck, Lloyd Swanton and Chris Abrahams. Photo © Camille Walsh.

“Sometimes, I’ll be honest, I get on stage and have absolutely no idea what I’m going to play,” Swanton says. “But, we’ve learned over time that the one thing we can rely on is one half decent idea; that between the three of us, we should surely be able to come up with something.”

At the end of last year, The Necks – Swanton, pianist...