From about 1990…

Howard Jacobs arrived at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester from Bedford already with an incredible string of musical projects to his name. Most notably a series of “Improvisations” cassette recordings of an extraordinary nature – funny, grotesque, challenging and brilliant.

As a multi-instrumentalist and artist – fluent on clarinet, saxophone, bass and drums; Howard had found himself working on many projects all at the same time:

Drums in thrash group, “Vox Mortis” and Hendrix cover group “The Bland”; Bass in punky “Happy Shopper”, later morphing into indie punk band “Lost” playing sax. Also at the time Howard explored Jazz-Funk in “Words of Bob” and sheer wild percussion with “Dropping Deaf” which went on to become “Pretty Bacon”.

Hendrix scratch band c.1992
Hendrix scratch band c.1992

In the early 1990s Howard produced a few recordings with Ben Heaney, exploring Noise and Experimental performing techniques. “Tribute To Rob Zenter” and “Tribute To Roland” exist from this time as a single cassette recording capturing two extraordinary jam sessions which over two decades on can be understood as laying foundations for this continued collaboration. These foundations were given true form in two improvised performances at the RNCM in 1992:

  • “Dissolve” – electric violin with multi-loop effects & various percussion and sound sources.
  • “Vortex” – acoustic violin & bass clarinet

Both works were recorded by the sound engineers at the college and duplicated to a few cassettes. These recordings were more recently digitised and available as archive recordings on specific request.

Gradually the work focussed and through the heavy funk band “Creature Comfort” and “Shake Appeal”, Howard found himself on drums, teaming up with Carl Russell in the rock music of “Ancient of Daze”. With a stint with “The Craft”, these groups amalgamated in “Thee Akoluthic” collective project where many musicians and artists, including Ben Heaney, Douglas Black and Richard Waldock worked side by side. During this time, around 1994/5, Howard also began working with wind and percussion in an almost indefinable group, “Muppet Rabies” and on congas for the acoustic outfit “Ceremony”.

In late 1995 Howard joined Creak and a close musical alliance and friendship began.




“The Godfather”, Howard Jacobs

The Godfather, Howard

Also, see Zoe Mace

& Creak@Kraak