Minimalist percussion meets exuberant synths in duo's debut album

Ticket prices: £10, £16, £22


Waves of electronic sounds roll in and out: booming cathedral-like bass transform into bright high shimmer. The wooden round sound of the gyil (Dagaare xylophone) dances through the texture, interlocking riffs framing the bleeps and pulses. Gongs, rattles, voices and distant alarms merge together then pull apart, shifting sands of calm then intensity. Time has been paused but sound is changing all the time. This is music to get lost in


The album Boing! was created during regular Zoom sessions in the first lockdown of 2020. Bex Burch and Leafcutter John would play together over Zoom, taking turns to lead with the other player improvising a response. The time delay in the platform pushed them into a loose, ambient music where the artists’ shared joy in improvisation and sonic exploration could take centre stage. In this live show, John plays a modular synthesiser controlled by self-authored software that he uses to create and manipulate patterns in real time. Bex can be heard on her self-made augmented gyil, voice, bells, calabash and percussion.


Leafcutter John is a veteran and pioneer of electronic music with releases on Border Community, Staubgold, and Planet Mu. He is an award winning improviser, producer, and instrument maker and was a key member of Mercury-nominated British jazz pioneers Polar Bear. Bex Burch is known for a unique fusion of jazz, post punk and minimalism all centred around the sound of the Ghanian gyil. Bex formed Vula Viel in 2015. Lauded by Iggy Pop, the trio have performed on BBC 6 Music for Gilles Peterson and across Europe including WOMAD.


The music will be followed by a brief interval and a short artist Q&A, led by Max Reinhardt.



Doors open 7.30pm, music 8pm - 9.15pm, artist Q&A 9.35pm - 10pm (approx).

The Oxford Artisan Distillery bar is open all night until 10.45pm (except for the music), selling delicious cocktails with spirits distilled on-site as well as beer and wine. Please come in good time to get yourself a drink before the music starts, and/or stay for one afterwards!

The Oxford Artisan Distillery are a Challenge 25 venue and will not serve anyone under the age of 16. Under 18s are allowed on site provided they are accompanied by an adult.



Covid measures: please read more about our current covid measures here:

If you are disabled and need a personal assistant in order to attend then please get in touch to arrange your PA's ticket free of charge: /01865484777