Sir Richard Bishop
For the past three decades, avant-garde guitar wizard, Sir Richard Bishop has dazzled, confounded and disturbed, both as a member of Arizona freaks Sun City Girls, and as a wildly inventive solo artist. While less deranged than Sun City Girls’ sprawling oeuvre, Bishop’s own albums are just as eclectic, deftly leaping from gypsy jazz to Indian ragas, or between psychedelic rock and electronic soundscapes. Bishop’s current album, the excellent Freak of Araby, pays homage to the Arabic surf-rock of Egyptian guitarist Omar Khorshid.
‘It wasn’t my intention to make any kind of Arabic or Middle Eastern type record,’ he explains, ‘But after recording a couple of original pieces that were “eastern” sounding, I decided that I wanted the entire record to reflect that sound. So I scrambled to find some traditional songs to record and a number of them were songs that Khorshid also played.’
Perhaps reflecting the heavy psychedelic rock of Rangda, his new band with Six Organs of Admittance’s Ben Chasny and inspirational free drummer (and one-time Edinburgh resident) Chris Corsano, Bishop is plugging in for this tour. ‘I just needed to step away from acoustic guitar for a while. I wanted to force myself to try something different. I am doing a couple of pieces from the Freak of Araby and I am also doing a fair amount of improvisation and trying out some new songs and some older pieces that I haven’t really played live before.’
Stereo, Glasgow, Wed 24 Feb