The Bugger All Stars were formed in London in 1980. It was one of the few bands keeping the faith of free improvisation at a time when this uncommercial genre was probably at its most unsaleable. Mike Hames (alto saxophone, bass clarinet) invited Hugh Metcalfe, (guitar, electronics) to form a band with him. Metcalfe suggested Jim Lebaigue (drums) and Lebaigue recommended Phil Wachsmann, (violin, electronics, miscellaneous instruments). Originally inspired by Eric Dolphy (hence his choice of instruments) and an authority on Albert Ayler, Hames is not an obvious follower of either, and the band has more in common with the abstract Improvised Music tradition of Europe (and, perhaps, with the AACM school of Chicago in its concern for exploring sounds and textures rather than melody, harmony and rhythms) than with the fiery, headlong music of the 60s New Thing. The other three remain active on the improvised music scene but Hames retired from playing in 1986 when he began a degree course.
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