• Summary
  • Venue
  • Credits


What connects the first British rock’n’roll discs of the 1950s, Vincent Price and The Abominable Dr. Phibes, the Nagra tape recorder and the industrial sounds of the north? The answer is Basil Kirchin.

Basil Kirchin is the forgotten genius of post-war British music. His remarkable life stretched from the days when British dance music mutated into rock’n’roll, through a headlong succession of film scores and pop songwriting, before retreating to Hull, where he created sonic landscapes that still challenge convention while seeking out an increasingly reclusive existence until his death in 2005.

A pioneer of musique concrète described by Brian Eno as “a founding father of ambient”, Kirchin’s intriguing history represents a collision of popular and experimental musical cultures that predate and define much of the music we hear today.

A live music festival celebrating the legacy of Hessle Road’s creative genius.

Friday 17 February

We Start Counting

17 Feb – Hull City Hall (£12-£18)
Founding member of The High Llamas, Sean O’Hagan, pays homage to the lyrical side of Basil Kirchin’s work with a specially convened ensemble, which includes vocalist Jane Weaver as well as other friends, whose collective background embraces Stereolab, Sun Ra, Jarvis Cocker and more. Includes free ticket to The Abominable Dr Phibes film screening.

The Abominable Dr Phibes

17 Feb – Hull City Hall (£6-£10)
With its art deco sets, dark humour, exemplary cast and Basil Kirchin soundtrack, The Abominable Dr. Phibes (Dir: Robert Fuest, 1971) is a cult classic. Quintessential British horror film starring Vincent Price.

Saturday 18 February

Free Talks Programme

18 Feb – Hull City Hall (free)
Hosted by writer and critic Jane Cornwell, these free talks will reflect on the enduring legacy of Basil Kirchin. Speakers include Sean O’Hagan (The High Llamas), Jonny Trunk (Trunk Records), Bob Stanley (St Etienne) and music critic Richard Williams.

11.30am – Mind in Transition

The High Llamas’ Sean O’Hagan will explore the early days of Basil Kirchin’s musical story, throughout the 1950s and into the 60s. He’s joined by Matt Stephenson of Nova Studios, whose documentary film on Kirchin will be screened later in the day.

12.45pm – Mind in a Northern Landscape

This discussion will reflect on Kirchin’s relationship with the landscape of Hull and the Humber estuary – the place he called home for much of his life. St Etienne’s Bob Stanley, Richard Williams and Jonny Trunk in conversation.

2pm – Favourite Sounds of Hull

Jane Cornwell sits down with Peter Cusack, curator of Favourite Sounds of Hull, to discuss his sound-gathering project.

2.30pm-4.30pm – performance

Live sets from Revenu, Elaine Mitchener and Alexander Hawkins.

6.15pm – Mind on the Loose

Hidden Orchestra’s Joe Acheson is joined by Liam van Rijn (aka Revenu), discussing the resonance of Kirchin’s work on the contemporary sonic adventurer.

Nova Studios present Mind on the Run: The Basil Kirchin Story

18 Feb – Hull City Hall (free)

The premiere of this documentary film from Nova Studios, investigating the life, work and influence of Basil Kirchin. Followed by Q&A with Matt Stephenson and Alan Jones of Nova Studios.

Journey to the Unknown: Hidden Orchestra + Evan Parker & Spring Heel Jack

18 Feb – Hull City Hall (£12-£18)
The deep grooves of the Hidden Orchestra contrast with a live electro-acoustic mash up featuring Kirchin collaborator and maverick improviser Evan Parker. Matt Wright, Adam Linson and Spring Heel Jack create an unforgettable sonic experience.

Sunday 19 February

Sounds Within Sounds: Jerry Dammers’ Library Music – DJ Set

19 Feb – Hull City Hall (£6-£10)
Kirchin fan, co-founder of The Specials, founder of 2 Tone Records, and leading light of the ska revival, Jerry Dammers explores the wonderful and sometimes weird world of library music.

Musical Modernism: Will Gregory with BBC Concert Orchestra & Special Guests

19 Feb – Hull City Hall (£12-£18)
Goldfrapp’s Will Gregory curates a programme that responds and reacts to Kirchin’s fascination with texture and sonic collage. Featuring St. Etienne’s Bob StanleyPete WiggsSonic Youth’s Jim O’Rourke, pianist and composer Matthew Bourne and producer, composer and performer Matthew Herbert, who will contribute a brand new piece that combines sounds from everyday items to create extraordinary music.

Favourite Sounds of Hull

What are your favourite sounds of Hull? Submit your favourite sound for a new a project curated by sound artist Peter Cusack. This new project, Favourite Sounds of Hull, is designed to complement Mind on the Run and run alongside our celebration of Basil Kirchin.

Weekend Ticket

17-19 Feb – Hull City Hall (£75)
Get access to every event during Mind on the Run: The Basil Kirchin Story with this single weekend ticket. Includes limited edition CD released by Trunk Records to celebrate Kirchin’s extraordinary legacy.


Queen Victoria Square
01482 300 300


If you have purchased a ticket for an event/activity at this venue through hull2017.co.uk, please do not contact the venue direct with enquiries for that purchase as they will be unable to help.

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Venue Access

  • Assistance Dogs
  • Level Access
  • Wheelchair Access

Opening times

Monday 10am - 5pm
Tuesday 10am - 5pm
Wednesday 10am - 5pm
Thursday 10am - 5pm
Friday 10am - 5pm
Saturday 10am - 5pm
Sunday 11am - 3pm

Creative Credits

Presented in partnership with Serious, BBC Radio 3, J-Night, Nova Studios and the University of Hull School of Arts.

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