The Bays are a group of musicians based in London, UK, who play improvised electronic music. Their live sets usually encompass ambient, techno, house, funk, breakbeat and drum and bass styles. They never rehearse together, and do not release any records or sell merchandise; their only recordings are live mp3s available free from their website. This is a deliberate stance to operate outside the commercial music industry, under the slogan "Performance Is The Product."
The original line-up was formed by Andy 'Tango' Gangadeen on drums, Nick 'Albi' Cohen on bass, Jamie 'Dalston' Odell on keyboards and synths and Simon 'Smugg' Wadmore dropping vocal samples and FX. Later on, Chris Taylor replaced Nick Cohen on bass and Simon Richmond replaced Simon Smugg on samples and FX. They have often collaborated with other artists in their performances; these have included Herbie Hancock, Ty, Hextatic, The Heritage Orchestra, BIT20 Ensemble and John Metcalfe.
They've played the Royal Festival Hall, Knebworth, Naxos, Drum Rhythm, Lowlands, Big Chill, Pukkelpop, Ministry of Sound, Eurosonic, Glastonbury, Roskilde, Dour and recorded 4 different live sessions at Maida Vale for John Peel's 'Keeping it Peel'.
The Bays first came together for a one-off gig in London in November 1999. This was an immediate success and they were booked for more shows including a headlining appearance at the ‘Nancy Music Fest’ in France. The spring of 2000 saw The Bays appearing at London’s Imperial Gardens as part of an event organised by Zildjian / Rhythm magazine, then on to a series of UK dates as part of the SleazeNation / Jockey Slut tour. This took them to Glasgow, Belfast, Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol and London causing a huge stir wherever they played. At the end of July they played as part of the Rhythm Sticks Festival, a prestigious annual event held at London’s South Bank Centre.
In August they appeared at the Big Chill’s Enchanted Garden Festival, integrating into their set a string quartet. Still with the Big Chill, but this time on the Greek island of Naxos in October, The Bays played two nights and immediately picked up some more bookings for future dates before they’d even left to go home.
On then to 2001, which saw The Bays take on Brighton’s legendary Concorde Club, The Arches’ cult Glasgow hang-out The Sunday Social, a new monthly residency at The Vibe Bar on Brick Lane and the piece de resistance, a showcase billing at Amsterdam’s universally-acclaimed Drum Rhythm Festival, where they were regarded, without qualification, as the highlight of the entire 3-day Festival, topping a poll of journalists voting for their favourite act. Such was the overwhelming response from that show, the band was booked for Pukkelpop Festival in Belgium, Lowlands, Woodstock and Eurosonic Festivals in Holland, Transmusicales de Rennes in France and the Guildford Festival and Ministry of Sound’s Knebworth Event amongst others.
In the years from then to now The Bays have continued to spread their sound, not only across the UK, packing out clubs such as Audio in Brighton, Hi-Fi in Leeds, Stealth in Nottingham, The Arches and Sub Club in Glasgow, but all around the world, performing in Mexico and Georgia for The British Council, playing in Moscow, St Petersburg, Israel, Norway and all across mainland Europe. There have been more John Peel sessions, an Arts council funded tour of the Uk’s larger Arts venues including the QEH and Sage Centre Gateshead, and an appearance at the WOMAD Sri Lanka festival in Sept 2005, playing to some 35, 000 people. 2005 also saw The Bays sell out The Barbican with a collaborative performance with Herbie Hancock, and headline The Big Chill festival. Other festivals The Bays have performed at in 2005 alone were two appearances at Glastonbury, T In The Park, Shambala, The Glade, Summer Sundae, Lovebox, Lost Vagueness, the Brick Lane festival, Pantiero in Cannes, WOMAD in Gran Canaria. Following on from the success of their sellout month’s residency at The Jazz Café in Autumn 2005, The Bays plan to establish rotating residencies across the UK, running the whole night with their live performance, Bays Soundsystem DJS and special guests.