World Service Project to rock Clitheroe at the Ribble Valley International Jazz Festival

One enthusiastic commentator described the brutal sound and dark humour of World Service Project as like Downton Abbey run by anarchists.

Wednesday, 2nd May 2018, 10:30 am
Updated Wednesday, 2nd May 2018, 10:36 am
World Service Project has been described as being like Downton Abbey run by anarchists. (s)
World Service Project has been described as being like Downton Abbey run by anarchists. (s)

“I’ve never actually seen an episode of Downton Abbey, so I guess I’m one of the lucky few,” joked World Service Project leader Dave Morecroft who brings his livewire quintet to this weekend’s Ribble Valley International Jazz Festival.

“Maybe a lot of people might draw that comparison given our very Englishness with our roots in the Home Counties, but we are a cage fight between Weather Report, Stravinsky, Frank Zappa and Monty Python.

“We don’t take ourselves too seriously, though.

“We are just five very social guys who like to party and throw the gear in the back of the van at the end of a gig and zoom off into the night.”

So where do you start with World Service Project?

Like the soundtrack to a brooding war epic, World Service Project live grab you by the scruff of the neck and refuse to let go until your ear drums bleed from their sonic attack of punk-jazz.

Chaotically danceable, they perform melodic somersaults, with a meld of throbbing heavy metal grooves and thrash chords.

And that is just for starters.

“We see punk as more of an adjective – we are liberally smearing the old jazz guard with a two fingered sentiment,” added Morecroft.

Their off the wall single Fuming Duck is a cacophony of grunting brass, Hawkind sounding electro murmurs and a beautiful interlude of near silence before the chaos erupts again like an out of control forest fire.

And Morecroft insists that no animals were harmed in the making of their album Fire in a Pet Shop.

He says: “I think World Service Project represents a wider point for me about musical gestures because Fire in a Pet Shop is a wonderful example of how you can present experimental, or weird music to audiences with a generally great response.

“We were very pleased with that tune, the sounds and the story.

“It all fitted together in a very pure, gestural way, notwithstanding the slightly disturbing subject matter.”

Their new album Serve will delight the faithful, though, and bring them plenty of new recruits too, at home and on the continent where World Service Project enjoy a cult status.

“We played in France last weekend, and needless to say our sardonic dealing of the Brexit theme got a big round of applause,” added Morecroft.

“That pesky stretch of water between Dover and Calais seems to change a lot in terms of perspective.

“World Service Project has always had some political leanings, but given recent events, this has been amplified into an integral message of the band; we are here to serve.

“We aim for collaboration, compassion and true understanding, and we don’t arrive with any label of preconception of anyone, nor with a banner or flag draped over our shoulders – quite the opposite in fact.”

World Service Project play On the Edge stage at SMSJ Old School Rooms, Lowergate, Clitheroe, on Sunday, May 6th at 3-45pm.

The Ribble Valley International Jazz Festival runs May 3rd - 7th.

For tickets for all events, call 01200 421599 or visit