The Sorrow And The Pity


…call it protest music for obsessive-compulsives.

Allan MacInnis (Georgia Straight) – May 2010

With songs about complicity, coercion, and counting, The Sorrow And The Pity have enamoured and disturbed audiences alike. They were among several local groups featured in the May 2008 issue of The Wire, in the Global Ear: Vancouver article.  In 2010 they were a headliner for the annual Vancouver Fake Jazz/Noise Not Noise Festival, which also included KK Null, Shearing Pinx, Giorgio Magnanensi, and many others.  The S&P have since released their second album How Many Is That? on the Soldier Pumps label.

Dave R. Bastarde – Drums and Vocals
Darren Williams – Tenor Saxophone



How Many Is That? reviewed in the Georgia Straight:

Take Sunny Murray’s free-jazz drum stylings, mutate ’em through hardcore punk, slather ’em with Albert Ayler–esque saxophone bleats, and subordinate the whole thing to manic faux-loony rants involving castration, the binary nature of doughnuts, and the evils of the “system”.  (And the support system that supports it, and the support system that supports the support system, and the support system support system support system that supports the support system support system, which, no shit, is a lyrical theme explored at length here.)

You then have a pretty good idea of what to expect from improv-punk ironists the Sorrow and the Pity, though you’ll still be missing key references to humiliation, persecution, the Heimlich manoeuvre, the cleansing of window blinds, and Allen Ginsberg’s Howl. These guys—saxophonist Darren S. Williams and drummer/vocalist Dave R. Bastard—are as fun as spiked punch live, but this particular record is pushing the envelope of actual psychic disturbance, with Mr. Bastard’s lyrical rants pacing frustrated ruts of such circularity that you start to feel a bit trapped. Which is probably the desired effect; call it protest music for obsessive-compulsives. But, I gotta confess, it kind of hurts my head.

Allan MacInnis (Georgia Straight) – May 2010


The Sorrow And The Pity’s first recording is still available on Oscillation Of Pressure Recordings, at

The Sorrow And The Pity is the duo of Dave R. Bastarde on Drums and Vocals with Tenor Saxophonist Darren Williams.  They mix elements of free jazz skronk with punk rock plus amusing and wonderful collections of yelled and spoken words.  They have been performing regularly within both the free jazz/improv and noise scenes in Vancouver.

The Sorrow and the Pity was discussed in a Global Ear article in the Wire (May 08) as well as having an mp3 featured on the Wire website that month.  Most of the tracks clock in at under a minute. 9 songs in less than 12 minutes.  Darren Williams has performed with Mats Gustafsson, Ab Baars, Eugene Chadbourne and Han Bennink. Dave R. Bastarde only exists in the Sorrow and the Pity. He looks a lot like someone else who is known as a double-bassist and composer.

Shane Krause (Oscillation of Pressure) – September 2010

For more information please visit:

The Institute For The Study Of Advanced Musical Research

The Sorrow And The Pity Bandcamp page