Reason Breeds Monsters

About Reason Breeds Monsters

Reason Breeds Monsters are the inventors of "agit-swing", drawing on musical influences from all around the world to create lively songs of social comment and political activism. It grew out of Ben Young's Atheist Advent project, for which he wrote, recorded and uploaded to the Atheist Advent website a new song for every day of Advent.

Who are we?

Photo by Tom Drinkwater tomdrinkwater.com

Ben Young

Guitar, vocals

Ben learned to play guitar from his mother. He used to run Jubilee Scotland, and now he's a trustee of Jubilee Debt Campaign. Ben is the songwriter and creative force behind the band.

Richard Lane

Bass, vocals

Richard has previously played with local bands including Funkate, Conflux and The Monkeywrenchers. He is a prominent local environmental campaigner, and also involved with Fairtrade Yorkshire and the York Fair Trade Forum.

Ginevra House

Violin, musical saw, vocals

Ginevra House is an ethnomusicologist and occasional composer who has spent several years studying music in Japan and India. She mainly plays klezmer and gypsy jazz violin, along with smatterings of Irish and Scottish fiddle and is currently trying to establish herself as York's leading funerary violinist. She also plays piano, Japanese koto and Javanese gamelan, and is currently working on a doctoral thesis on new composition for gamelan in Britain.

Callum Spiers

Drums

As well as being an accomplished and versatile drummer, Callum is a keen pianist and composer. He's just graduated from studying music at the University of York and is wondering what to do next.

John Jacobs

Trumpet

John is a seasoned jazz trumpeter and an established composer, specialising in original works for Javanese gamelan, for which he's imminently going to earn a PhD. He's joined up since Katie's nicked off to India.

Ian Fitzpatrick

Clarinet

Ian finally picked up his clarinet again after abandoning it for ten years. He's currently a researcher with the World Development Movement and also an experimental veg plotter.

Not forgetting...

Our lineup back in 2012:

Catherine Shackell

Bassoon

Catherine is a community musician and the Artistic Director of the All Seasons Orchestra. She studied bassoon with the Northern Sinfonia's Stephen Raey and Manchester Camerata's Laurence Perkins, and was a founder member of the University of York's award-winning Music Education Group, MEG! She has worked with groups across the North and is one half of the piano duo Two for Tea. Read more on her website, catherine.shackell.org.uk.

Katie Mackay

Trumpet

Katie was brought up in a brass banding family and so has played in brass bands, jazz bands and orchestras from a young age. She studied music at York University where she performed with ensembles including the Symphony Orchestra and Jazz Orchestra. She received her BA in 2011. Katie has also taught in Malawi for seven months and backpacked solo, with her trumpet, for three. She's most recently been working for charities in India and Nepal.

Polly Hutchinson

Polly Hutchinson

Co-Bassoonist

Polly joined as maternity cover for Cath Shackell and inevitably we wanted to keep them both. She's an accomplished operatic and jazz singer, also playing saxophone, and is now studying for a Masters degree at UCL.

Past gigs

If you want to get an idea of our gigging history you can find it here.

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More photos

We're not really here for our looks. But if you must...

Playing at the Star and Shadow, Newcastle

Gin, Ben and Beau (standing in on drums) at the Star and Shadow, Newcastle

Playing at the Star and Shadow, Newcastle

Beneath the baking Yorkshire sun at Stillingfleet

RBM at Stillingfleet Beer and Music Festival, May 2013 (with Fabian standing in for Callum)

Reason Breeds Monsters in the Basement Bar, with Ricardo Alvarez guesting on sax

Ben and Gin at Wainsgate Chapel, Hebden Bridge. Photo by the remarkable multi-talented Tom Drinkwater tomdrinkwater.com

Gin at Wainsgate Chapel, Hebden Bridge. Photo by the remarkable multi-talented Tom Drinkwater tomdrinkwater.com

Rich at Wainsgate Chapel, Hebden Bridge. Photo by the remarkable multi-talented Tom Drinkwater tomdrinkwater.com Ian at Wainsgate Chapel, Hebden Bridge. Photo by the remarkable multi-talented Tom Drinkwater tomdrinkwater.com

John at Wainsgate Chapel, Hebden Bridge. Photo by the remarkable multi-talented Tom Drinkwater tomdrinkwater.com Callum at Wainsgate Chapel, Hebden Bridge. Photo by the remarkable multi-talented Tom Drinkwater tomdrinkwater.com