Category Archives: Gigging

New live recordings site, and some Bandcamp recommendations

With all live music off for a while yet, I’m working on a new project that looks back at the gigs I’ve been a part of over the past few years. My hard drives are full of audio from past concerts, and in normal times I hardly ever had time to listen to them. In lockdown, or at least in the rare moments that I’m able to focus on working at something, there’s time to have a good dig around in the files and listen back to some sets. I’ve set up a new Bandcamp site that will act as a kind of scrapbook of old and raw live recordings from my archive. This will be a slow burner, but the first two recordings are up now – a solo set and a duo set with Seth Bennett, both from 2016. All the music on this site will be ‘name your price’, so there’s the option to pay on the door for these old gigs. The money will be split equally between the musicians on the recording.

As you may be aware of from seeing a billion social media posts, Bandcamp are giving artists some extra support during the pandemic by waiving their commission on the first Friday of the month in May, June and July. We have something in the pipeline at Luminous HQ for the July one, so keep an eye out for that. And as today is May 1st, I thought I’d pull together a few recommendations of music to check out and support some artists close to my heart…

Article XI – Live In Newcastle (Discus) / Anton Hunter – LUME Kestrel Online

I’m proud to be a member of Anton’s large ensemble, and it’s great to see a second release out there. This live album was recorded on our double bill large ensemble tour in 2017, at the mighty Bridge Hotel in Newcastle for Jazz North East. Featuring two previously unrecorded Anton Hunter originals! Anton is also releasing a brand new track TODAY, made in lockdown, with lots of us playing and a kestrel drawing by me…

Bathing Trio – Stretford – Bromley-by-Bow – Peckham

The excellent trio of Sam Andreae, Otto Willberg and David Birchall are making tracks together live over the interwebs. This is one of several improvised lockdown sets they’ve published so far…

Deemer – Live at the Vortex (Luminous)

Dee and Merijn are currently working on something new for Luminous, but check out this live set from 2016 if you haven’t already.

Kodian Trio – Live In Leeds (Raw Tonk)

The latest slice of Kodian Trio goodness on Raw Tonk Records, recorded by Chris Sharkey at LS6 Cafe.

Ti/om – The Narrow Road to the Deep North (Madwort Records)

This is a pretty special release, several years in the making. Ti/om went to the Isle of Eigg in 2016, staying in a bothy together for a week and recording these pieces. It’s lovely to see them surfacing now on Madwort Records.

Johnny Hunter – Pale Blue Dot (Northern Contemporary)

A four movement sextet suite by Johnny Hunter, recorded at the Lescar in Sheffield. A gig I wished I could have attended! The fourth release on the excellent Northern Contemporary label.

Venue fundraisers

It’s a very challenging time for music venues right now for obvious reasons, and they need our support if we are able. Hundred Years Gallery and the Vortex both have fundraiser Bandcamp sites, Martin Clarke’s oem label is raising money for Arch 1, and IKLECTIK has a page of fundraising music on its website. Here are some starting points…

Off Bandcamp, you could always become a digital member of Cafe Oto and support them while treating yourself to a year of amazing downloads.

I’m finding it hard to engage with the online world, and with everything that’s going on around us in the real world I’m struggling to even think about being creative. We all have to do what we do to get through this! I hope you find some sounds you love in this post, and that we can all be back out there listening to and playing live music again soon.

Trio with Han-earl Park and Alex Bonney

A very nice gig and first time trio meeting coming up on 22nd March at Hundred Years Gallery. I’ll be playing a set with Han-earl Park and Alex Bonney, as part of Ti/om’s album launch for their new release on Madwort Records, ‘The Narrow Road to The Deep North’. It’s an afternoon gig, with doors at 3.30pm. Come along….more info is on the Hundred Years Gallery site.

Here’s Tom’s lovely description of the Ti/om album:

‘The Narrow Road to the Deep North…documents [our] 2016 residency in a bothy on the Isle of Eigg, off the west coast of Scotland. [We] stayed for a week in winter, looking out over the mountains of Rhum; playing together and alone, walking in the hills, and meditating on the relation of music to place, and the process of inspiration. The music seeks an expression of personal responses to Eigg, to the wildness and the quietude both, to inhabit in the music the same emotional spaces as entered into on the island; trying to play in such a way that feels consonant with the state of being out on the hill.’

BRÅK Festival of Improvised Music

Happening in a couple of weeks’ time is the inaugural BRÅK Festival of Improvised Music, a.k.a BRÅKFest! We’re taking a trip outside of our normal beer shop setting and pitching up at Hundred Years Gallery for an all-dayer packed full of exciting improvisers. There are two sessions, afternoon and evening, with tickets on sale for both the whole day and each session separately. Head to the Musicglue tickets page to buy yours.

In a tip of the hat to our usual BRÅK format at waterintobeer Colin, Tom and I each booked a group to play as well as organising a lineup to play in ourselves. I invited Sam Andreae, Hannah Marshall and Alison Blunt for my guest group, and my own set will be with Dee Byrne and Craig Scott; a first time meeting! I’m looking forward to finding out what happens when the three of us play together.

See the poster below for full info on the festival. I’m really into the fact that it’s happening on a LEAP DAY, 29th February, so come and join us for a once-in-four-years experience…

Duo with Benedict Taylor – now Alex Bonney!

Update: Benedict has had to pull out of the gig duo to injury :-(( But, Martin Clarke has sorted out an excellent new collaborator for me…Alex Bonney! We had a great time playing together at BRÅK in December, so I’m looking forward to doing it again. Get well soon Benedict!

Quick post to alert you to a last-minute gig! I’m playing a duo set with Benedict Taylor this Friday 14th February at Hundred Years Gallery. It’s part of an album launch night organised by Martin Clarke for his label oem. Info on the flyer below….

Trio date and BRÅK Festive Special

A lovely couple of mid-December gigs coming up. On Friday 13th December it’s the return of my trio with Otto Willberg and Tullis Rennie, this time at Hundred Years Gallery:And then the next night, Saturday 14th December, it’s the last BRÅK of 2019 at waterintobeer! With a host of Yuletide guests….

Come one, come all, to hear some improvised music this festive season…

LUME back on the Barbican freestage

This Sunday 23rd November sees the return of LUME to the Barbican Centre! As part of London Jazz Festival 2019 we’re presenting two trio sets starting at 5pm:

Rachel Musson, Andrew Lisle and Cath Roberts: the second outing of our new double-sax trio.

Deemer + 1: Dee Byrne’s long-running duo with sound artist Merijn Royaards is joined by special guest Johnny Hunter.

It will be great to play there again: we had such a great day doing the LUME Freestage in 2015 (which you can read about in the archives).  Join us in the foyer for some fresh improvised music!

Afterwards I’ll be heading straight down to Brockley for the November BRÅK, where I’m playing duo with Johnny Hunter. The full lineup is on our website…why not round off your day with some beer shop-based improv?

IMPETUS GROUP

At Hundred Years Gallery on Sunday 17th November: the first meeting of Dirk Serries’ new ensemble IMPETUS GROUP. Dirk has been inspired to put this group together by Derek Bailey’s Company group, Iskra 1903 and John Stevens’ Spontaneous Music Ensemble. It’s a great lineup that I’m happy to be a part of:

Saxophones : Alan Wilkinson, Cath Roberts, Martin Clarke
Bass Clarinet/Flute : Tom Ward
Trumpet : Charlotte Keeffe
Acoustic Guitars : Daniel Thompson, Dirk Serries
Double Bass : Otto Willberg
Cello : Hannah Marshall
Viola : Benedict Taylor

It’s an afternoon gig, with doors at 3.30pm. More info about the concert is on the HYG site, and you can read more about Dirk’s projects on the website of his label A New Wave Of Jazz.

Two nice gigs this week

Quick post about two nice gigs coming up this week, both of which have lovely flyers.

On Tuesday 1st October I’m playing a trio set with Steve Noble and Otto Willberg at SET, Dalston. Otto has organised this gig and there’s a duo of Yoni Silver and Sharon Gal on the other side of the bill…should be an excellent evening.

Then on Saturday 5th October I’m playing at another SET space, this time their project space in Lewisham. I’ll be in duo with Charlotte Keeffe, as part of the first ever edition of the s10c series, organised by Sam Andreae and Mio Ebisu. Two other sets full of lovely people at this gig, plus an exhibition of Mio’s paintings, and food!