Category Archives: LUME

Summer into Autumn

With multiple things to mention on here, I thought it was about time for a proper blog post rather than the usual snatched update. Sitting outside writing this on a warm but grey day, it really feels like we’re at the tipping point between Summer and Winter; a pretty nice place to be. Autumn is my favourite season and at this point in the year there’s always that feeling that we’re on the edge of it, about to dive in, start a new chapter. For me I think this is mainly a hangover from living in academic year mode for possibly too many years; but music seems to be structured the same way, with lots of people about to start their new seasons after taking a Summer break. There might not be much going on now, but things are about to happen….time to get a new pencil case! And so, with that in mind, this post will attempt to tie up the loose ends of my Summer activities and look forward to imminent Autumn ones.

Manchester Jazz Festival

The trip to Manchester with Madwort Sax Quartet (featuring last minute special guest Dee Byrne) was great fun. The gig was sold out – crazy! – and Tom’s music went down really well with the audience. The plan is to get a proper recording done this year, and I think we all felt inspired after the MJF gig to make it happen. Dee did an amazing job stepping in for Chris Williams at the last minute too. David McLenachan took some photos of us that show the gig’s lovely setting in the Portico Library:

MSQ in the portico 2 MSQ in the porticoTom’s blog post about the gig also features some tiny videos of the performance on Vine, taken by MJF.

That evening I was part of another gig at Soup Kitchen, as the UK leg of the Efpi/Onze Heures Onze collaboration. We played a set with all the French and UK musicians together, and then OXYD (Alexandre Herer’s band) played the second set. It was really nice to do the collaborative set live after meeting a couple of times in a rehearsal setting. There are a couple of videos of the set, taken by Jazz North, which I’ll post soon.

I also managed to catch a lot of other music while I was at the festival, with highlights including Rodrigo Constanzo’s DFScore performance, Dave Kane Quartet (with last minute special guest Nick Malcolm), and Craig Scott’s Lobotomy live show. Steve Mead’s programming at MJF is really great. He isn’t afraid to put on some totally out-there music, even in the main festival pavilion, and judging by all the packed-out gigs his audiences are clearly up for hearing it. If you ever want to go on holiday to a jazz festival, I’d say go to Manchester. The entry charges were really low too, so going to multiple performances didn’t break the bank. Inspirational stuff from a programming point of view, I thought.

Ripsaw Catfish ‘Shoaling’ live recordings

In a bid to try and get on top of some stuff I’ve been neglecting, I’ve finally got around to putting the Ripsaw Catfish ‘Shoaling’ recordings up online. This was our collaborative touring project last November/December, where Anton and I played five gigs around the UK with ad-hoc ‘shoals’ of local musicians. We wrote a set of small compositions (fragments really) and sent them around in advance, with the idea being that the shoal music would be ‘informed by, incorporating or ignoring’ these elements. The results were all completely different – obviously! Have a listen:

Ripsaw Catfish hasn’t had a very busy 2015 so far, although we’ve been playing together a lot in other projects, but we have a couple of things coming up in the Autumn: we’re playing in London at the Zero Wave Club on October 20th and in Birmingham at Fizzle on November 3rd. These will be straight-up, non-shoaling, duo gigs.

Autumn

As well as those Catfish gigs, Word of Moth and Sloth Racket will both re-emerge this Autumn. We’re playing a Word of Moth set at Lancaster Jazz Festival on 20th September as Seth is their artist in residence. Our first Moth festival outing! Before that, we’re appearing at Chris Dowding’s St Paul’s Sessions series in Marylebone on September 4th, sharing the bill with a solo set from the formidable John Butcher! Intense. It will be great to resurrect the Moth; after having a lot of fun doing the first gig in February, Dee and I have been so busy with LUME activities (mainly the tour) that the project has been on the back-burner. I’m writing some new music for it and can’t wait to get stuck in!

Sloth Racket are also out and about in September, playing at Jazz At The Oxford on September 21st. This is the first gig of George Crowley’s ‘Can Of Worms Presents’ series, so we’ll be sharing the bill with them which should be a blast! After that our next outing will be at London Jazz Festival in November, as part of LUME’s plans which haven’t been announced yet….not totally sure why, but I’m sure they will be soon. Anyway, it will be good! Sam Andreae is in Berlin until January, so having two Sloths gigs in that period is amazing.

LUME plans

This is the first Autumn in a while where we won’t be launching into another season of weekly LUME gigs. We decided that the format needed shaking up and streamlining, and that we needed to take an extra-long Summer break, so September and October will be quiet on the LUME front. The ‘LUME Presents’ Vortex residency is starting up again on September 6th, so there will be a couple of gigs happening, but LUME proper will undergo a sort of re-launch in late November. We’ve put in a grant application and plans are underway, but we’re keeping it under our hats for now.  It’s been so nice to take time off and reflect on everything we’ve done in the last two and a bit years, to take stock and then think about what we want to do next. I feel like we’ve been working non-stop for the whole time (and actually, we are working now even though the gigs aren’t running), so this break from the gig routine is very welcome. LUME isn’t dead though….watch this space, all that stuff….we’ll be back!

Live At LUME album and LUME is 2 birthday gig…

Quick post about an exciting week coming up. Firstly, we’re releasing a compilation album called ‘Live At LUME’ to raise money for future LUME activities. All the tracks are recordings made at LUME gigs and donated by the artists. Alex Bonney also donated his time to tidy up and master the album – so although they’re bootlegs, they sound really great! Have a listen below and grab your copy from the Bandcamp page. It was another great excuse for me to do some linocut printmaking too – so there’s a handmade CD edition…

Also happening this week is LUME’s 2nd birthday party/gig! We’re decamping to Hundred Years Gallery on Thursday 9th July for a night of improvised music with a difference. See the (also handmade and involving linocut printmaking) flyer below…

LUME-is-2-e-flyer

LUME On Tour: photos!

I realised I hadn’t really said anything on here about how LUME On Tour with Quadraceratops and Entropi went. It was brilliant! All the gigs were lovely, the logistics went smoothly without any disasters and we all had a lot of fun. After so many months working on the project, it feels a bit mad that it’s all over, but it couldn’t have gone better really, all things considered. Here are a selection of photos, with more to be found on the #LUMEOnTour hashtag.

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LUME On Tour!

Exciting news…Quadraceratops is going on tour! We’ll be on the road with Dee Byrne’s band Entropi, under the banner of ‘LUME On Tour’. Dee is releasing the debut Entropi album too. We’re playing nine dates around the UK; check out the poster below and see if you can make one of the gigs…

LUME On Tour eflyer

Gateshead here we come…

Quick post about my next upcoming project. On Sunday 12th April I’ll be taking Sloth Racket, a brand new band featuring some of my favourite musicians (and favourite people!) to Gateshead International Jazz Festival. Anton Hunter, Sam Andreae, Seth Bennett and Johnny Hunter will be joining me to play some new music that I’ve put together especially for the gig; with a heavy emphasis on improvisation, of course.

We’re sharing the bill with the excellent trio of Rachel Musson, Julie Kjaer and Hannah Marshall, so it promises to be a great evening all round. Tickets are available from the festival website. Our gig is part of Jazz North East’s ‘Women Make Music’ series, supported by PRSF.

It wouldn’t be a new band without a gig at LUME, so we’ll be heading to Long White Cloud on Thursday 16th April for the London leg. Hope to see you there or at Gateshead!

In lieu of a band photo, here’s my sketch of a sloth making a racket.

sloth

Lovely evening at LUME…

Quick post with a couple of photos from the gig at LUME last night. Seth and I played duo, then we joined Backyard Chassis to make a quintet at the end. It was a LOT of fun. As ever, Dee Byrne was live-tweeting the gig and took the following:

sethcath 5.3.15sethcath and backyard chassis 5.3.15

Duo with Seth Bennett: 5th March

On Thursday 5th March at LUME, I’ll be playing a duo set with the excellent bass player Seth Bennett. It’s our first duo gig, and we’ve had some really nice plays so I’m very much looking forward to it. Do come along if you’re free: we’re sharing the bill with Backyard Chassis, which is a trio of Corey Mwamba (vibes), Adam Fairhall (lots of cool and weird keyboards) and Johnny Hunter (drums)! The venue is our usual LUME haunt Long White Cloud, 151 Hackney Road, E2 8JL. It’s two minutes’ walk from Hoxton overground. Here’s a photoshop of me and Seth to help you imagine the gig.

sethcath

Word Of Moth

After nearly two years of running LUME, Dee Byrne and I have decided that it’s time to collaborate on a musical project. We have taken the liberty of booking ourselves in for a gig at Long White Cloud on Thursday 12th February, roped in a couple of our favourite musicians, and named the project Word Of Moth – after a silly misreading while filling in a form (because, you know, we mainly do admin when we’re together).

Seth Bennett, who I first worked with in Anton Hunter’s Article 11 band last year, has agreed to be on bass. He’s great to play with! On drums will be Tom Greenhalgh, who I’ve heard in various different bands including the excellent Vole, but haven’t played with before. I’m very much looking forward to it.

Dee and I will both be bringing some compositions, and there will be lots of space for group improvisation too. If you’re free, come down and hear the results…

Happy 2015! And some gigs…

I’ve just updated my gigs page with some 2015 dates. Lots of fun stuff coming up, starting this Saturday 10th January, with the Raw Tonk Records in-store gig at the awesome tiny record shop Electric Knife in Kentish Town. Anton and I are playing a Ripsaw Catfish set, sharing the bill with Anton Mobin and Benedict Taylor, who also have an album out on Raw Tonk.

Notable things coming up in the first half of this year include the first outing of a new band, Sloth Racket, at the Gateshead International Jazz Festival on April 12th. The festival is happening at The Sage, Gateshead, and we’re sharing the bill with Rachel Musson, Julie Kjaer and Hannah Marshall as part of Jazz North East’s ‘Women Make Music’ series, supported by PRSF. Rachel and I are also giving a workshop on free improvisation

In late May/early June, Dee and I are striking out with our bands for ‘LUME On Tour’. Entropi and Quadraceratops will play double bills around the UK, giving us a chance at the same time to meet lots of other promoters as LUME. We have applied to Arts Council England’s Grants For The Arts scheme and also to the PRSF Open Funding scheme for this, so we’re crossing our fingers that we can make it all happen! Entropi will also be launching their debut album, on the F-IRE Presents label, on the London date of the tour (7th June at the Vortex).

All the dates are on my gigs page, so head over and see what I’m up to. Hope to see you out there somewhere!

Shoaling, Saxoctopus and trio gig

Right then. After a flurry of Quadraceratops activity for LJF, it’s time to put the alto sax back in its case and get the baritone out for the rest of the year! Here’s what the end of 2014 looks like for me…

Ripsaw Catfish: Shoaling tour

Anton and I kicked off our collaborative tour last week, in the form of a totally off-the-hook encounter with Corey Mwamba, Dave Kane and Joshua Blackmore at LUME. We had a great time playing with them and it was a combination of people I’d love to get together again. We have high hopes for the rest of the Shoaling tour now. The dates and the shoals are:

29th November – Open Circuit, Parish Rooms, Ulverston. With Shaun Blezard.

30th November – Blank Canvas, Liverpool. With Mark Hanslip and Johnny Hunter.

13th December – Cafe Bar Marzano’s, Norwich. With Chris Dowding’s brass ensemble ‘Brass Monkeys’.

17th December – The Scope, Brighton. With The Static Memories.

Saxoctopus returns…

In between Shoaling dates, the eight-saxophone monster Saxoctopus is rearing its head for two gigs. We’re playing at the last ‘LUME Presents’ gig of the year at the Vortex, on Sunday 7th December in a double bill with the excellent Alphabets (Hannah Marshall, Nick Malcolm and Lauren Kinsella). Then on Tuesday 9th December we head to Derby to play at Corey Mwamba’s new series ‘The Family Album’. This will be fun….

Trio with Olie Brice and Corey Mwamba

With the octopus safely back in its tank (?), I’ll head directly to Daniel Thompson’s Foley Street concert series for the second meeting of the trio with Corey and Olie. The first one was very enjoyable indeed, so it will be really nice to do it again!

Hope to see you out there somewhere…