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.
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.