We’re getting close to the day when Spinningwork, a quartet that so far has only played online, will finally gather in the same room! Our set at Newcastle Festival Of Jazz And Improvised Music 2021 will also be the recording of our forthcoming album on the New Jazz And Improvised Music Recordings label attached to the festival. Tickets for our set are on sale now.
Ripsaw Catfish has a couple of live dates coming up this month, our first since pre-pandemic times. We’re at the Hexagon Theatre at the mac, Birmingham on 23rd September, sharing the bill with Richard Foote’s Double Trombone Quintet for TDE Promotions. After that we head to Manchester to play for NQ Jazz on 26th September, soundtracking the 1924 soviet sci-fi film Aelita: Queen of Mars for their film night.
Between those two gigs we’re going into the studio to record our third album for Raw Tonk Records. The label will be celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2022, and this release will be part of a batch of Raw Tonk Ten Years albums. During lockdown Anton and I have been experimenting with bringing my tabletop synths and objects into the Catfish setup, and I’m looking forward to continuing these explorations in the same room as each other…
Coming up on Friday 6th August, a duo set with Dee at s10c. This is the gig series attached to the Lewisham studio that I share with Sam Andreae, Mio Ebisu, Tom Ward and Hannah Marshall. Hannah, Sam and Mio put on a lovely gig in the space in 2019, so it’s great to see them starting up again. And the first gig for Dee and I for a long time too! The programme is still developing, so keep an eye on the website so see which artists will be involved.
It’s been a while! LUME is back, putting on gigs again in London. Our first outing is a pair of dates at Hundred Years Gallery, where we haven’t hosted a gig since December 2017. Three sets of improvised music in July and August, featuring a whole bunch of our favourite people…
Places are limited, so email the venue to reserve your place (pay on the door when you arrive).
More about the artists can be found on the LUME website, where you’ll also find a refreshed archive of all our gigs and projects since 2013. It was amazing to go through it all while working on the site….quite a list of stuff.
A nice gig for the Autumn has just been announced. I’m part of Spinningwork, a collaborative quartet that has been playing monthly on JackTrip during the pandemic. Tom Ward, Olie Brice, Johnny Hunter and I initially had a one-off online jam organised by Johnny, but it soon became something that met regularly. All the members are bringing compositions, and we’re now working towards an album, out in 2022 on New Jazz and Improvised Music Recordings.
The album will be recorded live at The Black Swan Venue Space, Newcastle Arts Centre as part of Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music 2021. How exciting to be going up to Newcastle for a gig again – it will be the first time in a long while. Tickets are on sale for the gig: it would be great if you could join us for this special live recording.
Quick post about a livestream gig I’m doing next Monday, 7th June. A trio set with Tom Ward and Tullis Rennie for City, University of London! We’ll be playing some City students’ compositions along with our own improvised trio music. Head to the City website for details of how to tune in, as well as info on the rest of their Summer Sounds concert season.
The next installment of my gig recordings Bandcamp site is up: a duo with Andrew Cheetham from last year at BRÅK. I think it was the first time we’d played together! Dirk Serries recorded, mixed and mastered this one.
Corey Mwamba has just released a recording I found in my archives, of his piece New Dark Art played by a special sax quartet forwed for the occasion. We did two performances of the piece in May 2015, one in London and one in Derby. This recording is of the London date, a LUME gig at Long White Cloud on 14th May.
The quartet was all Eb saxophones. I was on baritone along with Colin Webster; Tom Ward and Chris Williams were on altos. A really nice project!
If you head over to Corey’s Bandcamp site you can download the release, and subscribe to the site for access to tons more music.
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.
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.’