Tomorrow, we re-group to start rehearsing for the upcoming November gigs. It should be larks and I just wrote a big round-robin email to spread the word. You probably know all this, but it reads:
Hope you’re all well. Welcome to the second ever Quadraceratops mailing list email, here to let you know about our upcoming activities in November. We have two London dates:
London Jazz Festival @ Jazz Cafe, 17th November
First up, I’m excited to say that we’re part of the London Jazz Festival this year! On Saturday 17th November, Quadraceratops will support Get The Blessing at the Jazz Cafe, Camden. We’re looking forward to playing at this top venue, and it should be a lovely night – also featuring DJ Dom Servini (Wah Wah 45s). There’s more info and tickets at the Jazz Cafe’s website and the Jazz Festival’s website….plus, I’ve heard on the grapevine that there will be some sort of cheap ticket list, so drop me a reply if you’d like to know more about that. It promises to be a lot of fun and we’d love to see you there.
Jazz @ The Waterline, 22nd November
When we’ve calmed down after all the festival excitement, we’ll be playing at the Waterline bar in Dalston on Thursday 22nd November. This will be a more intimate, chilled affair and our two sets will hopefully include some new material that I’m currently working on. If you can’t make it to the Jazz Cafe or (ideally) you can and you’d like to hear more of us, come down and say hello: we’ll be starting at about 8.30pm.
You might notice at the these gigs that the band looks slightly different – I’ve got a special November line up as a couple of the Quadraceratopsians have other commitments this month, so you’ll be hearing Chris Snead (trumpet), Andrew Woolf (tenor sax) and Jason Simpson (bass) guesting at one or both gigs. Tom Ward will be wielding the baritone sax too. Thanks guys!
If you’d like to receive these kind of emails from me in the future, drop me a line on hello[at]cathrobertsmusic.co.uk. Some day there will be a ‘sign up to the mailing list’ type link, but I’m kind of saving it for a rainy day.
In a flurry of Friday afternoon excitement, I’ve just managed to confirm that Quadraceratops will be doing a gig as part of the London Jazz Festival. We’ll be supporting Get The Blessing on November 17th at the Jazz Cafe in Camden. More information and links to follow as I get them…
So, the surprise gig mini-cluster happened and it was a lot of fun. Here follows a brief writeup with the obligatory grainy phone photos.
The Madwort Sax Quartet gig at the Salisbury on Sunday came out of the blue, when another band had to drop out. With only a few days to go we found ourselves on the bill with the Euan Palmer Quartet, who were coming down from Birmingham for the gig. Tom called a rehearsal on Sunday afternoon, then we all ate a Thai curry and headed up to the venue. I was a little bit concerned about audience numbers, as we’d only had a couple of days to roll out the aggressive marketing campaign (I even attempted a group text – accidentally sent it twice), but actually I needn’t have worried because there was a nice turnout. The Salisbury gig seems to have a regular crowd now (people were saying that our gig was a typical one in terms of numbers), and it was great to play to a room of ‘randoms’ along with some of our friends who’d come to check out the band. The set went well and the audience seemed to be into Tom’s music. The group definitely works in a live context, which is good to know (!) – and this was without straying into the realm of group improv. We found that we’d internalised all the tunes from the recording in July – they were definitely still ‘in there’ after a month off. All in all, a successful debut I reckon! Tom seemed really pleased.Next up was last night’s Quadraceratops SE Collective gig at the Amersham Arms, down in New Cross. I had originally planned to have some new material ready for this gig, but didn’t manage to finish anything in time. It ended up being a good thing though, in a way, as we spent some rehearsal time the day before working on opening out the existing tunes. Again, I was worried we might play to an empty room, but was proven happily wrong for a second time! There was a very friendly little crowd complete with load clapping and whooping, and the band seemed to go down really well. I even had some ego-boosting compliments about the writing afterwards. The SE Collective guys are a lovely bunch and the back room at the Amersham, usually pretty huge, becomes a nice intimate venue thanks to a velvety jazz curtain. Also, the sound on stage was great, without any mics. Best gig so far I think, and gig number four. Here’s Kitty Ward’s photo of us, our music helpfully illuminated by the atmospheric and homely stage lamp…Luke and Dave are there too; you just can’t see them.
I’m in the middle of sorting out the next few Quadraceratops gigs, so I should have something to post up about one of them soon. I’m also going to be getting down to work on some new tunes, to extend the set and give us a bit of flexibility. Nice as our adopted Zappa tune is (‘Blessed Relief’), it would be good to have two full sets of my own stuff. So. Onwards!
In a sudden flurry of gig activity, both Quadraceratops and the Madwort Sax Quartet are playing in the next five days. SE Collective is hosting the Quad on Tuesday 4th September, and before that Tom’s quartet is making its debut appearance at Jazz @ The Salisbury on Sunday 2nd September.
Last night we assembled the band to play at Floripa for The Jazz Meet. We were up against the Olympics (including the beach volleyball event I think!), so there weren’t so many people around for the first set, but an enthusiastic bunch turned up for the second set and seemed to like what they heard. Rob Coley played all sorts of jazz and funk delights during between sets – a perfect soundtrack to catching up with some friends and family who had come down to the gig. Sadly I didn’t take a single photo, not even of the giant parrots on the venue walls, so this post is image-less, but if you pop down to Floripa for a cocktail you’ll see the tropical vibes they’ve got going on. It’s a nice room to play in and we had fun – big thanks to Rob and The Jazz Meet for having us along. There was even some mailing list sign-up action, so I should get on with setting that up.
The next Quadraceratops gig is going to be at the Amersham Arms in New Cross, for SE Collective. They’ve been hosting weekly Tuesday night gigs for about a year, putting on loads of great bands from South East London and beyond. It will be really nice to play there, so come down if you’re around…our gig is on Tuesday 4th September.
Last night the members of Quadraceratops converged in Manchester (from various other gigs around the country) for a really nice gig at Sandbar. We were hosted by Efpi Records at their Freedom Principle night, which I thoroughly recommend you check out if you ever find yourself in Manchester on the first or third Tuesday of the month. Everyone from Efpi and Sandbar were super friendly, and a lovely audience turned out to hear the band. It was a perfect second outing for the Quad and a great night all round!
Over the bank holiday weekend I also decided it would be a good idea to make a live EP from some of the tunes we played at the Forge gig, and so with the help of a team of ‘volunteers’ (read: unsuspecting family members) I made a short run of CDs to take to Manchester. They went down really well, with six out of the ten copies (I was short on materials!) snapped up at the gig. More are now available, along with downloads, at our new Quadraceratops Bandcamp page…head over and see what you think.
All in all, a thoroughly good long weekend without a river pageant in sight. I look forward to a return trip sometime, perhaps as some kind of northern mini-tour…*schemes*.