Nelson Parade at Free Range
Mrs. Jones' Kitchen
This was to be the last ever Free Range event at Mrs. Jones'. As well as being the effective launch of the new Free Range Records label (with the release of their first title, Jack Hues & The Quartet's A Thesis on the Ballad), this featured the live debut of Nelson Parade, the new solo project of Callum Magill, the keyboard player from local prog rock quartet The Boot Lagoon. He played a pair of epic compositions (recently recorded and soon to be released on Free Range Records), "Sunrise"/"Moonrise", which I can't even begin to describe. I knew he was a good pianist, but the emotional depth of the composition was quite astonishing. Although I've never really "got" them, the experience of hearing these pieces reminded me of how other people talk about Keith Jarrett's Köln concert recording. There were definitely Canterbury pastoral-prog elements, a lot of classical and jazz influences, a lot of Callum playing in his characteristically aggressive percussive style (at one point he seemed to be making this grand piano sound like a Moog, just by the way he was hitting the keys!), and at one point towards the end of "Moonrise" the music had a kind of "nervous breakdown", collapsing in on itself in the most astonishing way. I was seriously impressed, look forward to seeing where he takes this
I had to miss the The Quartet performance, as Tom Holden and I had planned the first in a series of microgigs (sort of under the name "Binnewith News", or maybe "Binnewith Gnus" or "Binnewith Nous" or ...), this one being in his front room for an audience of six. The idea is to play gigs small enough that everyone present can get to know each other. We were a bit under-rehearsed, and I wasn't that happy with a lot of my playing, but here's a partial recording:
Since then, I'm happy to report, Aidan from Arlet has joined us on accordion. Only three reheasals so far, but it's like the music has gone from black-and-white to colour. He's already written up some of our pieces as sheet music — quite strange to see tunes I've made up rendered as what looks like "proper", and rather complicated-looking musical notation (I read music proficiently for about seven years as a French horn player in the '80s, but that ability has completely gone now).