Monday, February 01, 2016

the latest from Canterbury

I've been a bit slack with this music blogging lately (partly because of energy going into my video blog The Reality Report). So here's a bit of a catchup:

I've missed a few Free Range events in recent weeks (being away, or rehearsing), but this one was good (Tom Jackson, Benedict Taylor and Daniel Thompson on 13th January, a one-off Wednesday event, at Water Lane Cafe):

The next night was three sets of poetry put together with a very large number of visiting poets reading, linked to a new local poetry publication called DATABLEED. The truly amazing improv duo of Jennifer Walshe (higher-dimensional vocalising) and Panos Ghirkas (violin extremism) played a bit at the end of each set, but that hasn't yet shown up on the Free Range Soundcloud stream (all the poetry's there, though, well worth a listen).

There's been a Tuesday night jazz jam at Bramleys (very busy again, with all the students back), also a blues jam — Dulcie and Jules are diversifying to accomodate all the musicians who want to jam — the latter had incredibly wild, raw energy, far from the pedestrian twelve-bar jamming I'd expected... at least when I arrived to hear the amazing Ella Morgan (a New Zealander back in Canterbury after having moved to London, apparently, although I was previously unaware of her). She was backed up by a great crew (including Toby from Lapis Lazuli on bass and busker Sam Brothers on harmonica). Sam played after that, backed up by various friend, but I had to get an early night, so missed the rest of the evening's music.

Binnewith News (the musical theatre project with Tom H, Aidan and Juliet) has been evolving nicely. We tried one rehearsal with Juliet doing live painting via an overhead projector we got, really inspiring stuff, endless possibilities emerging. And Aidan's learning more and more of our repertoire, embellishing everything with beautiful, lush, harmonic colours. We've got two or three gigs in the pipeline, including one with Arlet and The Flowing for the Crash of Moons Club event at Bramleys in March. Should be good.

There was a lovely afternoon with Rosy P (back from the West Country to take her driving test) checking out some exhibitions in town and then going to Evensong in the Cathedral. All the standing up, sitting down and liturgical readings a bit weird, but some celestial Poulenc and Telemann was sung (and some curiously prog-like organ playing!), so it was worth it. The next night (16th January) was Lapis Lazuli at The Lighthouse in Deal. I got a lift in the van with the band and friends, deeply enjoyed two long sets. They played the whole new album — all three pieces! — plus "Hot Water on a Dirty Face" and "Big Bird" from the old days. There had been talk about a third, improvised set, but sadly that didn't transpire. They sounded the best they ever have, each of the five players at the peak of his ability, it seemed. Phil's been practicing his tenor sax a lot, Adam continually amazed me with the fluidity and creativity of his drumming, Toby was mercurial on bass, and the interplay of Dan and Neil on electric guitars was the icing on the cake. Superb in every way!


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