Sunday, 11 October 2015


As always, I've left it ages since the last post, so straight in with, in no particular order, what I've been doing: 

Blank Canvas @ the Ship & Mitre 

Phil Morton and I have been curating this bi-monthly night in Liverpool together for the last 18 months or so and it's felt like growing in the last 6 or so.  In the last year we've had the pleasure of putting the following gigs on: 

November 2014: Ripsaw Catfish (Anton Hunter and Cath Roberts) + me/Johnny Hunter duo + 'Shoaling' quartet set.  Recording of the quartet set along with others from RC's tour here, and you can hear my duo set with Johnny here

January 2015 (one-off at Bluecoat Arts Centre): Trio 876 (Jean-Michel van Schouwburg / Matthias Boss / Marcello Magliocchi) + Huddersfield Trio (Mark Hanslip / Phil Morton / Phillip Marks) 

March: Hugs Bison (Shaun Blezard / Phil Powell) + Phil Morton solo + HowlingBeast (Andrew Leslie Hooker / Christof Spanring) 

May: Bark! (Phillip Marks / Paul Obermayer / Rex Casswell) + Anoikis II (Andrew Leslie Hooker / Melissa Pasut), videos of Bark!'s set (featuring audio lovingly recorded by me) here

July: Shepherds of Cats + Panelak + Hanslip/Willberg/Cheetham 

September: Malchamech (Phil Hargreaves / Richard Harrison / Richard Harding) + Phil Morton solo + Caroline Kraabel solo 

November 1st will see us hosting THF Drenching (dictaphone + dog toys) plus the return of the Huddersfield Trio (me, Phillip Marks and Phil Morton)

January (date TBC) will mark the return of Hanslip/Willberg/Cheetham oh yes

Recordings with Ed Gauden + friends

I've started playing regularly with a young Shropshire-based drummer called Ed Gauden, and he's being remarkably pro-active on the recording front - so far we've done a quartet session with Colin Somervell (bass) and Noura Sanatian (violin), and a trio with fantastic guitarist Barry Edwards, both of which should hopefully emerge at some point.  We're also doing some jazz standards gigs in Autumn, see Diary page for details. 

Trio gigs with Otto Willberg and Andrew Cheetham 

In July I did run of gigs with 2 top Manchester players, one at my old Birmingham haunt Fizzle (now run very capably by Andrew Woodhead), one at Freedom Principle (run by efpi boss Ben Cottrell and Anton Hunter) and one at aforementioned Blank Canvas, all really well attended, well received and, well, good.  Working towards a recording now, more soon, in the meantime here's a chunk of our Liverpool gig:

DIY recordings at Lancaster Baptist Church 

February, April and August have seen sessions with Stephen Grew (piano) and Alexander Cutteridge (laptop), joined by guitarist Ed Afraux in August, which I expect will be cobbled together into a release before long.  These sessions have been my first steps into DIY recordings, with a not-unexpected amount of trial and error, but they've turned out really well and it's been dead interesting to learn about the engineering side, especially having been in studios for so long on the playing side.  It's an interesting group to play with, Alex's laptop creates an unusual amount of static space which really contrasts with Stephen's more vertical and unpredictable style, the two different sound worlds work together really nicely.  

Here's a piece from the April session:

Twelves - Strange Folk album release 

Truth be told, I don't know when this is happening, but I'm assured it's soon, all the artwork and mixing/mastering is completed so news should be out there in the autumn, with the album being released on the Babel Label.  In the meantime, a preview track from the record: 

Fluid Structures

Back, with a rhetorical flourish, to Liverpool - Phil Morton and I have been working hard on a soundtrack for a dance film created by Michelle Richards (and featuring Martin Shead who works frequently with Cheshire Dance) under the working title of Fluid Structures.  It's a great piece and I've really enjoyed working on it (we even made a graphic score and everything) - I will post an update on the finished article, but in the meantime you can watch a preview which was televised on (local free view channel) Bay TV Liverpool's Arts Alive show here and you can see some pics of the filming here