Thursday, 23 October 2008

Bellowhead Bellowsession

I keep forgetting to say: Pat and I went to London's South Bank on September 21st where there was a huge food festival going on around the Festival Hall to join in with a session with the most impressive Bellowhead, where I had a chance to chat with Andy the trumpet player at some length (mostly complaining about how hard it is to pick up their stab-filled brass lines) and even catch a few moments of their rehearsal as they let us leave our instruments in their room at the Festival Hall.

Pat was rocking the flute for portability reasons, and I was playing trumpet or bodhran depending on whether the key was manageable for improv - and we brought along a few friends for the party including the folkier-by-the-day Rachel Marshall on clarinet and swooning duty.

I had the wonderful opportunity to spend a couple of minutes chatting with every single member of bellowhead as I put one of our demos into each of their talented mitts, so I hope one or two of them listened to it.




I also kept saying 'hopefully see you on the festivals circuit next year'. Ahem. Well, you never know, right? Perhaps on the strength of the new album!

And I gave a CD to a youngish man who wanted to start a morris dancing troupe in Reading and was thinking that Smokey Bastard could be his band, or he could maybe come do some one-man-morris at some of our gigs. Stangely enough having had an opportunity to listen to our CD I don't think he's tried to contact us - I wonder why ever not?

Vaguely on this note, just because I enjoy splashing bands about here are some groups and bands I am currently enjoying, both old discoveries and new

Bellowhead (Old favourites: always a good sign when 'plays' outnumber 'profile views' on myspace. going to see them at Koko on the 30th!)

Let's Tea Party (something of a wild card, saw them play with Portland Rise last weekend)

The High Kings (These guys are a bit too slick and moneyspinning, but their 'Rocky Road To Dublin' is by far the best I've heard it done, heard it on Radio 2's wednesday evening folk program)

Terrafolk (These guys are utterly, utterly spectacular live but a bit so-so on these recordings, nonetheless you can not afford to miss their surreal version of 'You Are My Sunshine')

Bad Science (These guys have been in my top five for years and probably will be for a long time, might try and get to see them at the Southampton Soul Cellar on the 28th.)

Rachel Unthank and the Winterset (Thanks to Rachel Garforth for this one, wide eyed child winter folk, can't decide about the music on the myspace really, but it's intriguing - and if you can find 'Blue's Gaen Oot O'the Fashion' anywhere, it's brilliant.)

Jackson Jackson (If you loved loved loved The Cat Empire like I did, don't assume you'll like their trumpet player/singer Harry's side project, which is brilliant but utterly different. Listen out for an unexpected folk traditional in 'Cats, Rats and Pidgeons'!)


Ed, Will and Ginger a-walking-o (Mike found this one and Carrie showed me, it's Coope, Boyes and Simpson - esque, but with a bit more youth and poshness to it)


-Alex

1 comment:

Chris said...

The High Kings are one of the worst bands I've EVER heard. Seriously the worst versions of some perfectly good folk songs, ESPECIALLY The Black Velvet Band. I mean.....what the fuck?