At the end of April we spent an amazing few days at the jazzahead! jazz trade show in Bremen, Germany where we were one of almost 100 bands and artists invited to perform a showcase in front of over 2000 delegates from all over the world. You can watch our showcase set here courtesy of ARTE Live Web, along with some of the other artists who performed as part of the European Jazz Meeting series of gigs – they’re all definitely worth checking out! Thanks to all at jazzahead! for having us, and also massive thanks to the PRS for Music Foundation for supporting our trip to Bremen through their British Music Abroad funding programme.
There’s some photos from the trip over on our photo gallery, with some choice ones also below – I particularly like the one of Django Bates looking a bit scared following a conversation with Sam Healey… There’s also a cool video made by Ben Watte with even more behind the scenes footage, often fuelled by copious amounts of always excellent German beer.
While we were in Bremen we were also really pleased to be asked to be part of the GREAT Britain MINI Tour, an initiative organised by the British Embassy in Berlin to promote British trade in Germany. For those wondering, we managed to fit 12 and a half of us inside the mini, without causing too much damage to the car… We also played a bit whilst inside/on top of/around the mini, check it out below! Featuring additional car horn courtesy of Simon Lodge’s foot
mini photos and video copyright Bodo Brüsehaber, British Embassy
Last week we had a really nice evening at the Parliamentary Jazz Awards hosted by the one and only Moira Stuart in London, where we were chuffed to be nominated for Ensemble of the Year – we didn’t win this time but (and I know this is a cliche but its true) just to be nominated in a category of three alongside bands of the calibre of The Impossible Gentlemen and Troyka was a huge honour. Congratulations to The Impossible Gentlemen on their award – check out Mike’s typically Northern acceptance speech here!
The nominees for the awards were selected by a panel from nominations made initially by an open public vote – in other words, we were only there in the first place because one or more of YOU put us forward for the award so thank you!
We’re also really pleased to have been nominated for another award, this time in the Big Band category of the British Jazz Awards which will be announced in July. This time the winners themselves are determined by a public vote – you know what to do… Ta!
It may have been a while since we went over to Dublin to play at the 12 Points festival but I’ve finally got round to posting some more photos from the gig over on our photo gallery! My ones are mostly of people with pints of Guinness but all of the live ones are courtesy of festival blogger Cathy Hogan, who also got some great shots of the rest of the festival – check out her blog to take a look at those…
There are also some videos now online from every single performance, and below you can see us perform jazzwalk. Check out some of the other bands on the 12 Points youtube channel – everything was amazing but in particular you should check out Mopo from Finland (featuring Efpi’s Eero Tikkanen), Soil Collectors from Sweden, Hanna Paulsberg Concept from Norway and Koenig Leopold from Austria.
Thanks again to everyone at 12 Points for having us, we hope to be back in Ireland soon!
As part of Radio 3′s Top of the Baroque campaign for Comic Relief, Jazz on 3 host Jez Nelson is championing Bach’s Goldberg Variations as the best Baroque piece and he asked us to arrange our own variation to help him prove it – a request we were more than happy to oblige! The battle will be fought live on air on Radio 3 throughout the day this Friday (15th March) and you can support Jez in his campaign and (more importantly) support Comic Relief here.
You can hear our variation below, and download it if you like it! Any donations made will of course be donated to Comic Relief – but any donations made via our Bandcamp site are subject to charges from Bandcamp and Paypal so we recommend you download the track for free by entering £0 in the box and then donating directly here so that Comic Relief can get 100% of your donation. Thanks and enjoy!
Photos by Anthony Brown.
So (as it says above) its been a pretty good few weeks for us – in chronological order:
- we won the Best UK Newcomer award at the inaugural Jazz FM Awards in London at the end of January! It was a really great night and we were chuffed to be amongst a rather impressive list of winners… Here’s a photo of the award itself taken minutes after we’d won it (amongst a lot of wine glasses), and a photo of us all with the award at our rehearsal the week after
- we played our first gig of the year in Lancaster on February 7th which was a really nice one, thanks to all who came along! The first gig of the year is always pretty exciting as we look ahead to all the stuff we’ve got planned for the months ahead, and I promise there’s plenty in store… Watch this space
- finally we all had an amazing time in Ireland over this past weekend at the 12 Points festival in Dublin. Its a really amazing festival with 12 emerging bands from all over Europe playing and hanging out, and it was great to hear so much cool new music and meet so many lovely new people. The gig itself was really fun, the audiences over all 4 days of the festival were really receptive and open to such a wide variety of music. Thanks everyone at 12 Points for having us, we hope to come back to Ireland very soon! Here’s us on stage (taken from the 12 Points blog) and the obligatory picture of Graham and Fin with some Guinness – more from the weekend to come in a separate post soon…
We feel very lucky, thank you all x
Just a reminder that we’ve got our first gigs of 2013 coming up over the next couple of weeks – firstly we’re up in Lancaster on Thursday February 7th for our first gig in the North of England for ages, and then its over to Dublin to take part in the really exciting 12 Points festival! We’ll be playing on the festival’s last night (Saturday 16th) but if you’re in town you should really check out the whole week from Wednesday 13th – check out the video below for a sneak peek of what’s in store…
Just before Christmas we made our first trip to France to play a couple of nights in Paris – firstly as orchestre de cérémonie for TSF Jazz‘s You, the Night and the Music event at l’Olympia, and then a couple of shows at the really lovely Duc des Lombards club (that’s us all above after the second gig). We had an amazing time at both venues and it was great to see a bit of Paris in the daytime too – thanks to everyone at TSF Jazz and Duc des Lombards for inviting us over and for their help making this all happen!
There’s a few more photos below and lots more on our photo gallery – also our saxophonist Ben Watte made a little video with some more unseen photos and a little clip from the live radio broadcast from the Olympia…