Big Band Scene (July 2017)

  

Patrick Billingham reviews recent big band gigs at The Brunswick, The Round Georges and B.O.A.T..

 That’s another election out of the way. My thanks to all who responded to my plea to register to vote and then to use it. Now back to the real world where the big band Summer season is starting to take off.

    The Big Band@Brunswick slot for June was occupied by the Studio 9 Orchestra. Their repertoire, including music from Radiohead, Ken Wheeler and Maria Schneider was, as ever, immaculately performed and was enjoyed by a slightly less than capacity audience.

    Earlier that weekend, a new venue for the Brighton Big Band was the Round Georges pub in Kemp Town.  The audience, many of whom had not previously experienced a live big band, were very appreciative of the music ranging from Glenn Miller, through Basie and Nestico to unarguably jazz charts with many opportunities for soloing. In this area, two octogenarians in the front line showed that age is no impediment to energetic and inventive improvisation. A return here is likely in the Autumn. Meanwhile, the band is this month’s Big Band@Brunswick offering.

    In the middle of the month, the Sussex Jazz Orchestra returned to The Roebuck Inn at Laughton, near Lewes. Much of the programme consisted of numbers written or arranged by members of the band. At the start, the audience was in single figures. But the energy and enthusiasm of the performance soon attracted people from the other bars.

    Terry Pack’s Trees were back at the Ropetackle Arts Centre in Shoreham towards the end of the month to launch their CD. Which, as I found out, by buying an advance copy, comes with a DVD containing a bonus track.  This time there were, by my count, 35 musicians on stage.  And as mentioned in my review in March (SJM 62), the overall sound texture of this phenomenal band has been improved by increased amplification of the voices.

    A couple of days later, Trees played the first set at the third annual ‘Sunday in the Park with Jazz’ at B.O.A.T., the Brighton Open Air Theatre. There were some changes in personnel, and only 29 musicians on stage, but still sounding great.  They were followed by The One World Orchestra, with a more conventional big band line-up, playing Paul Busby charts, including a selection from his Brighton suite. My Venn diagram shows me that nine musicians had sufficient stamina to play in both bands. Despite the blustery wind, the acoustics were excellent, allowing the audience to enjoy the full sonic texture of these two contrasting bands. Both, incidentally, playing music consisting entirely of compositions by residents of this county. Congratulations and grateful thanks to Charlotte Glasson for continuing to organise this inspiring and enjoyable afternoon’s entertainment.

    Finally, at the risk of offending brass and rhythm sections, and outraging readers of the Daily Mail, I can’t resist passing on this quote from Zoe Williams in The Guardian, Monday 19th June.  ‘ … something bigger than triumph, the powerful moment that we all understand but only athletes, warriors and saxophonists have experienced’.

 

Next month:  More news and views, and hopefully, another band profile. If you would like your band featured, and I have not already contacted you, please get in touch. Or if there is anything else, such as gig news, gig reviews, or feedback on this column, that you would like me to include in August’s Big Band Scene, please send it to me by Sunday 23rd July. A bit early this month, but I shall be going on holiday. My email address is g8aac@yahoo.co.uk. 

 

Big Band Gigs

July – early August

 † a regular monthly gig

bold italics part of a regular series

 

Friday 30th June

†8:30 – 11:00 pm, The Les Paul Big Band at Patcham Community Centre, Ladies Mile Road, Patcham, Brighton BN1 8TA, £5.  For further details contact Steve (01273 509631) 

steven_paul1@yahoo.co.uk

(Bring your own refreshments.)

 

Sunday 2nd July

11:15 am – 12:00 pm, Trees on The Bandstand at the.Love Supreme Jazz Festival:  Glynde Place, Glynde East Sussex BN8 6SX (01273 858224).  Day event tickets sold out.  Week-end camping tickets from £170.50

 

†12:45 – 3:00 pm, Sounds of Swing Big Band at The Horseshoe Inn Hotel, Posey Green, Windmill Hill, Herstmonceux, East Sussex BN27 4RU (02035 645225).   Free entry.

 

7:30 – 10:00  pm, Big Band @Brunswick: The Brighton Big Band with Dave Williams at The Brunswick, 3, Holland Road, Hove BN3 1JF (01273 733984).  Free entry with collection.

 

Wednesday 5th July

†8:30 pm, The Fred Woods Big Band at the Horsham Sports Club, Cricketfield Road, Horsham, West Sussex RH12 1TE (01403 254628).  £2 (Club members free.)

 

Thursday 6th July

8:00 – 9:30 pm, Big Band Sound 01: The Swingshift Big Band on Eastbourne Bandstand, Grand Parade, Eastbourne, East Sussex BN21 3AD.  Advance bookings (01323 410611) £5/£2.50, or on the night £7/£3.50.

 

Sunday 9th July

†12:00 – 3:00 pm, Groovin’ High Big Band at the Ravenswood Country House Inn, Horsted Lane, Sharpethorne, West Sussex RH19 4HY, (01342 810216).   Free entry. 

 

2:00 – 4:00 pm, The Sussex Jazz Orchestra with Mark Bassey on the Birdcage Bandstand, Kings Road, Regency, Brighton, East Sussex BN1 2FN (07812 418560).  Free entry. 

 

Tuesday 11th July

†8:00 – 10:30 pm, The Ronnie Smith Big Band at The Humming Bird Restaurant, Main Terminal Building, Shoreham Airport, West Sussex,  BN43 5FF (01273 452300).  Free entry with collection.

 

Thursday 13th July

8:00 – 9:30 pm, Big Band Sound 02: The Swingshift Big Band on Eastbourne Bandstand, Grand Parade, Eastbourne, East Sussex BN21 3AD.  Advance bookings (01323 410611) £5/£2.50, or on the night £7/£3.50.

Saturday 15th July

1:00 – 3:00 pm, The Wacky Band at Little Common Village Fayre, The Wheatsheaf, 2 Barnhorn Rd, Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex TN39 4LR.  (01424 842004).   Free entry. 

 

Thursday 20th July

8:00 – 9:30 pm, Big Band Sound 03: The Brighton Big Band with Dave Williams on Eastbourne Bandstand, Grand Parade, Eastbourne, East Sussex BN21 3AD.  Advance bookings (01323 410611) £5/£2.50, or on the night £7/£3.50.

 

Saturday 22nd July

From 10:30 am, The Maestro Big Band at Raystede Animal Sanctuary Open Day, The Broyle, Ringmer, East Sussex, BN8 5AJ  (01825 840252)

 

Sunday 23rd July

7:00 – 9:00 pm, The Sussex Jazz Orchestra with Mark Bassey at The Round Georges, 14-15 Sutherland Road, Brighton BN2 0EQ, (01273 691833).   Free entry with collection. 

 

Thursday 27th July

8:00 – 9:30 pm, Big Band Sound 04: The Swingshift Big Band on Eastbourne Bandstand, Grand Parade, Eastbourne, East Sussex BN21 3AD.  Advance bookings (01323 410611) £5/£2.50, or on the night £7/£3.50.

 

Friday 28th July

†8:30 – 11:00 pm, The Les Paul Big Band at Patcham Community Centre, Ladies Mile Road, Patcham, Brighton BN1 8TA, £5.  For further details contact Steve (01273 509631) steven_paul1@yahoo.co.uk (Bring your own refreshments.)

 

Saturday 29th July

7:30 – 9:45 pm The JP Big Band at The Steyning Centre, Fletchers Croft, Steyning, West Sussex, BN44 3XZ.  £12.  Tickets available from The Steyning Bookshop on (01903 812062) or online at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/JPBigBand. All profits to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust. 

 

Wednesday 2nd August

†8:30 pm, The Fred Woods Big Band at the Horsham Sports Club, Cricketfield Road, Horsham, West Sussex RH12 1TE (01403 254628).  £2 (Club members free.)

 

Thursday 3rd August

8:00 – 9:30 pm, Big Band Sound 05: The Brighton Big Band on Eastbourne Bandstand, Grand Parade, Eastbourne, East Sussex BN21 3AD.  Advance bookings (01323 410611) £5/£2.50, or on the night £7/£3.50.

 

Saturday 5th August

2:00 pm, The Downsbeat Swing Band at The Ropetackle Arts Centre, Little High Street, Shoreham-by-Sea, BN43 5EG. (01273 464440)  Free entry.

 

Sunday 6th August

†12:45 – 3:00 pm, Sounds of Swing Big Band at The Horseshoe Inn Hotel, Posey Green, Windmill Hill, Herstmonceux, East Sussex BN27 4RU (02035 645225).   Free entry.

 

7:30 – 10:00  pm, Big Band @Brunswick: The Chris Coull Big Band at The Brunswick, 3, Holland Road, Hove BN3 1JF (01273 733984).  Free entry with collection.