Recommended Midland gigs over the next seven days

Matt Gough

Matt Gough

Tomorrow evening there are interesting “concept” gigs in Birmingham and Shrewsbury.

The Forgotten Fairground Project is a nine-piece jazz group with string quartet and vocals, masterminded by trumpeter Matt Gough and drummer Jonathan Silk.

The central piece is a Matt Gough composition taking its inspiration from childhood imagination. The band includes Toby Boalch on piano and Gina Stalbrow on vocals.

This Birmingham Jazz gig is at The Red Lion in Warstone Lane at 7.45pm, is free to members and £5 for everyone else, and you can find out more about it on BJ’s whizzy new website here.

Trish Clowes

Trish Clowes

Meanwhile at The Gateway in Shrewsbury saxophonist, composer and BBC Radio 3 New Generation artist Trish Clowes will be presenting Barbara Song.

This one takes Kurt Weill’s music and uses arrangements originally prepared for another British saxophonist, Barbara Thompson, hence the title. The arrangements are heavyweights Mike Westbrook, Richard Rodney Bennett, John Dankworth, Mike Gibbs and Barbara Thompson herself, and – how is this for a co-incidence? – Clowes also uses a string quartet.

Any distinctions between jazz and contemporary classical composition get blurred in this intriguing project.

It starts at 7.30pm and tickets are £7.50. More here.

Meanwhile Get The Blessing have Midland gigs this evening and on Monday. For more about them, go here.

The excellent community big band The Notebenders is playing at The Drum in Aston on Saturday. The multi-generational group of players was inspired by the late Andy Hamilton and grew out of practice and jam sessions at Ladywood Community Centre.

Trombonist Maurice Williams formalised the group as The Notebenders Big Band and they played their first gig at the Corks Club in 2007.

Now under the joint musical direction of John Fleming and Andy Bunting, The Notebenders tackle jazz standards and some of Andy Hamilton’s favourite tunes with flair and enthusiasm. Their performances are always an inspiration.

The concert starts at 7pm, tickets are £7 (£5 concessions) and there is more here.

On Sunday there’s a Jamboree at the Rose Villa Tavern – specifically a band of that name comprising Chris Young on alto saxophone, Lluis Mather on tenor saxophone, David Ferris on keyboard, James Banner on bass and James Anderson on drums.

The fun starts around 8pm, and the Rose Villa Tavern is at 172 Warstone Lane. It seems like this street is fast becoming Birmingham’s own 52nd Street… For more seek out drummer John Hirst on Facebook.

Other good gigs this week:

Today: Pianist Tim Amann leads his X-tet at the Silvershine Jazz Club in Bearwood from 9pm. Tickets £5, more here.

Tomorrow: Visitors from Bristol in the form of saxophonist Kevin Figes’ Octet. This is the Jazzlines Free Jazz session at the Symphony Hall Cafe Bar but at the later than usual time of 7pm. More here.

Tuesday: Pianist Dan Nicholls leads a trio with Tom Farmer on bass and James Maddren on drums at The Spotted Dog in Digbeth. Pay with a donation, more at Jazz @ The Spotted Dog on Facebook

Tuesday: Bassist Tom Hill brings his ZZ Bop band, featuring saxophonist Ian Ellis, to The Jam House for a free Jazzlines session. Music from 8.30pm, more here.

Wednesday: If you missed John Law’s Boink! at The Ort Cafe recently, catch them at No 1 Shakespeare Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, courtesy of Stratford Jazz. It starts at 8pm, tickets are £10 and there is more here.



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1 reply

  1. Dan Nicholls trio at the Spotted Dog had to be the gig that those who weren’t there will kick themselves for ever for missing… I overheard one currently well favoured saxophonist descibing it as “terrifying”… the sort of comment I imagine Keith Richard or Jeff Beck making when they heard Hendix play. It was awesome, and that is a word that I am too old to use unwisely.

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