pilgrimage septThe Sun At The Station, Kings Heath, Birmingham UK

I can’t run to an extensive review, but I do want to shout out about this new and very promising jazz night at the Sun at the Station pub on the High Street in Kings Heath.

It takes place every third Friday of the month in an excellent room set up for music, and features three sets from different bands. It’s run by Richard Foote, trombonist and leader of the Young Pilgrims and Jonathan Silk, drummer with the Pilgrims but a band leader in his own right, and the aim is to set up a night that is great fun and can be enjoyed by anyone looking for a good musical night out.

Last night’s began with the Young Pilgrims, playing with all the energy, joy and madness that we expect; they were followed by Big Tent, a band difficult to define with elements of folk and rock. They were joined by several members of the Pilgrims who added a considerable punch to their final two numbers. The final set saw the launch  of Jonathan Silk’s new band, Sizwe, which brings together African percussion with a strong jazz horn section. The heart of the band is the percussion section with Jonathan on a mix of drums and African percussion, Tom Chapman on hand percussion and Euan Palmer on kit drum, but the band’s distinctiveness comes from the horns, bass and keys interacting with the percussion.

Last night saw the realisation of two of my own particular dreams for jazz. One was that the gig rammed the room with a crowd of largely young people all jumping up and down and whooping to the music. The second was that two of the groups, Big Tent and Sizwe, added a horn section to the basic line up, thereby adding a real drive to the music. I love African music and percussion ensembles, but after a certain time I begin to wish for a bit of a variety through a sax, trumpet or keyboard solo. Sizwe provided this. Likewise, I enjoyed Big Tent, but they suddenly became much more exciting for me with the additional power added by the horn section.

The next Pilgrimage is on Friday 23 October and will feature the launch of Trope’s EP.


Categories: Live review

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