Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Teaching, Brixton and Websites!


It's been some time since my last report, but there's been plenty going on at DHQ and since this is as much a journal for me to keep track of things as a news feed for the website I'll go back to where we left off which was just after the Granville Sessions session at Pete's studio...

The weekend after that, with an already packed schedule of funk with Freshly, myself and my bongo brother Blades were seconded into an afternoon of Sax & Bongos vs a troupe of DJ's for some Exeter University folk to gyrate to. There were some good moments with lithe sunlit students giving it the beans to our stylings, and some not so good ones where one of the sickest drop builds I've ever had the privilige of rashing over crashed on it's arse when one of the ill-fated vinyl pushers accidentally slammed into a slowdance number by accident just as the current track had reached it's crescendo.

Still, we got paid, pushed some business cards about and set off on a 50 mile trip to Bude for a funk gig in Thom York's local boozer. Tasty.

It's learning time y'all....
The following week was my first one of teaching groups of primary school kids clarinet and what a baptism of fire that was. Imagine the sound you made when you first ever had a go at a non piano instrument. Awful wasn't it? Believe it or not, even your humble narrator when first blessed with a clarinet of his own to blow began with such honkings that nearby geese would head for the hills. Now times this by 20. Still, being of calm body and mind I have brought my little padawans, some numbering as many as 36 at one go, up to the point where they're kicking some one note tunes to backing tracks. Let's hope this continues as I'm expected to put them into a concert to show their relevent parentals/guardians/captors how well they're doing and I'm hoping for Bach sonatas from each and every one of them!

The next weekend where September shuffles off and October starts to make going outside a bit of a chore was also one where I was not blowing my horn, so I did what the normals do when a free weekend comes along and planned a getaway. 'To Surrey' I thought, and thusly took my better half, the intrepid Red Baroness home to meet my family for the first time on their own territory and to wish my father a happy birthday...

You're not driving that anywhere...
...Turns out a birthday it was, but happy it was not. At about 3-4am Friday morning and 80 miles out from our destintation on the most deserted country 'A' road we could have chosen, a lorry had a blowout in front of us and the resulting debris took our car off the road in action movie style. After the police and rescue people sorted the car out, my dearest father, who's birthday was becoming less happy by the minute, drove out to our stricken selves and ferried us not only home, but around most of London for the weekend too. Legend.

Also, and back to the point in hand, music, the boys from Granville Sessions were playing in Brixton and gave me a shout to see if I'd kick some bari with them on stage, so I plugged Hootenanny's into Google and found it was a mere half hour away from my lodgings. Obviously I couldn't pass up the chance to turn a non gigging weekend into a gigging one, and rocked up there ready to smash a wicked set and introduce my good lady to dirty London hiphop at the same time.

Playing bari Granville in Brixton
Needless to say the venue was amazing, the crowd were up for it, and African Head Charge who were on after us astonished me by being the most stereotypical Jamaican reggae band I've ever witnessed first hand. All older chaps with dreads and beards, accents so thick you could cut them with a knife, illicit domio games in the green room, and speaking of green, they were definitely advocates of da 'erb. Them chaps could play too, would have stayed and skanked all night if I didn't have a weekend of sightseeing to do!

Luke, topless conductor
Moving on, the Badcore Horns and our very dear friend and keyboard wonder Pat Pearson were back with Pete at Middle Farm again last Thursday, this time working for Luke Concannon of Nizlopi fame. His solo album is set to be a corker and, in my opinion anyway, every track I've heard from it has chart potential. Not only did Si and myself lay down everything from jolly soul stuff to Sigur Ross style moody pads, we all got stuck in with some gang vocals, so listen out for that one.

We ended up having the night there so we could spend hours getting the parts sounding just right and after a hearty home cooked meal and beer we all slipped into an 18 minute jam with the recently arrived slide guitarist from London who's name currently escapes me. There's a video and I'll get hold of it if it kills me (which judging on the difficulties of moving 1.5 gig of data it may well do). After that we tried jamming one of Lukes unprepared songs but decided it was too much muso gratofication to use for much so we'll keep that back until the real one is released.

Shirt modelled by Alex Norgate
Oh that reminds me, on the promo side of things. I've been busy weaving some dreams and made a real website for Badcore. Myspace was nice, but the glitches, limitations and downright retro-ness of the whole thing was getting to me so www.badcorehorns.co.uk was born. Along those lines, Freshly Squeezed have finally got our act together and have a run of rather lovely T-shirts for sale as well as a small number of original tunes in the bag. We're just waiting to get ourselves a new permenant bass player since our legend of a young gun Jake Galvin left to carry on his degree course far far away. If you play, and play good, do get in touch!

Sorry for the essay but I did try and make it readable,