Neu! Live – 21st Oct 2010

October 26, 2010

Grabbed a few seconds of Neu! encore at their gig last Thursday at the Barbican..

Neu! – Negativland (the slow bit)

Neu! – Negativland (the fast bit)

Let me know if you want a long and rambling description of the gig.

Fun fact: the drummer playing with Neu!’s original member here is Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley.


Baroque and Roll (sorry..)

June 11, 2009

Quick debrief of Monday’s concert at The Barbican with some pictures

Orchestra, adult choir and children’s choir on stage



Big, huh?

Here’s Howard Goodall introducing it all


Howard Goodall (Blackadder, Red Dwarf, etc) is the National Ambassador for Singing, tasked with getting children involved in music and singing in schools. So far he has 15,000 of the 20,000 schools in the UK signed up to the scheme. This is a Good Thing. Listening to music is ok and quite pleasant on the whole, but actually doing it – making and creating music, singing especially – is one of the most uplifting things a human being can do. A fact that is largely forgotten in the ubiqutous immersive soundworld of ipods and tv that we now find ourselves in.

Basses and Altos and Orchestra


I am in the block of basses; seven trillion pounds to the first person who spots me.

Sophie Junker, soprano and Philip Canner, bass-baritone


As well as doing five pieces by Handel, there was a specially composed piece by Harvey Brough, which took themes of Purcell and created a new setting for The Fairy Dream section of A Midsummer’s Night Dream. Sophie & Philip above were Titania and Bottom. Both were very good (as were the other two soloists who were recent graduates of the Guildhall School of Music), but did I detect a bit of star quality with Sophie?? You heard it here first.



As mentioned the real purpose of the project is to get schoolchildren interested and participating in music, and here is part of the 150 strong choir of children. They were all from innercity schools – paired with the city firms who made up the adult choir – and were excellent. The piece of music Harvey wrote for them wasn’t patronising or ‘easy’, it was a proper piece of music in which they played a key role. And they sung it brilliantly. Props to the kids!

Nicholas Kenyon


Nicholas Kenyon runs ting’s round there at the Barbican. Here he is at the end of the concert saying how splendid it all was and how important the project is, and how the Barbican and the Guildhall are proud to be supporting it.

Too right. The whole thing was a big success – musically I think the massed amateur choirs of us and the kids got away with it, the orchestra played brilliantly, the music was varied and interesting, and a large number of children who hadn’t even been to a classical concert before got to perform at a professional level in one of London’s Premier venues.

Win, win, win, win.

It’s just a pity the world can’t be a bit more like this more of the time.

Richard Frostick – conductor
Richard was great: someone with a true passion for music and the ability to communicate that passion – oh, and to control 300 singers and an orchestra to great effect!


Just don’t get your notes wrong, ok?


Singin’ in the Brain

May 13, 2009

People of the World, you are all invited to a concert!

I am doing some singing at the Barbican on June 8th as part of a 200 strong choir singing baroque classics like Handel’s Zadok The Priest, The King Shall Rejoice and Purcell’s The Fairy Queen. (Stop giggling it’s a song Purcell wrote for a production of Midsummer Night’s Dream)

It’s all super awesome lovely stuff from when music was just getting the hang of harmony and melody and using them to maximum effect. Check out this youtube of Zadok The Priest…you’ll see what I mean:

Tickets are £5 from Barbican Box Office:

(Actually they’re £15 on the website, so you’ll need to call the box office on 020 7638 8891 and quote promotional reference The Fairy Queen to get the £5 tickets)

See you at 7:30pm on Monday June 8th!