chronicle: 2010 concluded

July’s activities unfolded, or unravelled, in Durham at the International Brass Festival. The Blowpipes Trombone Trio played Oh Where Has My Little Dog Gone and other classics outside various county pubs. We can only wonder if CCTV captured the balletic encounter of the trio, in mid-melody, and a roving road-sweeping machine in the otherwise vacant Chester-le-Street market square.

In August, The Blowpipes tried vainly to play a morning set at Vintage at Goodwood while one of the trombones and all the music was securely locked in an impregnable steel container (the festival tin-opener was eventually found), and trombone poetry reached as far West as Fishguard, for a convivial stint at Aberjazz Festival.

In September, trombone poetry played variations on Smile at The Charlie Chaplin in Elephant & Castle for Elefest, and The Blowpipes played a resounding set in the adjacent shopping centre that flushed bewildered security staff from their underground lair to come and fret about the teeming hordes of well-wishers and trombone fanatics spilling out onto the New Kent Road.

In October, trombone poetry enjoyed a trip to the seaside for a generous portion of Saturday night cabaret at Broadstairs Food Festival, followed later in the month by an excellent pizza plus Terry Edwards’ Near Jazz Experience at Indo in Whitechapel. The Blowpipes finally managed to play at The Ivy House near Peckham Rye, after the first attempt was aborted over a decade ago when the bandleader realised that using Guinness as a pain-killer for a ballooning ankle sprained a couple of hours before was eventually going to prove counter-productive. No animals were harmed in the making of this gig. The trio rounded off the month with a weekend tour of Bloomsbury, circulating the squares for damp clumps of cagooled tourists. A new project made its debut at Scaledown: this trombonist has teamed up with melodeonist/saxophonist Mike Walter in a free/folk venture called ruM.

In November, trombone poetry returned to The George Tavern for Moose Factory, and was proper chuffed to share the billing with Firefly and The Dead Rat Orchestra. The climax of the month’s doings was a show at Hull Truck Theatre for Larkin 25, where trombone poetry teamed up with The All What Jazz Band to perform commissioned pieces in commemoration of Philip Larkin. A poem may even make it into the Larkin Society’s journal. We’ll see. Dave Ellis jointly presided, and we were glad to have Martin Jones, Pete Minns, Keith Stutt, Nigel Bartram, Matt Smith and Whitechapel exile Gary Hammond, despite a sudden blizzard.

The Blowpipes and trombone poetry made repeated visits to Freedom Of Expression in Croydon, and will be back soon, but with new material.

Thank you for listening, and waiting.

Thursday 13 January 19:00-23:00

trombone poetry + James Spankie + Peter & Mark Coldham


The George Tavern
373 Commercial Road
E1 0LA

admission £3 in advance via / £5 on the door

Sunday 16 January    17:00-19:30

The Blowpipes + ?


32 Deptford Church Street

Tuesday 18 January    20:00-23:00

ruM + Buzzard Lope + Alan LaCroix + Mark Woods


The Green Dragon
58-60 High Street

admission: free

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