April 2020 Update

And what an unfortunate update this.

If you are reading this at the time of posting, then you will be all too aware of the current Coronavirus/Covid-19 situation. If you are reading this in the years to come and for some reason are not aware of the world-wide pandemic, then do some Googling.

The country is in lockdown – no bands are rehearsing, no bands are gigging, and many of our friends who make their Irving in the gig economy are in crisis with no income. Our thoughts are with them, and we can only hope that the Government will provide assistance to them very soon.

Hopefully, a more positive update will be possible in the next couple of weeks.

Stay safe, and stay in your own house.

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March 2020 Update

Monthly update time!

Mr Badger is still working like a badger to get all the charts ready for the forthcoming “secret” vocal album – at some point we will be revealing more about this – but he has still found time to prepare a “first listen” album review of Lyle Mays’ “Street Dreams” (an album that has been out for 32 years!).

And we have more information on live music in the Midlands (and a bit down Brighton way too).

It’s still we and windy out there , but don’t let that stop you from getting to to see some great bands this month. See the Gig Guide for more information, but here is a summary of what’s going on – and there is a lot going on this month:

Friday 6th March 2020 The Apollo Big Band with Simon Currie at The Sutton Hall, Stockcross.

Sunday 8th March 2020 “Diva” – The Limelight Orchestra at Nottingham Royal Concert Hall

Thursday 12th March 2020 Blow The Fuse – The Alison Rayner Quintet at The Albany Club Earlsdon, 10 Earlsdon Street, Coventry, 20:00 – 22:30; presented by Jazz Coventry.

Sunday 15th March 2020 Fat Chops Big Band with Matt Ford (lunchtime gig so you can make a day of it by going to see Crash Collective later that same evening):

Sunday 15th March 2020 The Crash Collective Big Band at the Talisman Theatre in Kenilworth, or if you’re based a bit further north….

Sunday 15th March 2020 The Nottingham Jazz Orchestra with Vicky Moroziuk at The Federation Club, Nottingham

Monday 23rd March 2020 John Lake Trio and Elizabeth Bustard at The Paris House, 21 Western Road, BN3 1AF, Hove

Wednesday 25th March 2020 The Birmingham Big Band (led by John Ruddick MBE) with Michael Brooks at Moseley All Services Club, Moseley (lunchtime gig)

Thursday 26th March Phoenix Big Band & Singers, featuring Paul Drakeley at Cradley Heath Sports and Social Club

Friday 27th March 2020 Worcestershire Jazz Orchestra are performing with Suzi Woods at the Lickey End Social Club

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February 2020 Update

We know – it is nearly March and this is the February update!

Keeping it brief…

Work on the “secret” Vocal Big Band album project is progressing nicely – charts are nearly finished and we’ll soon be having a run through with the singer and band (don’t forget that this is a Badger project, but won’t be released under the Badger name – The Badgers won’t be reassembling until after this project is in the bag!)

We’re starting to flesh out the Gig Guide – please let us know if you want your gig considered for inclusion by contacting us through messenger through this link.

The first of our album reviews (Pat Metheny’s brand new album “From This Place”) is up for your pleasure and ridicule here!

And that’s about it – Mr Badger is now off to print out some more charts for the delight of unsuspecting local rehearsal bands.

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R.I.P. Lyle Mays (1953-2020)

Very sad news from www.patmetheny.com:

10th February 2020

It is with great sadness that we have to report the passing of our friend and brother, Lyle Mays (1953-2020). He passed today in Los Angeles after a long battle with a recurring illness, surrounded by loved ones.

 Pat Metheny: “Lyle was one of the greatest musicians I have ever known. Across more than 30 years, every moment we shared in music was special. From the first notes we played together, we had an immediate bond. His broad intelligence and musical wisdom informed every aspect of who he was in every way. I will miss him with all my heart.”

 Steve Rodby: “I had the great privilege of having Lyle in my life for decades, as an inspiration and as my friend. As anyone who knew him and his music will agree, there will only be one Lyle, and we all will continue to appreciate his soulful brilliance, in so many ways.”

 His beloved niece, Aubrey Johnson: “Lyle was a brilliant musician and person, and a genius in every sense of the word. He was my dear uncle, mentor, and friend and words cannot express the depth of my grief.”

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The Gig Guide Is Back!

The Badgers are keen to promote live music in the Midlands (and wider) area, not just their own gigs!

If you are interested in seeing and hearing some live music – or would like us Badgers to promote your event, then visit the Gig Guide pages here: Gig Guide

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Plans for 2020

A long overdue update!!

Following a sojourn in Brighton, Mr & Mrs Badger are back in Warwick settling into the new Badger HQ. The Badger library has been tidied up and neatly filed on bespoke shelving, and Mr Badger is busy adding new titles every week.

As for 2020 projects, the first on the list is preparing the music for a forthcoming album with a fabulous singer. This will be a collaborative project with top rate musicians and so will not be branded under the Badger name, but the quality and passion associated with The Badgers will be very much in evidence. More on this project as and when Mr Badger is able to release details.

After the dust and ink has settled after the donkey work for the vocal album has been finished, Mr Badger is intending to push forward with re-establishing the band – it won’t be a replica of the original band and music, but a 2020 version with some fresh personnel and plenty of new music that will keep things interesting 🙂

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Brighton Fringe Festival Newbie

Mr Badger is looking forward to taking part for the first time in the Brighton Fringe Festival in a couple of week’s time.

He will be in the trombone section for two appearances of the Straight No Chaser – come along to hear his Warwickshire tones blending in with this fabulous Sussex Big Band.

 

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Mr Badger looking forward to meeting Terry Pack’s Trees

Badgers Big Band MD Richard Nield is looking forward to meeting (and hopefully playing with) Terry Pack and his ‘unfeasibly large ensemble’ “Trees”.

With a career spanning more than four decades and including spells with The Enid, Cozy Powell, Graham Bonnet and Steve Hackett to name but a few, Terry has in recent years turned his focus onto jazz and improvised music. His recent musical collaborations read like a ‘who’s who’ of the British jazz scene (Claire Martin, The Cloggz, Ben Castle, Bobby Wellins, Nigel Price, Martin France).The seed for Trees was planted when Mark Bassey (trombonist/composer and educator) encouraged Terry to take his compositions to workshops, ensembles and big bands. An enthusiastic response encouraged him to write and arrange more pieces and the natural evolution of Trees began.

An ‘unfeasibly large ensemble’ performing an eclectic mix of contemporary and groove-based compositions, Trees is now an inclusive and community based group comprising up to 40 musicians at any time and augmented by guest professional musicians keen to take part in one of the most exciting new musical projects in and around Brighton. Imaginative, fresh arrangements of classic tunes fuse seamlessly with innovative compositions by the bandleader and band members alike.

Take a listen to one of their original charts…

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Blast From The Past Part 2

Another track from our concert at the Royal Spa Centre in Leamington.

Pat Metheny’s “Stranger In Town” arranged by Bob Curnow. This is one of Mr & Mrs Badgers favourite charts – a great Tenor solo from Bob Jones, some immaculate drumming from Marcus Ingham, and an emotional trumpet from Karl Steadman.

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A Blast From The Past

Just 18 months after the event, a video of the original Badgers performing at the Royal Spa Centre in Leamington.

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