New Tune for The Brasshoppers

The Brasshoppers had a blast again this year at Silda Jazz in Haugesund. I took a new tune with me called Coming Home, which I’d written for Kairos Ensemble bought thought it’d work well with a bigger group. We didn’t get a chance to rehearse the whole tune, hence a few rough edges and puzzled faces in the band, but I was pretty pleased with result. A few tweaks in order in the arrangement for next time.

Looking back at the video I have also discovered I have a weird twitch in my right leg as I play!

Summer Season

I’m looking forward to doing some nice gigs over the next few months. If you want to hear a but of foxy tuba then check out:

29th June, 4pm – Brassroots at 12th Knot, South Bank, London – in yer face brass band doing covers of all sorts of things! Really groovy.

24th and 25th July – Kairos Ensemble at Keswick Convention – playing a new suite of music based on the Song of Songs written by Pete James.

8th – 10th August – The Brasshoppers at Silda Jazz, Haugesund, Norway – our annual trip to the band’s second home – the usual mix of funk, latin, jazz and irreverent humour.

7th September – Kairos Ensemble at Revive Cafe, Chertsey – jazz standards, original tunes and a few tuba solos no doubt!

Haugesund 2018

I had the usual fun at Silda Jazz again this year with The Brasshoppers. The gigs were warmly received by the raucous Norwegian crowd and we were joined again on stage by members of the Huntertones (if you haven’t heard of them check them out they’re great!). One of the highlights was breaking into a unison version of Dean Town with Jon Lampley, the trumpet/sousaphone player from the Huntertones, in the middle of one his solos. Below is a little snippet from SHM, a tune I wrote many moons ago!


Keswick Convention 2018

Just back from a couple of days at the Keswick Convention with Kairos Ensemble. It was all too short but we had a great time. One guest spot on the main stage (see video below), an opportunity to play some tunes from Rejoicing Blues (including a silly noise tuba solo on In Step) in the late show, and then a full performance of Passion Suite the following day featuring the very soulful and talented Miriam Jones. The Passion Suite gig was particularly memorable as Miriam had written some extra material to extend and enhance Pete James’ already profound composition. It came together beautifully and was a very moving experience.

I love playing with these guys!

Jungle Funk – The Brasshoppers in Norway 2017

Here’s an epic 16min version of Jungle Funk from The Brasshoppers trip to Haugesund last month.

2:21 Scouse rapping – Tony Peers (The Brasshoppers)
4:24 alto solo – Paul Jones (The Brasshoppers)
6:14 tenor solo – Dan White (Huntertones)
8:37 trombone solo – Chris Ott (Huntertones)
11:13 trumpet call and response and solo – Jon Lampley (Huntertones)

We were joined on stage by some of the members of the Huntertones, a great band from New York who had played earlier in the evening. The trumpet player from the Huntertones is great but you should hear him play sousaphone – he’s off the planet!!! Look out for Jon Lampley doing anything on the sousa he’s mind blowing.

As ever it was a good trip to Norway, they do love the Brasshoppers in Haugesund. We played some great gigs and had one poignant moment when we played at the funeral of a guy who was fan of the band and had passed away the week before we arrived – it was an honour and quite moving.

Don’t forget to check out the free downloads on The Brasshoppers bandcamp page.

The Most Unusual Wedding Gig

Today was an interesting day because…… I got to play and officiate at a wedding, two of the things I enjoy doing most. The twist is that the groom (Barnaby Dickinson) only proposed to the bride (Hayley Sanderson) an hour before the ‘party’ started and then told her that she was getting married that afternoon!

Unorthodox is an understatement.

She said yes by the way!

Norway trip with The Brasshoppers

I’m back from a quite surreal trip away with The Brasshoppers. Having not done a gig with this band for the best part of 15 years I jumped at the chance to go back to Haugesund and the Silda Jazz Festival. I did this gig a couple of time when I was playing with the band regularly and since then they have been back pretty much every year and developed quite a following of enthusiastic Norwegian groupies. We spent the first few days laughing and generally having a good time which is what always happens with this band.

And then ‘it’ happened! The ‘it’ being when Snarky Puppy turned up at our Friday night gig. I’d already heard that they were at the bar at the back of our venue so I just got my head down and tried not to make too many mistakes. Before I knew what was going on I look up to see Michael League right in front of me shouting ‘I’m your fan’, to which I responded ‘er, no I think you’ll find I’m your fan!’ To cut a long story short they stayed to the end of our gig and we all got chatting afterwards which ended up with them inviting us to play on their encore at their gig the following evening!!! Yep that’s right I got to play on stage with Snarky Puppy.

Queen’s 90th Birthday Thanksgiving Service.

Today I had the huge honour of playing at the Queen’s 90th birthday thanksgiving service at St Paul’s Cathedral with the Wren Brass Ensemble. It was one of the most amazing gigs I’ve ever done and I got completely caught up with the pomp and pageantry. The brass were positioned in between the choir stalls facing the congregation, so we had the best seats in the house pretty much opposite the queen and the rest of the royal family. It doesn’t get much better than this!