Big three Kelston events coming up for the diary

Three excellent events to book into your diaries at Kelston: two up at the Old Barn and one at the foot of the hill in the village itself.

Here’s the location. Now bring the music: Sat 15 July and again Sat 5 August (June 2017 photo from his balloon by Darwin Peltan)

Spindle Ensemble – live at the Old Barn Sat 15 July (Facebook event details here). This outstanding lyrical quartet features Harriet Riley on marimba & vibraphone, Caelia Lunniss on violin, Jo Silverston on cello and musical saw and Daniel Inzani on keyboards. It plays original, modern semi-classical compositions of filmic breadth and aural beauty.

“Beautiful sounds, definitely a band to watch” – Fiona Talkington (BBC Radio 3 Late Junction); “They crafted beautifully layered landscapes of sound with enormous empathy for each other’s playing” – Stage Talk Magazine

Expect a beautiful, intimate evening up on the hill with fresh local beer, cider and organic cheeses. Kids welcome for free. Doors open 1830. Walking train from The Old Crown pub in Kelston 1900.

Once upon a hill 1400-late Sat 5 Aug: epic day to night event at the Old Barn and over Kelston Roundhill with fantastic lineup of artists including:

  • Spiro “the power they summon up live makes them a must-see experience” Tim Cumming, Songlines.
  • Dakhla Brass  “unique: jazz punk Balkan brass Bach band…amazing” Jamie Cullum
  • The Nightjar “Gorgeous” BBC R3 Late Junction; “Ghostly, psychedelic and utterly addictive” Boiler Room

and other surprise configurations. This is a full August treat and a day to remember.

Directions here, or walk up from the Old Crown pub in Kelston. Copious local food and drink available on site throughout. Contact us if you want to camp over.

…then down at the foot of the hill:

Kelston Village Fete 1400-1700 Bank Holiday Mon 28 Aug with da Mighty Beaconaires. This year the cheerful classic village fete includes a celebration of the legacy to Bath of H.I.M Heile Selassie I. There’s Caribbean food and music by da Mighty Beaconaires a south Somerset reggae band, backed by the Rooterz. Ample parking, family-friendly, lots of other activities. Fete entrance £2 (children free); Facebook page here. Come prepared for Bank Holiday weather. No booking needed.


Beyond The Defective Comet lie The Gas Giants

Last year we tried to put on The Gas Giants, only to be deprived of their legendary founder at the last minute by medical emergency (happily resolved). The show went on and result was a new band: The Defective Comet, with Tony Orrell on drums percussion and loops and Ross Hughes on too many instruments to name, but most memorably bass clarinet, flute and slide guitar.

Tony Orrell (left) and Ross Hughes in orbit at the Old Barn last year.

It was a memorable, stellar evening. Here’s what photographer and music fan Ragnumpiza just wrote in:

The gig really was astounding. Being a massive dub fan I’ve listened to a lot of different styles of jazz cross/ dub but never heard anything like this before… just superb!…most memorable music night of last year!

We have good news. Tony Orrell and Ross Hughes are back at the Old Barn on 20 May. And they’re back as part of the full lineup including Will Gregory. It will be the first proper recording of The Gas Giants since 1990. Bring your defibrillators.

Limited tickets available: book now

Modulus III: live at the Old Barn, Kelston Roundhill

Modulus III is a beautiful balance of three intense musicians. Their gig of live spontaneous composition at the Old Barn on 6 May made for a compelling evening.

Modulus III take a post-soundcheck stroll on Kelston Roundhill on 6 May. 

Drew Morgan is is an avant-garde classically trained experimental cellist, also playing synths. On drums Matt Brown gives shape to the emerging improvisations, trying out a few cuts before settling in to a constantly shifting structure. Dan Moore plays keyboards. When he sketches out a choice riff on his Rhodes piano you first wonder how he can repeat it so precisely, but before long he’s messing with your head, breaking it up with variations that shouldn’t work but do. He’s hard-wired to a listener’s hedonic hotspots, the pleasure centres that create a craving for more of the same reward.

Any of the three can take the lead in bringing the performance on; they all lead, solo and provide continuity. It’s a band that likes to surprise its audience, and which responds to a setting and an audience that surprises them.

  • You can buy Modulus III’s first album at Friendly Records in Bristol. Watch out for their forthcoming second album Modulus III: live at the Old Barn released later this year by Kelston Records.
  • Next up: The Gas Giants, live at the Old Barn 20 May: tickets here

Athea’s first performance: live at the Old Barn 6 May 2017

Emma Holbrook (drums) and Paul Bradley (guitar, vocal) perform as Athea

The Old Barn audience gave a very warm response to the first ever performance by Athea. Paul Bradley’s deft, experimental guitar work meshed perfectly with Emma Holbrook’s subtle drums and percussion in a seamless, intensely atmospheric 45-minute set.

“Hope you like our new direction”

Thanks to Billie and Steve at Bristol City FM for having us on the show Saturday 29 April. Having met for the first time in the car park beforehand the two very fine drummers Matt Brown from Modulus iii and Tony Orrell from The Gas Giants squeezed into Steve’s studio with some kit and did a quick jam together live on air.

Newly met drummer pals Matt Brown and Tony Orrell jam at Bristol City FM – note how carefully they listen to each other.

You can hear Matt drumming behind Drew Morgan (synth, cello) and Dan Moore (synth, Rhodes) with Modulus iii Saturday 6 May – tickets here. Tony Orrell plays with Will Gregory and Ross Hughes as The Gas Giants 20 May.

Bristol City FM has catchup of the interview here – click on the 1100 29 Apr show; start 11 mins in.

Upcoming Kelston events

Upcoming events:

  • BOOK NOW 6 May Modulus iii recording live, with support from Athnea. Modulus iii is a sizzling synths, Rhodes and drums spontaneous composition trio: tickets here
  • 20 May The Gas Giants live, with excellent support, live at the Old Barn. The Gas Giants is a project of Will Gregory (Goldfrapp); this will be their first recording since 1990: tickets here
  • More Old Barn dates to follow.

Later in the year (Aug Bank Holiday Monday 28) at the Kelston Village Fete we’re putting on a musical celebration of the legacy of H.I.M Haile Selassie. H.I.M lived at 2 Kelston Road for six years, and left Fairfield House to the Corporation of Bath. See Jon Hamp’s new poem H.I.M in Kelston here

The legacy of H.I.M means Kelston can today celebrate a special link to Ethiopia and Rastafari. 

BBC Radio 3 reviews “a fantastic release” – Three Cane Whale live at the Old Barn

Great to hear Verity Sharp and Andrew MacGregor talking about our new release Three Cane Whale – live at the Old Barn on BBC Radio3 Record Review today.  Tune in at 2:34:50 (available until 7 May 2017). They liked it.

Three Cane Whale – live at the Old Barn featured on BBC Radio 3 Record Review 8 April – hear the review here

We’ve always liked the show. It’s not just that Record Review is so discerning; it opens up everyone’s understanding of music and performance by using language in a surprising and eye-opening way which appeals to all the family and all ages.

Today’s guest Verity Sharp is an exemplary curator of global music who has always had a special feel for the best of the Bristol and west country scene. So to hear her call this “a fantastic release” means everything to Pete, Alex and Paul in the band, to our Bath Spa Uni technical team Jonny Barden and Richard Woods, to our curators Steve and Craig and our Kelston Laureate Jon Hamp.

Andrew MacGregor said Kelston Records sounded like a folk equivalent of Champs Hill. We’ll take any praise, but our idea of “location based music” extends a lot wider than folk. The next recordings – The Defective Comet, Modulus III and Gas Giants – will make that pretty clear.

Three Cane Whale – live at the Old Barn is available in the Kelston Records online store, also via iTunes, Google Play and Amazon.

Jon Hamp – the Kelston Laureate – reads his trilogy of poems about past lives on the Roundhill with backing from Three Cane Whale.

Kelston Village Fete celebrates the legacy to Bath of H.I.M Monday 28 Aug

In August Kelston Records will present a special one-off live ska and reggae celebration of the legacy to Bath of H.I.M Haile Selassie. It takes place on the late Bank Holiday Monday 28 August, as part of the Kelston Village Fete.

H.I.M Haile Selassie I lived at 2 Kelston Road, Bath during his exile 1936-1941.

Also known as Jah Ras Teferi, H.I.M lived for six years at 2 Kelston Road Bath, and left his house to the Corporation of Bath for the care of the elderly. It is now a day care centre and meeting place for Ethiopian Orthodox, Rastafari and civic Bath culture with a garden, gallery and regular Rastafari Sabbath celebrations.

The Bank Holiday lineup with be da Mighty Beaconnaires, with da Rooterz reggae choir (as featured on BBC Bristol) and DJ playing mellow classic reggae and ska. Da Mighty Beaconnaires is a pro-am south Somerset reggae covers band, with an evolving lineup. Lead singer is Guy Ogilvy (The Johnsons) draws on the spirit of Toots, Jimmy Cliffe, Desmond Dekker and other major reggae stars. Da Mighty Beaconnires were originally formed to help save Lamyatt village hall (which was indeed saved). They have since headlined the Bruton dub festival.

The Kelston Village fete raises funds for Kelston village hall and church, and other village projects. The fete will this year feature a Caribbean food stall, and a stall raising funds and providing information about Fairfield House and H.I.M’s time at 2 Kelston Road. Entry £2.