Monday 25 May 2015

Fringe Music:in pubs, cafes, hotels

The Octagon, Pavilion Gardens, home to youth orchestra concerts

There's a wealth of live music to be heard throughout this year's Buxton Festival Fringe (July 8-26) – with everything from full-scale symphony orchestras to solo jazz piano. Much can be heard in the town's churches but a dozen other venues host gigs.

The Old Clubhouse – right opposite the Opera House – has live music all-year round and half-a-dozen gigs are scheduled there during the Fringe. Club Acoustic is the name given to the town's open session which meets twice monthly – and five of the regular singers and musicians will be playing at a special session. (15 July)

One of the successes of Fringe 2014 was Buxton's own Sam Slide who – accompanied by friends – told something of his life and played a variety of music on his trombone. Sam will be aiming to repeat the trick this year. (14 & 21 July)

There will be a bit of jazz in Sam's set – Dale Storr will be playing non-stop jazz. Dale is a leading exponent of New Orleans style piano and has dazzled at the Clubhouse already this year. His two gigs during the Fringe are not to be missed. (18 July)

Jazz and blues from a nearby era is the cornerstone of the repertoire of a vocal-led sextet – Basin Street Jazz & Blues. A mixture of standards and more recent covers makes for a relaxing evening. (12 & 20 July) The HerdingCatz Blues Band is a quartet that draws on the work of great musicians of the post-war years – you can expect a tribute to BB King as part of their gigs. (13 & 25 July)

Two hard-working and popular local musicians come together in a new project. Singer/guitarist Will Hawthorne teams up with violin hero Graham Clark for a programme of film music from the 1960s. Spaghetti Westerns and James Bond are definite contenders. (8, 16 & 17 July)

Buxton Brewery's Tap House is less than 100 yards from the Clubhouse and they have their own mini-festival going on. The programme – briefly – is: 14th: Honeyfeet: folk, blues and jazz; 15th: Skutchmanos: acoustic, instrumental music; 16th: Rach & John: guitar and vocals; 17th: Rodina: contemporary jazz; 21st: Tom Kitching & Gren Bartley: guitar, fiddle and banjo; 22nd: Open Mic Night; 23rd: 12 Strings: acoustic guitar duo; 24th: Emlyn Vaughan & Friends: jazz and country. Music will start at 9.30 each evening and is free. Give yourself plenty of time to sample some the beers.

On the subject of pubs and beer the Railway is one of Buxton's best-loved hostelries and lunch there is popular. Over three lunch times this Fringe local bluegrass band Aprille & The Shower will be on hand to entertain. Expect a lively mix of songs and music drawing on tunes made popular in the 50s.

The cellars of the Old Hall Hotel become Underground Venues for the duration of the Fringe. Among the music being made there is: 2084 a brand-new song-cycle that contemplates what our world might be like 100 years after Orwell. (9, 10 & 16 July). Songs with more contemporary social comment are the hallmark of Darren Poyser who made many friends at the Fringe in 2014. Darren's history of the protest song will be entertaining and informative. (11, 14 & 21 July)

Sam Dunkley's easy charm and polished musicality won him many admirers in Buxton four and five years ago. He has been missed, but returns for one show – a mix of traditional and original songs accompanied by Sam's piano. (17 July) More folk-tinged music will be on offer at Underground Venues from the Raintown Seers who focus on song as story-telling. (20, 23-25 July)

One of the most exclusive gigs will be at Scrivener's Bookshop. The Sideways Band with guests Serrated will be doing two shows of songs that are witty – with humour on the dark-side. By the time the bands have fitted in our guess is that an audience of 10 could be the maximum. (8-9 July). Sideways play on their own at the Hydro Restaurant – which will seem like the Opera House compared to the space at Scrivener's. (17, 18 & 24 July)

The Green Man Gallery has hosted an ambitious series of musical events over the past year. For the Fringe it presents a recital of French music and song. Buxton singer and choir-leader Carol Bowns will be joined by two pianist friends for something of a musical reunion. (24 July). Carol will also be leading an open-rehearsal of the Kaleidoscope Community Choir in the Pavilion Gardens Octagon.(14 July)

Dozens of young Derbyshire musicians can be heard over two evenings in the Octagon. The Derby & Derbyshire Schools' Orchestra, fresh from a four-day residential course, will play alongside Sinfonia Viva. The programme will include the third movement of Brahms's Symphony No 4 .(16 July). Following a five-day residential course the Derbyshire City and County Youth Orchestra will play a full-length concert featuring Tchaikovsky's Italian Capriccio, Khachaturian's Adagio from Spartacus, Shostakovich's Jazz Suite and Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No 3. The soloist is Ana ҆inkovec, a 26-year old pianist from Ljubljana, Slovenia. (17 July)

Away from Buxton Рat the Spring Bank Arts Centre, New Mills Рthere is a real treat on offer. Eight cellists from the Hallé Orchestra get together in arrangements of opera pieces from Purcell to Puccini. That should be enough it itself but cake comes with admission too. (12 July)

Finally, but not least by any means, Indigo Empire headline an evening of classic and contemporary rock hits. This concert showcases some of the freshest talent to come out of Buxton and Greater Manchester. The show includes music from Thin Lizzy, The Maccabees, Arctic Monkeys and The Beatles. Come Alive is at the Arts Centre Studio. (20 July).

Buxton Fringe

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