A selection of the Fairey Band will be taking part in the upcoming COAL tour by the Gary Clarke Company, at the Contact Theatre, Manchester. For tickets and more info click here.
Marking the 30th anniversary of the end of the 1984/85 British Miners’ strike, award-winning choreographer Gary Clarke proudly presents COAL, a powerful and emotional dance theatre show about life at the coal face.
It brings together Clarke’s striking physical language performed by 7 professional dancers, a local cast of women and a live brass band, in a story about community, solidarity and survival.
Gary Clarke Company offer schools, colleges and universities the chance to take part in individually tailored workshops led by members of the company, watch a live performance of COAL and be invited to give a critical response to choreographer Gary Clarke as part of a unique post-show discussion.
To find out about booking a workshop and subsidised £9 show tickets for participants, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org prior to making a booking direct with Contact.
Strong, powerful and emotive, COAL explores the darker underbelly of the mining industry unearthing the true nature and body wrecking demands of a working class industry now almost forgotten.
It is based on years of personal research by Gary Clarke, including interviews with Anne Scargill, former wife of NUM president Arthur Scargill, and Betty Cook, the founders of Women Against Pit Closures.
“The COAL Autumn tour is dedicated to the survival and resilience of a man that understands what’s it’s like to fight for his life like many others. This man is my Dad” – Gary Clarke
Gary Clarke also spent time with Chris Skidmore of the National Union of Mineworkers, Bruce Wilson, author of Yorkshire’s Flying Pickets, Barnsley historian and author Brian Elliott and Paul Winter of the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign.
“COAL is a direct response to my upbringing in the working class mining village of Grimethorpe, South Yorkshire. It’s about trying to capture a time in British history that is too easily forgotten. It is an attempt at keeping the memories of the mining industry alive, an industry that I believe shaped the fabric of our society and how we live our lives today. These communities are at the heart of COAL.”Gary Clarke 2015.
Providing the distinctive voice of Margaret Thatcher is actor Steve Nallon, still best known for his many performances as the controversial Prime Minister in long-running cult TV satirical comedy hit Spitting Image.
Performers are pushed to physical and emotional extremes, with an evocative score of live brass classics organised by Musical Director Steven Roberts and a thunderous soundscape by Noise Artist Daniel Thomas.
The Fairey Band had another successful outing at the Whit Friday March competition this year, coming second overall for the Saddleworth area. Check out our winning performance at Scouthead this year below:
The band are proud to announce the release of their latest CD Quintessence. The CD features the music of Robert Redhead under the direction of John Ward and Robert himself, also featuring guest Tenor Horn soloist Owen Farr. Available now via the band’s shop. See below for full track listing.
Forward by Clarence Adoo
This recording is devoted to the music of Robert Redhead, arguably one of the most important figures in the history of Salvation Army music making. Whether you are just discovering Robert’s works or this is familiar repertoire to you, I do hope you enjoy this recording, brought to you by the talented players of the Fairey Band under the direction of John Ward, and Robert directing a very special performance of I Will Follow Thee.
A new work here is Tenore: Theme and Variations. I would like to thank Robert Redhead for composing this for Owen Farr to perform on this recording. The intention is that this fine new work will enjoy performances beyond this recording, and Robert and Owen are working together to produce a version for wider use.
Proceeds from the sale of this recording go to the Clarence Adoo Trust and my sincere thanks go to everybody who has worked so hard to produce this very special recording.
Dr. Clarence Adoo MBE
For more information see www.clarence.org.
- A Fanfare of Praise
- Isaiah 40
- I Will Follow Thee*
- Tenore: Theme and Variations (Owen Farr, Tenor Horn)
- Picton Citadel
- How Charming is Thy Name
- Corpus Christi
All music recorded in the presence of the composer, * indicating where he directed the band.
Hot on the heels of their Acid Brass music being heard on the British Pottery Throwdown programme, Fairey Band will now be both seen and heard on another high profile television appearance – this time on the Sky Arts Channel in the lead up to Christmas.
The band recently recorded ‘A Brass Band Wonderland’ programme in the depths of the gloriously named ‘Devil’s Arse’ – the famous series of caves which make up the Peak Cavern in Castleton in Derbyshire.
The show will broadcast on SkyArts on 16th and 23rd December 2015
The band was joined by Hackney Colliery Band as well as celebrity presenters and performers including singer Russell Watson, singer/songwriter Andreya Triana, boy band Collabro and comedian Jason Manford, who not only hosted the show but also sang a couple of festive numbers.
‘White Christmas’, ‘Christmas Song’ and ‘Sleigh Ride’ are amongst the favourites you will be able to hear on the Sky Arts Channel in December – appropriate numbers as the temperatures in the depths of the earth were a little chilly to say the least according to Fairey Band Manager Nigel Beasley.
“It was another really interesting day for the band. It was cold though – although our efforts were really appreciated both by the other performers and the producers. They were amazed we could keep playing for four hours without the instruments freezing to the lips!”
Nigel added: “Playing alongside these household names is not only good for the band but good for the brass band movement as a whole. I think people are now realising that bands such as Fairey can provide high class music making in any genre they want.
It was also great to be able to do a couple of pieces with Hackney as, for some time, we have been thinking of doing a collaborative concert together.”
The BBC’s latest ‘do it yourself’ artisan skills programme, ‘The Great Pottery Throwdown’ has already hit our television screens before the ovens from the tent of ‘Bake Off’ have had time to cool down.
Jugs, bowls and pots
And although the programme has received mixed reviews from the television critics – as would be Picassos and Morendis try their hand (literally) in making jugs, bowls and pots that will impress judges Keith Brymer Jones and Kate Malone – the music used has been a huge hit, with the BBC already being asked by viewers about its identity and who performed it.
They have found out that the answer is the Fairey Band – with excepts from of all things their ground breaking Acid Brass recordings and the follow up ‘In Yer Face’ release – although neither the music or the band were credited at the end of the first show.
It’s certainly added a bit of musical interest to a programme that you wouldn’t quite expect would work with a touch of Acid dipped into the clay mix as Fairey Band Manager Nigel Beasley told 4BR.
“It’s great that the BBC have used our Acid Brass tracks to help the programme, although it is a bit disappointing that it doesn’t get a mention in the credits. Lots of people have already contacted the band to ask if we recorded it specially for the series.”
He added: “It does show though that brass bands can do the most unexpected musical things – so it looks like we have made plenty of new pottery fans.”
Keen Acid House potters heard tracks such as ‘Can U Dance’ ‘I sit on Acid’ and ‘Gonna Make You Sweat’ featured during the first episode.
Not quite the Righteous Brothers serenading Demi Moore in ‘Ghost’ is it now….but it does only go out on BBC2 on a Tuesday evening at 9.00pm.
After claiming the North West Area title in Blackpool earlier this year, last weekend the band made their way down to capital city in order to compete in this year’s National Championships in the Royal Albert Hall. The test piece this time around was Thomas Doss’ Spiriti, previously used for the European Championships.
The lead up to the contest was a very busy time for the band due to the three performances of Gavin Higgin’s ballet Dark Arteries with the Rambert Dance Company at the Lowry in Manchester, only two weeks beforehand. This left only one week for the band to work up the piece in time for the contest. Thanks must go to the dedication of the players for being able to prepare such a huge piece as Spiriti in such a short space of time. And of course we must not forget the meticulous preparation carried out by the band’s Musical Director Garry Cutt.
After a strong performance the band claimed the third prize position with a great reception. Our congratulations to runners-up Brighouse & Rastrick and this year’s winners, The Cory Band.
The band now pre-qualify for next year’s national finals. See you in 2016!
Adjudicators: Stephen Roberts, Howard Snell, Rob Wiffen
1. Cory (Philip Harper)*
2. Brighouse & Rastrick (Prof. David King)**
3. Fairey (Prof. Garry Cutt)*
4. Flowers (Paul Holland)*
5. Tredegar (Ian Porthouse)
6. Camborne (Kevin Mackenzie)
7. Zone One Brass (Richard Ward)
8. Reg Vardy (Russell Gray)
9. Co-operative Funeralcare (Allan Ramsay)
10. Grimethorpe Colliery (Dr Robert Childs)
11. Black Dyke (Prof. Nicholas Childs)
12. Whitburn (Michael Fowles)
13. Foden’s (Allan Withington)
14. Carlton Main Frickley Colliery (Phillip McCann)
15. Virtuosi GUS (Adam Cooke)
16. Northop Silver (Thomas Wyss)
17. Tongwynlais Temperance (John Berryman)
18. NASUWT Riverside (Stephen Malcolm)
19. Desford Colliery (LCIWTF) (Tom Davoren)
20. Friary Guildford (Chris King)
*top 4 bands pre-qualify for next year’s contest.