End of weekly Wednesday jazz gigs at The Queens Head, Monmouth.
Saturday, August 18, 2012
It is with regret that I have to report the news of the cessation of these regular jazz gigs at The Queens Head, Monmouth. The Wednesday jazz sessions have been under threat for some time as I have previously reported.
I’ll let Neill Bell, landlord of The Queens Head take up the story;
The last weekly Wednesday Jazz Gig! We still hope to put on gigs every 4 to 5 weeks or so but this Wednesday brings to an end the gigs we have been putting on for the last 6 years.
It is only fitting that we end with a superb band, Coltane Dedication, fronted by two of the people, Lyndon and Crac, who have put so much effort into keeping music live and free at the Queens Head. I am not sure everyone realises how much time and energy Lyndon in particular has put into ensuring that we have been able to put on top drawer bands from the UK and abroad. Without his dedication and hard work we would not have gained the reputation of being one of the premier Jazz venues in the UK. After six years it is bound to be a bit emotional but we hope that as many people as possible come to the gig.
Closing the Jazz season with a bang! Coltrane and pushing on, riding on his wake -The ‘dedication quintet are back from appearing at Brecon Jazz Festival for a night of intense, spirited emotional playing. From upbeat energetic standard forms such as “Mr P.C.”, emotionally charged contemplative modal ballads like “Lonnie’s Lament”, and free blowing creations of later period ‘Trane. A guaranteed evening of energy and passion -Lyndon Owen and Caractacus Downes on horns, John Paul Gard, piano, Aidan Thorne, Bass, and Iolo Whelan, Drums. Checkout http://www.coltrane dedication.co.uk.
The regular Sunday folk and roots gigs will continue featuring mainly local artists.
It’s a great shame that the organisers have had to pull the plug on the regular jazz programme. It’s been little short of astonishing the way that Neill, Lyndon and Crac have persuaded jazz artists with national reputations to come to the Queens to perform in front of non paying audiences but all good things have to come to an end. The programming has been varied and highly adventurous with free jazz legends such as Alan Wilkinson and Mark Sanders among the recent visitors.
Future gigs are likely to be those with Jazz Services support so good quality jazz will continue to be heard at the Queens if a little less frequently.
I’ll admit that I’ve not attended the venue as often as I’d have liked but I’d also like to extend my thanks to Neill, Lyndon and Crac for the work they’ve put in to establish the Queens on the jazz map and for the hospitality they’ve extended to me on my infrequent visits. I hope to drop in and catch some of the Coltrane Dedication performance on the last night.
JAZZ MANN FEATURES
The sun shines on the final day of an excellent festival.
Ian Mann soaks up the vibes at Cheltenham Jazz Festival.