We’re getting very excited about the visit of the Graham Fitkin band to Dartington tomorrow! Twitter seems to be awash with praise for the tour so far. Conductor and R3 broadcaster Charlie Hazlewood (@charliehazelwoo) referred to Fitkin as GLORIOUS and his band as the FASTEST GUNS INTHE WEST whilst the review from Edinburgh’s gig called the night HABITUALLY GRIPPING and later MESMERISING. (You can read the full review here) Back down to earth @Queenshall simply said VERY TASTY SOUNDS.
Whats great about this tour of course was it was rehearsed up here at Dartington in a three day residency a couple of weeks ago. You might say it was Made in Dartington! You can listen to Graham talking about both his music and the residency on the event page here – and also listen to David Francis (Head of Arts) talking about Dartingtons ambitious residency plans here. Certainly from our point of view it was completely inspiring having the group with us…it just underlined what an extraordinary set of musicians they are and what a great space Dartington is for rehearsing and making new work. And its great for Dartington to be on a tour schedule which includes Queens Hall (Edinburgh), Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Ether and the Salisbury International Festival. Wow!
But I want to leave the final word to some of the students from KEVIC who were able to drop in one of the rehearsals (the pictures on my Flick R feed are from that open rehearsal)…
I LOVED THE MUSIC…..IT MADE ME FEEL HAPPY AND INSPIRED…. It made me feel very inspired to be part of something similar in the future.
And two of the students have indeed set up their own Fitkin esque band as a result of their experience.
Its going to be a very special night!
The Fitkin Band play the Michael Tippett Centre Bath tonight (where I cut my teeth in venues as their inaugural Arts Manager), Dartington’s Great Hall Thursday and then open the new spaces of Falmouth (incorporating Dartington College of Arts) on Friday.
Full tour dates are on Graham’s web site here
A coincidental post script!!
I’d first come across Graham’s saxaphonist Simon Haram after I’d been given a copy of his CD On Fire whilst working in Bath- its a beautiful album which I still listen to today. Simon then started telling me about his first visit to Dartington – whilst a student – with a group of saxophonists who were ultimately to become the London Saxaphonic. Their first gig turned out to be right here in the Great Hall working with an intriguing artist who I’d never come across before called MOONDOG. The following day I met up with the artist Stuart Silver who we are working with on a South West Music School residency in February and who is appearing at the Soho Theatre RIGHT NOW! On his journey down he’d been listening to none other than Moondog. Needless to say I’ve been rapidly trying to catch up with the music of Moondog ever since!