Steve Day is regularly involved in live performance: a duo with Mark Langford, often augmented with Julian Dale to a trio.  BeforePoets is a poetry/music performance collective centred on poetry by Steve Day & James Stallard plus Julie Tippetts and Phil Madden.  Blazing Flame - song/jazz/improv/funk quintet is currently in hibernation but will awake as required.                   

 


 

GIGS LISTINGS 

 

 

  • Friday 13th March 2020 - Poetry & Music: Concert For Amnesty featuring Steve Day & Mark Langford with Julian Dale plus James Stallard & David Mowat: The Greenbank, Bristol, BS5 6DP, doors open 7.30pm, concert 8.00pm. 


 

  • Monday 20th April 2020 - Poetry & Music: BeforePoets featuring Steve Day, James Stallard, Mark Langford, Julian Dale, Peter Evans & David Mowat: St Stephen's, Lunchtime Concert, Bristol BS1 1EQ, 1.10pm until 2.00pm.

  • Wednesday 10th June 2020 - Poetry & Music: BeforePoets featuring Steve Day, James Stallard, Julie Tippetts, Phil Madden, Mark Langford, Julian Dale, Peter Evans & David Mowat: St Stephen's Lunchtime Concert, Bristol BS1 1EQ, doors open 7.30pm, concert 8.00pm (Two Sets)  

 

 

NEW RELEASE FEBRUARY 2020

 

 

STEVE DAY & MARK LANGFORD

     

with JULIAN DALE  

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Pairing

 

Poetry & Music CD & Booklet FTR006

 

 

 Liner Notes: 

 

Mark Langford and I had been living in different parts of the city since the 1970s. We were aware of each other, but didn't arrive in the same space together until autumn 2016.  I needed a reeds player; he didn't realise he required a poet nor I an exceptional pianist, but we 'got each other' completely.  We are a true pairing and we have pared down these performances to essentials. On four tracks this includes the contributions of Julian Dale, a bass player of nuance and detail, who appreciates 'less is more'.

 

Steve Day, 2020

 

Paring: Review

 Rigobert Dittmann

Bad Alchemy, Germany, February 2020

 

Day "...performs his wondrous poems of alchemy and insight... a sophistication leaping out of (piano) syncopation.... (Langford and Dale) painting terrific gnarly, chirping, elegiac rumbling melancholia from bass clarinet, singing glass and tiny rattles."

 

                               

     For CD information, purchase & downloads

 

go to Freetone Records Bandcamp.

 

More information on Freetone Records website. 

 

 

BEFOREPOETS

 

are a performance poetry collective consisting of

 

Steve Day, Julie Tippetts, James Stallard, Phil Madden

 

 

A BeforePoets performance consists of four separate spoken word sets; solo and in collaboration with musicians. The content is constantly being revised. One larger joint work is featured involving the whole ensemble, the live music being drawn from a coterie of musicians with established links with B-Poets.

Click here to see and hear: James Stallard reading - at the Alma Tavern Theatre on 24th March 2019.

Click here to see and hear: Steve Day and Mark Langford performing spoken word/music - at the Alma Tavern Theatre on 24th March 2019.

Click here to hear: Steve Day reading three poems from his book The Edge Of England, in duet with Mark Langford playing bass clarinet. Syd's Body, Connection Blues, I Know No Meaning For The Word Divine.

 

  • Julie Tippetts is best known for her singing in partnership with Keith Tippett, Martin Archer and Maggie Nicols, and her early involvement with Brian Auger & The Trinity. What many people do not realise is that Julie has always written poetry for spoken word. Imaginative tales that hark back to the tradition of story tellers, yet infused with an insight that is totally contemporary. Expect a charisma of words.
  • James Stallard currently has a collection of selected writings called Readings Edition 13, 5, 7 and 3 Poems. His work is unique; short aphorisms or narratives that plunge possible interpretations into an abyss of meaning. Intriguing, mischievous and targeted, sometimes garlanded with a humorous playful quality; always written as a result of acute observation. He asks you to listen. He's a man who rarely shouts.
  • Phil Madden's work is literally drawn down, a poetry written in tandem to the work of fine art engravers Paul Kershaw and Peter Lazarov. With Paul came the books, The Amphibious Place, Paths, Wings Take Us and Running Rings. With Peter, The Urban Moon and The Puppeteer and The Puppet. "All sorts of shapes and references can be found..... above all we hope, the koan of stillness and movement."
  • Steve Day's performances with Mark Langford are riveting. The 2018 publication of The Edge Of England is the prologue to 2019's selected poems volume 2, Curving Sentences, available through Amazon.  In 2020 Freetone Records releases a small booklet of eleven poems as part of the CD package for Pairing.  "At least a couple of these poems are always found in our live set.  One piece, Coward, acts as a probe to my conscience."
  • Musicians involved in BeforePoets are Mark Langford, Julian Dale, Peter Evans & David Mowat (see below for their intro CVs).

BeforePoets - reviewed by Tony Benjamin:

James Stallard: "His unhurried delivery was crisp and clear.... unfolded bewilderingly in a relentless collage of handheld movie clips, abstract ideas, well-honed connotative phrases.... and even the occasional joke.... a roller coaster ride."

Julie Tippetts: "As she began reading pieces like Dismantling The Waterfall and Waterwings it was clear that she savoured the sound of her words.... (a) measured poetry and musical integrity that showed how the two could coexist on equal terms."

Steve Day: "...... combining poetry and jazz and you think, probably, of Greenwich Village coffee bars, black-shrouded beatnicks and finger snapping approval.... there is a definite echo of those days in Steve Day's declamatory performances...."

 

Contact: Live bookings and media promotions for BeforePoets:

earssteveday(at)gmail(dot)com

 

 

BLAZING FLAME  

 

 

 

Blazing Flame David Mowat, trumpet, Marco Anderson, drums (hidden), Mark Langford, tenor sax, Steve Day, voice, percussion, Julian Dale, double bass, voice, Peter Evans, 5-string electric violin. 

 

 

 

  

BLAZING FLAME : LIVE ON STAGE

 

  "The bloody loveliness of the Blazing Flames is once again electrifying."

 

George W. Harris, Jazz Weekly 2017, USA

 

FLAMING GERSHWIN


Jazz is in debt to Ira Gershwin, his chord sequences are the foundation of many a band workout. Ironically Blazing Flame Quintet/6 rarely use chords, but this tune is nevertheless dedicated to the great man. Flaming Gershwin is a song that explores the mental 'fix' of improvising on predetermined composition. This version contains a studied tenor sax solo, probing violin and a pulse that builds bridges to the head and the feet. Experience BFQ6 live and it's like being drawn into a vortex of possibilities.

 

BACK INTO THE HIGH TIDE WE GO

 

An unusual live version of High Tide, Peter's solo violin introduction is short and precise; Mark's tenor saxophone hints at longer breaks but stays tight. Steve chooses to miss out one of the early verses. For this gig the idea was to squeeze an 'eight minute cameo' into the set. The environmental lyric is clear, connecting words and music in a propelling performance. Listen to the drum n' bass; Marco and Julian are opposites who play like one. David's brass rides their helter skelter backline game-set-&-match. Currently Back Into The High Tide We Go is often the opening number of a BFQ6 gig.

 

BRUTUS AND CAESAR

 

Brutus And Caesar begins with Marco's live click-percussion and Steve's voice. Twitchy, pointed, it grabs the attention from the start. Gradually the band put in all kinds of quirky in-fills enhancing this tale of jealousy and betrayal. Its roots are in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar and the performance is all cut and thrust. Both violin and trumpet are as much storytellers as the voice - the saxophone and chorus, brooding and descriptive. Someone recently told the band that Brutus And Caesar was like listening to Velvet Underground playing for pleasure. "We're okay with that, it's possible to see in the dark."

 


  • Steve Day Voice/hand-percussion.  Live, he enacts original song form through the ensemble's improvisation.  "Just like the other guys in the band, my interest is in improv.  Sure, my stuff is pre-written, the writing element equates to a personal practice, in performance my words undergo a transformation, perhaps even a translation.   Ornette Coleman to Langston Hughes are among my milestones.  I am who I am, carrying many different writers in my pocket; Yeats, Snyder, Plath and Beckett, plus jazz writers like the great Valerie Wilmer.  Eventually you realise you are somewhere on your own and you have to let them all go to some degree."
  • Peter Evans5-string electric violin/violin.  Peter Evans, the best electric violin player in the UK?  Sure, we've heard what some people are saying but we know there are other great players.  It's not about being 'the best'. Peter has his own sound, there is nothing simple about his approach to music.  He had a long association with the Bird Architects, who bridged 'rock', 'jazz' and 'fusion'.  His composition Furlongs Dash is a classic of the genre. As well as being a central force within Blazing Flame it is also possible to catch Evans performing the classical repertoire with the Brandon String Quartet and other orchestral ensembles. 
  • Mark Langford:  Tenor saxophone/bass clarinet/piano.  Mark Langford was a founder member of Bristol Music Coop, a catalyst for free improvised music in the South West.  Wind & Fingers, Both Hands Free, Thinko Jazz, Outloud and Bullit were just some of the key bands in which he has played reeds, keyboards, and acted as composer.  He is now a key ingredient and vital voice within Blazing Flame. Mark also puts in time in free 'jazz'/improvising ensembles with such players as Phil Gibbs, Paul Anstey, Bob Helson, Dominic Lash and Roger Telford.  Check out the recording Fringe Activity. In 2020 Mark Langford and Steve Day will be releasing a spoken word/music album, Pairing, featuring their regular performance duo (sometimes expanding into a trio with Julian Dale.)
  • Julian Dale:  Double bass/cello/voice.  A former winner of the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival's Young Composers Competition, Julian first teamed up with the BF-Collective for the Murmuration album.  His career spans a number of key jazz and rock ensembles, playing with ace pianists such as Tim Richards and Raimundo Fernandez.  He  conducts and composes for string and symphony orchestras; recently producing and arranging 'chamber versions' of Steve Day's I Talk To Genius and the collaborative, Spy vs Spy, in which Julian performs all the vocal and instrumental parts.  His 'straight' compositions have been broadcast on Radio 3, his bass playing featured on BBC Radio 1,2,3,4,6 & BBC TV 1, 2 & Channel 4.   
  • Marco Anderson:  Drums/percussion.  Marco is an astonishingly gifted drummer; a creative rhythm hub and complete multi-instrumentalist, producer and teacher.  He has played in a variety of settings and bands including electronica with Jerry Goodman (Mahavishnu Orchestra), jazz with Paul Dunmall, fusion with Peter Evans and blues with the legendary Tony McPhee.  He brings a dramatic tension to proceedings, offering a wide filigree of percussive colourings. Catch Marco Anderson on all current Blazing Flame dates and the Wrecked Chateau album.
  • David Mowat: Trumpet. David played with Blazing Flame Quintet/6 during 2019 and is featured on the 2019 new Leo Records album.  He continues to play with BeforePoets and related gigs.  An eloquent trumpet explorer, he has played with Brian Abrahams, Gail Thompson, Mick Beck and Harrison Smith.  He currently leads the Bristol European Jazz Ensemble and the Chai For All Ensemble. Check out their cutting edge album Longing, Belonging And Balfour.  Note: The BEJE is currently on tour, see here
 

Note:  Blazing Flame are currently only available for special events.

Contact and live bookings and media promotions.

earssteveday(at)gmail(dot)com 

  

"Thanks so much for last night. It was a great evening....  the band were hugely impressive.... people there really enjoyed the challenge of your music and performance..... (and) came away raving about you and the band.  Good luck with your work in the future."

 

Geraldine Hill-Male, Chew Valley Arts Project  

 

Wrecked Chateau (Leo Records CD LR 855)

 

 

Back Into The High Tide We Go * He's Crazy * Snap Shots Of The Boy * Russian Doll * Wrecked Chateau * Flaming Gershwin * Regular Queens With Three Stray Horns * Brutus And Caesar  

 

Note: Above Flaming Gershwin is the studio recording via a tomajazz.com radio podcast. 

 

"The thoughtful notes of the bass clarinet accompanied by the double bass played with the bow introduce Snap Shots of the Boy…… In the middle of engaging solos, comes the violin entwined with the trumpet played with a mute, then the verses of a poet who truly has so much to say within the current contemporary music scene."

Music Zoom, Italy, March 2019 

 

 "….. the Flames improvising Fire-and-Feline music.  They play hot, or just flicker bow strokes; flicker saxophone or accelerate on circulating trumpet - the best band that can do anything like this." 

Rigobert Dittmann, Bad Alchemy, Germany, March 2019 

 

 

Click here to see and hear Blazing Flame performing Snap Shots Of The Boy at the Alma Tavern Theatre on 24th March 2019  

 

 

 

 

Press Statement 

 

This new line-up of Blazing Flame exudes quality.  Wrecked Chateau is an exploratory album containing eight tracks harbouring words of targeted power - "…so roams the wolf pack through the Landfill of Eden"; instrumentally this is structured improvising of a high order.  Mark Langford's tenor break on Flaming Gershwin is a precise instant signature running abstraction very deep. The UK has a unique six piece quintet; part basking in non intentional 'jazz-rock', yet at the same time imploding such a description by delivering cutting edge song/poetry.  In its own way, a breakthrough revelation.