What concert have you been to in 2020?

I recall he was born in London?
Was not born in Ireland.

I must be missing something…
A very good synopsis of his musical life here



He was born in London and lived there but his parents came from Ireland.

@AndyP - I’ve just booked to see Ben Watt at Queen Elizabeth Hall on 14 March. Keeley Forsyth is opening for all Ben’s UK gigs.


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Great thanks for that - it is tempting.

Funny I bought the new Ben Watt this morning and just about to have a listen.


Tippett Little Music for String Orchestra
Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 1
Tippett Praeludium for Brass, Bells and Percussion
Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4

Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Sir Andrew Davis conductor
Paul Lewis piano

Lewis’ Beethoven PC1 was on a bit sloppy side. Certainly not as incisive or articulate as young Pollini or Argerich. Notes did not have sharper articulation and glissando at the end of 1st movement did not have note separation and clarity. I was a bit surprised and disappointed that his performance did not match his CD recording from a few years back with BBC Symphony and Belohlavek which is one of my favorite for this concerto. Tonight’s performance was lacking a bit of chip on your shoulder bold incisive moves. Even the Rondo was not nearly funky or bouncy as the 2009 recording. So it was a bit of a let down as I was looking forward to hear him play this piece. Perhaps it was his first nite and was a bit off.

PC4 faired a bit better. Plenty of expressive moves between reflective softer passages and bolder fffs. Interesting, I thought that this live performance was better than 2009 recording where his playing certainly matured and he was able to express a wider reach into the insights of the score than 11 years earlier. The 4th Concerto is a difficult piece not as straight forward virtuoso piece of PC1 for any pianist. Lewis rendition still lacked the honesty and naturalness of Kempf which has more confessional feel. Rubato or longer pauses somehow felt forced and theatrical.

Tippett’s Little Music for String Orchestra was played in a larger scale than usual. The tone of Cello resonated giving a bolder stronger foundation and massed strings gave beautiful textures and soundstage. It’s an interesting and intimate piece but in CSO rendition perhaps intimacy was lost in it.

The other Tippett piece played, to me, was a collection of noise made by percussive instruments and blearing brass. Davis explained that there is a connection to Beethoven’s music, but I didn’t get it.

Conductor Davis ( who used to be a house conductor for Lyric Opera ) isn’t my favourite either. Nice enough chap, but he did not add anything special to this performance. Tho I appreciated Tippett pieces where they don’t get played often.

Danish String Quartet


Beethoven: String Quartet No. 2 in G Major, Op. 18, No. 2
Beethoven: String Quartet No 9 in C Major, Op. 59, No. 3 (Razumovsky)
Beethoven: String Quartet No. 16 in F Major, Op. 135

Continuing on Beethoven’s 250 Anniversary, many are playing the composer’s work in 2020.

Danish String Quartet played each work from Beethoven’s Early, Middle and Late Quartet work. The first up is the OP18/No.2. It’s a very frilly easy-on-ear piece and nothing really ground breaking vying more to Haydn/Mozart’s classic style.

Middle and late work get more interesting as Beethoven pushes the boundary and experiments. Both the Op.59 and his final Op.135 were played with a spot on timing and expressive phrasing throughout tho angular percussive phrasing were on a softer than usual side. These can get very angry but not much of outburst were heard on this set. My favoruite of the evening was the Razumovsky. Thoughtful pacing gave sparse notes more room to breath depicting barren landscape which created a moody landscape.

There was a change in personnel as Viola player could not make it so she was a substitute.
All’n’all, it was an enjoyable performance ( Mandel Hall’s excellent acoustic does not hurt either! ) and hope they come back again.

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Slipknot last Saturday at the O2
Friday Megadeth and Five Finger Death Punch at Wembley Arena

This evening, 02/02/2020, at Benaroya Hall in Seattle attended the show “An Intimate Evening With Sarah McLachlan.” A wonderful two hour performance and at 52 she still has a beautiful and powerful voice. She played the piano, acoustic and electric guitar and had a cello player who accompanied her on about 85% of her songs. There were very few open seats so there was close to 2500 people out to see her performance. A lovely Sunday evening with the wife…


A national treasure!

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As requested by Nigel (@hungryhalibut), here’s a thread to share the concerts you’ve attended this year – your experiences, good and bad, photos, setlists etc.

Looking forward tio hearing from you all!

I’ll get things going.

It’s the evening of Saturday, 4th January and we’re at The Ritzy In Brixton. Someone at the venue didn’t quite get Ese & The Vooduu People’s name right, but that’s a minor quibble when they managed to got 2020 off to the best possible start with a fantastic gig in front of a packed house (and sterling support from drummer Pharoah’s superb band, with guest appearances by Sheena and Basile).

SETLIST: Fairytale – I Don’t Mind – Grey/Keep On – Alien – Up In Smoke – Where Did i Go Wrong?/Dub/Family Affair – She Said – Grenfell Blues – I Wanna Be Adored – Silver Spoon

It was great to see old friends there – including @steviebee of this forum – as well as a lot of new fans, some of whom even bought merch!


Going to see Mills at the Stoller Hall next week followed by Michael Head and the Red Elastic Band at Gorilla the week after.


You beat me to it! Wonderful night in a really intimate venue with good sound.

EVP were incandescent I have to say. Our first Ese gig South of the River & it was great to see a packed house! Absolutely loved it - can’t wait for Jazztrain. ‘Grenfell’ is really becoming a stormer, and ‘Alien’ and ‘Grey’…simply immense.

Special mention when Pharoah was joined by Sheena on his beautiful song ‘Life’, about the birth of his son and being with his Dad at death. I had a similar experience (sure a lot of us do) with my Mum, just the two of us holding hands. Loved the song…

And…an all-for-one jazzy jam session at the end!

GREAT night to bring in the year!

Oh yes, and we paid a very special visit to someone before the gig:

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We went to see Scott Hamilton at Pizza Express on Dean Street last night. He plays a week at the beginning of the year and we went last year too. He’s such a great player and the whole band were superb. I got chatting to the woman at the next table and it turned out she was Nikki Iles, who is a very fine jazz pianist and I’ve got quite a few of her albums. Small world.


Tomorrow night it’s Paul Jones and Friends for us at Guildford G Live venue.
Not sure who his friends are yet for this year (it’s always kept secret until the night). But over the last few years we’ve seen Tom Jones, Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, Rick Wakeman, Eric Bibb, to name a few.
It’s always a great show, sold out on the day tickets go on sale. Paul organises it each year in aid of local charities with all artists giving their time for free.


Bah autocorrect. Mills - Milos.

Well Paul Jones surpassed himself last night with an awesome ensemble of musicians. The house band (Jawbone) lead by virtuoso keyboard man Paddy Milner and Evan Jenkins on drums keeping the show moving smoothly for the duration.

Paul’s first guest was Grammy winning Mike Ferris, followed by 60’s legends Rod Argent and Colin Blunstone, working their way through a medley of their hits.

Second half saw Paul introduce the brilliant Madeleine Bell accompanied by Paul on harmonica for several numbers. Paul then introduced to the stage Andy Fairweather – Low accompanied by Dave Bronze on Bass. They were followed on stage for the final act by the Legendary Paul Weller. Paul played for half an hour a mixture of his own penned songs, and lead the band with Paul Jones playing a selection of Blues classics.

The grand finale saw all artist returning to the stage en-masse to perform together “Band Aid style”.

In total over £40k was raised for Guildford based Prostrate Project.

Roll on next years Paul Jones and Friends concert.


Mary Coughlan, Pavilion, Dun Laoghaire, a wonderful gig from a tight band with the wonderful voice of Mary Coughlan fronting them.

An emotional version of “I’d rather go blind” - I don’t think I’ll ever hear a better one. She usually sings it about her first boyfriend and during her intro we learned he has died recently. To be honest I was nearly in tears.



I visited the half six fix at the Barbican tonight. LSO with Rattle performing 7 early songs by Alban Berg and Beethoven 7th Symphony. Excellent performance. Very rhythmic and dynamic.

I’m no Beethoven fan at all but I did enjoy it.

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