Andrew Linham

News and Gigs

Spring 2021

Big Band Metheny 21.03.21

It has been a quietly busy few months thus far working on a wide range of projects, even though we've been in various stages of Lockdown.
The Royal Ballet School's 'Primary Steps' programme has been up and running via Zoom which is always an incredible project as I love to accompany the dancing and support RBS in finding their future ballet stars through workshops in schools in Barking and Dagenham.

I've been live-streaming on Facebook for
Ardleigh Green Learning Federation and for Queen's Theatre Hornchurch and I'm currently on Week 3 of 6 with regular Thursday morning 11am singalongs supported by Clarion Futures. The singalongs are always such fun! This week was Music Hall week working through the classic 1892 hit 'Daisy Bell'. It was a proper cockney knees up!

I was very excited to play a livestream gig at
Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club with Big Band Metheny on Sunday 21st March. It was so exciting to be back in the room with actual in person musicians and play that fantastic pad of music. I'm told it was one of the most watched streams which is very cool! I can't tell you how lovely it was to be back making music again. The best news is that you can watch it below!

My work on
LyricLand has been expanding exponentially through the pandemic and there are now over 100 videos exploring primary school education which is something a year ago I would never have anticipated in my wildest dreams. It is now a fully functioning resource used across multiple schools and organisations in Havering with lots of free resources available on my Youtube Channel. Many of these videos are aimed at the Early Years students who I'm currently not in a bubble with that teach the traditional Nursery Rhymes as students generally don't come to school knowing these songs anymore! By the Summer this set of 'Not-So-Nursery' Rhymes will be a set of videos to last one a week for the whole school year, which is something I never expected to have created!

Over Easter there was a lot more time for writing for the
Big Band which was truly joyful; I set a few days aside to really set to and see what new adventures I could create. The joy of writing for the ensemble is the only restriction is that it must be sight-readable as there is never enough time for proper rehearsals. Working within that one restriction and knowing the talent of my musicians and friends means that generally you can write anything (if you make it clear enough!). After the few days of working I was really able to find a creative flow and completed two new compositions; 'The Watermelon Man Goes Out Of Business' and 'Mrs Nesbitt's Awful Tea Party'. I can't wait to share this new music with you at our next gig which is set for Thursday 22nd July at Queen's Theatre Hornchurch. More details for that coming soon to get your tickets booked!

I was also lucky enough to be featured on the brilliant Tommy Andrew's
SoundSpring Podcast talking about my original big band piece 'Big Bertha's Quarter To Two's' from our 2017 album 'Weapons of Mass Distraction' - Downbeat Editor's Choice! Below is the link to our conversation about my approach to composition and music more widely (and wildly) in general and it was an absolute pleasure to discuss all things musical with him.

My new youth theatre musical 'Never Never' has been postponed again until 2022 as it is impractical to get large groups of young people from different schools and organisations together on a stage within current restrictions but I'm quietly optimistic that next year we will finally be able to premier my new production. It is such an exciting retelling of J.M Barrie's 'Peter Pan' and I'm quietly proud of the score as it is a level of pastiche without parody that I've never previously achieved as a composer. Often when I am pastiching a musical style it is to kindly poke fun and parody it, or exemplify everything it is (or could be) in a specific way, so this project is different in that the search for the genuine heart and truth within the various musical styles has been a big adventure.

So as the UK slowly opens up lets hope that we can get more gigs in the diary but for now bring on Thursday 22nd July 2021 at QTH when my big band, like a naughty phoenix, will rise again! That sounds like a song title… leave it with me!