Next month we’re trying something a little different and taking our late-night series, The Night Shift to everyone’s favourite place – the pub.
It’s an idea we’ve bandied around for a little while here in the OAE office, but recently we decided to JFDI, as we say in our strange office lingo. (Just Flipping Do It)…
The idea is simple, downsize the Night Shift and perform in a pub. We love the idea of it being a super-intimate event with the audience being really close to performers, and being in a pub, standing, with a pint in hand, should work well with the whole Night Shift informality thing. Plus our Night Shift audience is always telling us they want more regular events – so this is a handy way of having events in between the main shows.
We put the idea to OAE leaders Margaret Faultless and Matthew Truscott and they were immediately up for it. They’ve devised a programme of Baroque music – some of it quite obscure, some quirky. As Matthew says:
“Music and musicians have always had a close and fond affinity with pubs, and Purcell, some of whose extraordinary music we’ll be featuring, was no exception. Maybe he even excelled as a pub goer. Along with the magnificent court music and his wonderfully intimate chamber and consort music he produced dozens of catches and drinking songs. Though some of them were condemned at the time for their ‘wretched ribaldry’, they became the staple songs at the end of the 17th C for a new national federation of music clubs, based at the local. People got together and sang together in a way that would be ‘beneficial to the publick in forwarding a commendable society.’ Not that it did Purcell himself much good – the most plausible story about his death is that he was locked out by his wife Frances after a late return home from a particularly heavy night.”
So, if you want to find out whether Purcell in a pub is wretched or beneficial, then come along on 8 September, to the Star of Kings in King’s Cross. The pub is (handily) just up the road from our offices, and is just an 8 minute walk up from the tube. Matthew, Maggie and cellist Robin Michael will be performing two sets at 8.30pm and 9.30pm, and in between and afterwards we bring things rather more up to date with DJ sets from Bob Stanley (of Saint Etienne fame), with the evening being introduced by blogger Jon Jacob.
William Norris, Communications Director