2019: A BIG YEAR FOR THE PUNCH HOUSE BAND

It looks like this may be a vintage year for the Punch House Band

Things have been going on here since our last blog post, many good and exciting things, and the year ahead is looking positively fecund with top Punch House stuff; gigs, videos, new publicity pictures and the release of our six track CD. This is looking like a very big year for us, indeed a vintage year you might say.

GIGS! GIGS! GIGS!

Our work rate as a live band has gone ballistic in recent months, we’ve played more gigs since November 2018 than we managed in our entire career up to that point and this is no exaggeration. As well as returning to the Golden Star in Norwich (a damn fine hostelry by any way of measuring these things) we have also brought our show to The

Louis Marchesi, The Roseberry, The Rumsey Wells and the Butcher Bhoy (all in Norwich) and the Burston Crown. We have loads more coming up throughout the year with furhter appearances being added all the time so it’s worth checking out our gigs page on a regular basis to ensure you don’t miss out.

SONGS FROM THE BIG SKY

PHB Big sky booklet frontWe are very pleased to say that our first CD, the “Songs From The Big Sky” E.P. will be on sale at all our gigs starting this Friday 22nd February at the Rumsey Wells in Norwich. It’s a six track affair recorded and engineered by Chris Bond of Seaplane Studios and features songs which have become mainstays of our live set. The tracks are “A Box in a Hole in the Ground”, “The Big Sky in the East”, “The Ghost of Allan Smethurst”, “Back to the Dirt”, “The Bricks of Burston” and “Bedlam Boys” and we plan to have it available through mail order and also as a download before too long. We think it captures our energetic live performance rather well. You can preview some of the songs on our reverbnation page here.

THE PUNCH HOUSE BAND ON TV

…well, Youtube anyway. A couple of weeks ago we got in front of a video camera wielded by the entirely marvellous Al Pulford and committed our live performances of “Masquerade”, “The Ballad of Norwich Gaol” and “I Walk By Night” to videotape (or it’s digital equivalent). Did you know we have a Youtube channel? If you didn’t, you do now which means you have no excuse for not subscribing. It already featured a few “from the audience” videos but these three are first that we’ve done “on purpose” as it were.

We deliberately chose songs we hadn’t recorded which have become highlights of ourNch Gaol video screen shot live show. “Norwich Gaol”, written by Peter Bellamy, is one of the first songs we worked on when we first got the band together. It’s from Bellamy’s legendary (in folk circles) album “The Transports” which the Norwich theatre company Crude Apache has staged as a theatrical performance on a couple of occasions and Richard, Leighton and Tim were heavily involved in both productions.

“Masquerade” is another song with Crude Apache connections. Tim and Russell Turner, (you probably know him; most people do), wrote the song for the company’s 1998 production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The song then remained largely unplayed for twenty years(!) until Stuff of Dreams Theatre Company, a company with whom Tim does a great deal of work, staged an outdoor tour of “The Dream” last summer and used this song. Leighton, who was playing Oberon in this new production, got to make it his own and so in due course it went into our set where it has proved a very popular show-closer. The company, including Tim and Leighton, will be touring the show again this year and if you want to know more go here.

“I Walk by Night” is another song composed by Tim and it takes it’s title from a book of the same name which is the reminiscences of Frederick Rolfe, the “King of the Norfolk Poachers”. You can read more about this song here.

20190126_7508641_punchhouseband_shootYou can see the videos here and you may want to consider subscribing because there will be more to come. We also took some promotional photos as well which you can see all over our “online presence” and publicity material. Al is a fantastic photographer who (amongst many other things) is the go-to snapper for bands around here and his website is well worth a visit which you can do here. We can’t recommend him highly enough.

OTHER NEWS AND EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

In other news, following our collaboration with Crude Apache on last summer’s “At the Turning of the Tide” we are going to be the “House Band” for the company’s twenty-fifth anniversary event in June this year and we’re really looking forward to that. At the moment it’s shrouded in secrecy but as soon as we’re allowed to do so we’ll let tell you more.

Quite a few of our songs were composed by Tim for Stuff of Dreams’ productions; “Back to the Dirt” and “A Bit of the White Stuff” from The Poisoners’ Pact (a play about the Burnham Poisoners), and “The Bricks of Burston” from the play of the same name about the famous Strike School. Now he’s about to tour “An Honest Gentleman” the latest show he’s co-written with the director, Cordelia Spence. It’s about an actual highwayman called Thomas Easter who lived in Aylsham and features eight new songs by Tim, some of which are pretty likely to end up in our set before too long. If you want to know more go here.

Finally, here are some live pics of us at the Roseberry last month. Once again we are indebted to Al Pulford for these most excellent shots.

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