Synergy represented by

Left to right: Heather Cairncross, Micaela Haslam, Amy Howarth

It was a lovely sunny day when we met for Drumming (round 2) – this time in Birmingham. Amy and I took the same train from London – much too early as it turned out, as the rehearsal time had been changed since I booked the tickets. Still, it meant that we could have a leisurely lunch and a wander around Birmingham town centre.

Birmingham Town Hall

Amy was with us for Music for Mallets in which she and I do our best impressions of the right hand notes of the electric organ; Heather gets the funky marimba patterns to sing. We hadn’t performed the piece since 2006, but the voice parts are pretty straightforward – at least, in terms of what to sing when. The percussionists have much more counting and cueing to worry about – and once again we were impressed at the speed at which these boys can put a piece of Steve Reich together. There were many repeat counts and cue-notes jotted down during a brief talk-through, then somehow the concert was absolutely perfect. Seriously cool dudes!

Clockwise from front: Andrew Cottee, Aidy Spillett, Joby Burgess, Richard Benjafield and Tony Bedewi rehearsing Music for Mallets

Colin, Joby, Richard and Sam rehearsing Drumming Part 1

Drumming was a triumph once again, but there was little time to celebrate for those of us who had a train to catch. Once on the train, a few beers were consumed and we had a good catch up. All was very chilled – until we approached Euston and realised that our train was running 20 minutes late. We were due to arrive in Euston at 00.05, and it was now 00.25 – around the time that all the tube trains stop for the night. As soon as the doors opened we all ran from the train, across the station, down the escalators, across platforms – and only just made it on to the last tubes. Stress or what! Owen Gunnell, as usual, had the craziest journey of all. He’d left his van up in north London so was on his way to retrieve it. He then had another hour and a half’s drive up beyond Cambridge – and the following day he was flying to Australia to play a concerto with London Sinfonietta. If he’d missed the last tube he would have been seriously snookered – that’s dedication to The Colin Currie Group for you!”


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