When bearing bad news, always bring a puppy along

That could be a PR dictum, and if it becomes so, then Birmingham musician and promoter Chris Mapp should take the credit.

He has just announced that there will be no Harmonic Festival in 2012. This is the excellent showcase of bands both home-grown and from afar that Chris first masterminded along with fellow Birmingham musician Percy Pursglove in early 2010 and then again at about this time last year.

“What?” we might have cried. “You’re kidding me! This is a poor show, Chris. I had such a fab time at the mac last year, with superb performances by Food and the Mike Fletcher Quartet and Percy in duo with Hans Koller, and that sucker for punishment Steve Tromans playing solo for hours on end, heard only by headphone wearing wanderers… What the hell am I going to do now to cure the autumn blues? And it’s all your fault…”

But Chris had already worked out how to counter our disappointment and turn our pouty mouths into thankful grins.

He produced the puppy!

To give it its full name it is Snarky Puppy, a seven-piece band from Texas who the Harmonic twins (for that is how we think of them) came across at The Band On The Wall in Manchester earlier this year. You can get a taste of their funky accessibility, courtesy of YouTube, here:

I don’t think they will have a string section with them, and whether they usually play in the round, who knows… They sound mighty tasty, though. Love that mini-Moog sound which somehow reminds me of both Robert Glasper and The Isley Brothers. Lovely spacious stuff that really builds, and lush horns too. And the good news is Chris and Percy are bringing them to Birmingham next month in the first of what the Harmonics hope will be fairly regular one-off gigs in the months ahead.

Snarky Puppy will be at The Hare And Hounds in Kings Heath on Thursday 8 November. Tickets are £12 and are available here.

Oh, and having let us stroke and coo over the puppy, Chris also offers us the hope that the Harmonic Festival will be “back with a bang in 2013″. Lucky for some, then!



Categories: Live preview

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  1. Rich mix of Midland gigs in the week ahead | thejazzbreakfast

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