Queen's Head

Gigs at the Queens Head are every Sunday and occasional Wednesdays

All gigs are free admission and start at 8.30 pm. Programming consists of National and International touring artists as well as providing a platform for many of the high quality, creative players in the region.

Wednesday 17/07/19 AKøDE

***** Nu-music Special *****

Formed for a Norwegian tour in the autumn of 2010 this quartet, comprising British reeds player Alan Wilkinson and Norwegians Kim Johannesen(guitar), Ola Høyer(double bass), Dag Erik Knedal Andersen, has since toured regularly in Scandinavia and Britain as well as in Holland, France and Japan. They have appeared at festivals in Kongsberg, Molde, Oslo, Copenhagen and London. This eagerly anticipated 4 date UK tour will see a welcome return to the bristling and intensely creative improvisations they've become known for.

ALAN WILKINSON (alto, baritone saxophones, bass clarinet) has for many years been a leading figure in the British Improvised Music Community. His reputation of a full blast, take no prisoners approach was cast in the Leeds based trio Hession/Wilkinson/Fell. Based in London since 1990 his current groups include a long standing trio with John Edwards and Steve Noble, the quartet The Founder Effect with John Coxon, Pat Thomas and Noble, and many collaborations past and present with among others Derek Bailey, Peter Brötzmann, Thurston Moore, J.Spaceman, Chris Corsano, Konstrukt and Talibam!
KIM JOHANNESEN (guitar) mixes the speed and dexterity of a Jazz player with a flair for abstraction, noise and experimentation. His impressive list of collaborators includes work with Raymond Strid, Ingebrigt Haaker Flaten, John Butcher, Pat Thomas and Roger Turner. OLA HøYER (double bass) is a highly versatile and busy musician active in Classical, Jazz and Experimental Rock, all elements which inform his rich and multi layered approach to Free Improvisation. In constant demand he tours regularly in Japan and the USA as well as Europe.
DAG ERIK KNEDAL ANDERSEN (drums) is a dazzling musician, voted 'Talent of the Year' at Molde in 2010, again bringing a Jazz fluidity, speed and precision to a wide variety of playing situations mostly in the field of Free Improvisation and Noise. He combines flamboyance, a hyperactive personality, and instinctive creativity, to place him among the finest European drummers.

Supported by the Plancktone Club - Music In Monmouth


Wednesday 31/07/19 An alternative festival tradition: Coltrane Dedication

***** Jazz Special *****

The barnstorming quintet, inspired by the tunes of the late John Coltrane, present another evening of improvised music, "boldly straying where no band has strayed before"
A collective of musicians who recognise the emotional power of the later music of John Coltrane and use those compositions as their own springboard for creating a powerful, engaging, passioned communication through improvised music.Coltrane Dedication is about taking the spirit of that great movement in music between 1960 and 1967 and laying it out in a 21st century context.
The band attracts major players from throughout South Wales and the South West and on this occasion we have "Monmouth's own" Lyndon Owen & Caractacus Downes (Saxophones), Ashley John Long (Bass), Dave Jones (Piano) & Ian Poole (Drums).

Supported by Music In Monmouth


Wednesday 4/09/19 Sean Noonan's Picnic in Snow Trio

***** Nu-music Special *****

Norbert Buerger - Guitarist from Buerger from the Hell
Christian Schantz - Bass
Sean Noonan - Drums

Playing improvised music from Noonan's Book of Comprovisation

The dining room table confines us three times a day, and quite frankly, that gets old. So come on out and experience Sean Noonan's Picnic in the Snow since its more than any ordinary picnic! You’ll see, it will be one meal that you'll remember for years to come.

"Independence might be the ruling concept of this drummer/leader’s career. It defines a common relationship not only among his hands, feet, and voice, but between his art and almost everything else in drumland". Modern Drummer Magazine

"The drummer and composer Sean Noonan approaches postmodern jazz and world music from the same angle of self-discovery ....he manages to make his pieces speak coherently, and in a unified voice." The New York Times

"You think this might be boring? C’mon man, relax, this is Sean Noonan…it’s like nothing else out there." Something Else! S. Victor Aaron

Supported by the Plancktone Club - Music In Monmouth


Sunday 08/09/19 Yazid Fentazi and EIRA/Snow;

***** World Jazz *****

EIRA/SNOW; has the great honour for this gig to play with international renowned Oud player, Yazid Fentazi, in this special collaboration.
Having played together previously at the Mwalimu Express at Rich Mix in Shoreditch we found an obvious musical synergy and one of those rare instant moments of creating something very powerful between the three players.
Yazid is a superb innovator, composer and producer of Arabic fusion and a true clear voice for music. His love of native Algeria exudes through his playing and manages to combine a sense of the familiar with a thirst of the exotic.
EIRA/snow; is a union between Caractacus Downes and Lyndon Owen, two multi-instrumentalists who combine influences as diverse as the music of the Celts to that of the Middle East, Spain to the lands of eastern Europe; a true fusion from two players who have a long standing and close understanding.

“ … there’s a sense of being taken on a musical ‘world tour’ at every Eira/Snow gig … but for all this Eira/Snow’s pieces are primarily folk tunes with infectious melodies and strong grooves and an essential simplicity that ensures that they remain accessible no matter how far the band may push them.” Ian Mann 1/2/2017

Supported by Music in Monmouth


Wednesday 18/09/19 Burum

***** Celtic Jazz/Folk Special *****

Welsh Celtic-Jazz fusion of world reknown. Always welcome to the Queens, a feast for the y'ears.
Burum includes some of Wales's most creative jazz and folk musicians: mixing these ingredients together creates a unique and extraordinary band sound.
Burum's repertoire is drawn from Welsh traditional music, adapted and re-imagined for a modern jazz sextet. The band's music fuses a deep respect for the original folk melodies themselves with the flexibility and dynamics of jazz improvisation - beautiful, melancholic melodies are performed alongside fiery solos and deep grooves.

Burum toured India in 2014 and 2015, playing in Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Goa, Kolkata and Bangalore. Burum have played at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington DC, and at the Festival Interceltique in Lorient, Brittany, France, as well as the International Brecon Jazz Festival, Wales' premiere Jazz Festival.
"Compelling and remarkable, bewitching the listener with creative twists and imaginative improvised sections" - Musician Magazine
"the band's approach sounds as fresh and inventive as ever. The Welsh folk tradition seems to offer an unending supply of memorable melodies for the group to explore. -

Supported by Music in Monmouth


Wednesday 25/9/19 Kevin Figes Quartet

***** Jazz Special *****

“First class British contemporary jazz” Jazz Views
“Its this combination of rich writing with an outstanding band that gives Figes's ... such distinction” Independent on Sunday - Jim Blomfield
A welcome return of this accomplished quartet playing Figes own distinctive compositions, having performed all over the UK for many years to enthusiastic audiences. Three CDs have been released “Circular Motion”, “Hometime” and “Tables and Chairs” to widespread critical acclaim and airplay.

There is a striking level of empathy and interplay within the Quartet that comes from a combination of highly accomplished players, all great improvisors in their own right, who have worked closely together for some time.
Kevin Figes (Saxes and compositions), Jim Blomfield (Piano), Thad Kelly (Bass), Mark Whitlam (Drums)


Wednesday 16/10/19 Hession/Beck/Lash Trio

***** Nu-music Special *****

The first alternative music gig to be staged in the Queens Head was in August 2005 and we're pleased to welcome back two of the players who were part of that somewhat ground breaking activity; Paul Hession (Drums) and Mick Beck (Tenor Sax, Bassoon and Descant Recorder). Joined on this occasion by Dom Lash (Bass) who has become a Plancktone Club regular in recent years.
All three are recognised as exceptional improvisors on the world stage. Hession and Beck have collaborated for many years and probably recognisable to the more contemporary generation through their work in the Squarepusher Jazz Trio.

Paul Hession: His torrential polyrhythmic style and ability to raise the stakes in formidable company establish him as a prime mover in the attempt to inject excitement and power back into total improvisation. The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music
A major contemporary musician The Penguin Guide to Jazz

Mick Beck:... sure to convince free improvisers that there definitely is a god.  The Guardian
an uncompromising and intense approach to non-idiomatic free music, delivered with an irrepressibly mischievous sense of humour. Ridiculously entertaining Jazzwise

Dom Lash:... following in an illustrious lineage from Barry Guy through Simon Fell ... breathtaking John Sharpe, All About Jazz
almost vertiginous contrasts ... a master of the extreme Paul Medley, Oxford Times

Supported by the Plancktone Club - Music In Monmouth


Wednesday 23/10/19 Coltrane Dedication

***** Jazz Special *****

By special demand the barnstorming quintet, harbingers of the new, explore the ductility of some of the most powerfully simple tunes written by a master musician, Mr John Coltrane.

Always a profound evening, the intensity of the dynamic between these five players produces a single entity whose unity and trust in each other is palpable.
The Queens Head, Monmouth, is close to being their spiritual home, and how you can tell!
Lyndon Owen & Caractacus Downes (Saxes), Ashley John Long (Bass), Dave Jones (Piano), Ian Poole (Drums).

Sponsored by SFM, supported by Queens Head and Music in Monmouth


Wednesday 4/12/19 Sirkis/Bialas IQ

***** Jazz Special *****

Details to follow - Music In Monmouth


Wednesday 8/01/20 Pillow Talk

***** Jazz Special *****

Details to follow - Music In Monmouth

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