Thirty years after it first blew into Europe’s jazz consciousness, Loose Tubes’ anarchic, freewheeling and uniquely exhilarating music still reverberates through the UK’s music scene. The 21 piece big-band line-up reads like a veritable Who’s Who of a brilliant generation of musicians. From maverick keyboardist, Django Bates to saxophonists Julian Argüelles ( Dave Holland, Carla Bley ),Iain Ballamy (Food) Mark Lockheart (Polar Bear), trumpeter Chris Batchelor (Big Air), to irrepressible trombonist and charismatic MC Ashley Slater (Freak Power, Kitten and the Hip) its members have been at the heart of some of the UK’s most inspired music of the last three decades.
In 2014 a BBC Radio 3 commission for new Works, a catalyzed the orchestra to take the stage again to celebrate their 30th Anniversary with series of sold-out concerts at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival, Brecon Jazz Festival and a return to the Loose Tubes spiritual home Londons legendary Ronnie Scotts Club.
The return of Loose Tubes after 24 years could have been the biggest damp squib in recent jazz history. But in the opening second of their reunion debut at Cheltenham, the 21-piece band put the hearts of anxious fans in their mouths and sprayed sparks straight through to a standing ovation"
John Fordham The Guardian 5th May 2014. Four stars
Playing their greatest hits (including Yellow Hill, Shelley, The Last Word, Village and Sunny) the band will also present new music after a collective decision that they “definitely didn't want to be their own tribute band" resulted in a BBC Radio 3 commission for new works from composers Chris Batchelor, Django Bates, Steve Berry, and Eddie Parker.
Line up: Flutes: Eddie Parker, Clarinets: Dai Pritchard Alto / Soprano saxophones: Steve Buckley & Iain Ballamy. Tenor Saxophone: Mark Lockheart & Julian Nicholas, Baritone: Julian Argüelles, Trumpets: Lance Kelly, Noel Langley, Chris Batchelor, Laura Jurd (26th - 1st show) & John Eacott Trombones: Paul Taylor, Ashley Slater & Richard Pywell, Bass Trombone: Richard Henry, Tuba: Dave Powell, Keyboards: Django Bates, Guitar: John Parricelli (23rd only), Rob Luft (24th - 26th), Bass: Steve Watts, Drums: Martin France, Percussion: Akiko Horii