Freedom Of The City Festival 2010 Day 2, Conway Hall, 03/05/10

John Butcher

And so this two-day long event, with the finest exponents from all over the world, drew to an exciting finale in front of an extremely knowledgeable crowd. Yes, I’m still talking about the world snooker final, when I should be talking about the Freedom Of The City festival. Twelve hours of snooker, er, I mean, improvised music may be quite a daunting thought, but there was enough variation in the programme in terms of instrumentation and approach to keep interest levels high throughout both days. Continue reading


Freedom Of The City Festival 2010 Day 1, Conway Hall, 02/05/10

London Improvisers Orchestra

The Freedom Of The City festival is now as traditional a part of London’s May Day bank holiday celebrations as sitting in a dark pub watching the snooker world championship final on the big screen. OK, so maybe that is just me. Since 2001, percussionist Eddie Prévost and saxophonist Evan Parker have been putting together lineups containing some of the finest improvising musicians from all over the world, and the 2010 edition may well be the strongest yet. Curatorial duties this year were shared with Spring Heel Jack/Spiritualized’s John Coxon, a man who through his Treader label and related performances is as responsible as anyone for the current healthy state of improvised music in the capital. Continue reading