Posted on 21/09

Bastedo Perform at Patrick Garland Memorial: Chichester Cathedral

On Monday 16th September, we had the honour to be part of the program to commemorate the life of British Actor, Producer, Director, Writer, Anthologist and Poet, Patrick Garland (1935-2013). The program was put together by Patrick’s long time good friend, esteemed actor Simon Callow. 

Bastedo and Simon Callow

The Service

Patrick passed away in April after a battling a long illness. His memorial took place in Chichester Cathedral, which he had a big connection with. He got married to Alexandra Bastedo in the cathedral 33 years earlier. He also directed plays and services there as well as twice being Artistic Director of the Chichester Festival Theatre, one of the most important theatres in England. The service was lead by the Very Reverend Nicholas Frayling, Dean of Chichester and attended by Sir Donald Sinden on behalf of The Prince Of Wales, who was unable to attend.

As well as a welcome and introduction by Alexandra, the service also included readings from  actresses Patricia Routledge and Dame Eileen Atkins, playwright Alan Bennett  as well as Simon Callow himself. Music was supplied by  The cathedral’s choristers, Franck LePrince’s  Pandora Quartet, Classical Pianist Simon Mulligan, The Copper Family…and of course us.

The Song

We were asked to perform the song Let The Sunshine, from the musical Hair, which Patrick directed when he took it to Israel in the early 70’s. We were all familiar with the well known chorus of the song, but that was it. So we set about learning and rehearsing the piece. We like to express special thanks to guitarist Matthew Kitchener, who was on standby to perform with us at the cathedral if necessary. He also came and rehearsed with us, and recorded several guitar parts for us, as we worked and reworked our rendition. You really helped us out Matt. We owe you one. x

 

On the day we were accompanied by the magnificent classical pianist Simon Mulligan. We had a chance to go through the song a few times to ensure that we all knew where to come in etc. However, we needn’t have worried. Simon knows his way around a piano with his eyes closed. He did a fantastic job on our piece. Here’s a snippet of us rehearsing a little with Simon before the big performance. 

Simon was also on hand to accompany the Pandora Quartet on one number as well as a beautiful piece ‘From Italy by Moritz Moszkowski, which helped evoke memories of Corsican summer’s which Patrick loved so much

Many people approached us afterwards to express their appreciation for our performance, saying they felt uplifted by it, and that it brought them right back to when they had seen in all those years ago! An inspired choice by Mr. Callow.

Our connection to Patrick comes through his wife of 33 years, and our band namesake Alexandra Bastedo. We have performed at Alex’s Animal Sanctuary for several years now, and although in the time that we knew Patrick, he was considerably ill. He was always warm and supportive to us, made  his appreciation known. This means a lot to us.

To have the opportunity contribute alongside such a high pedigree of artist was an inspiration for us. The service was very personal and very moving. A great achievement in such a grand and beautiful setting as Chichester Cathedral. It was a day we’ll never forget

We starve, look at one another, short of breath
Walking proudly in our winter coats
Wearing smells from laboratories
Facing a dying nation of moving paper fantasy
Listening for the new told lies
With supreme visions of lonely tunes

Somewhere, inside something there is a rush of
Greatness, who knows what stands in front of
Our lives, I fashion my future on films in space
Silence tells me secretly
Everything
Everything

Manchester, England, England
Manchester, England, England
Across the Atlantic Sea
And I’m a genius, genius
I believe in God
And I believe that God believes in Claude
That’s me, that’s me, that’s me

We starve, look at one another, short of breath
Walking proudly in our winter coats
Wearing smells from laboratories
Facing a dying nation of moving paper fantasy
Listening for the new told lies
With supreme visions of lonely tunes

Singing our space songs on a spider web sitar
Life is around you and in you
Answer for Timothy Leary, dearie

Let the sunshine, let the sunshine in
The sunshine in
Let the sunshine, let the sunshine in
The sunshine in

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Posted on 11/06

Bastedo at the ABC Sanctuary

Hi All,

It’s Alex here. I thought it was high time we updated you on our latest comings and goings.

We had quite a busy month in May with 2 gigs at Proud Galleries in Camden as well as our long awaited gig at Richard Strange’s,Cabaret Futura in The Paradise, Kensal Green. We also performed at The Bedroom Bar in Shoreditch, and Bar Solo in Camden.

We wrote about our first gig at Proud, and as usual it was good fun again. We always get a good reception, and the promoters are really good bunch, although they do tend to change from time to time. Always friendly and professional. Recently the sound engineering arrangements have changed at Proud. Used to be from the back of the hall facing the stage. Now its stage  left and up some quite high steps. So we especially liked the sound engineer who was able to do our soundcheck from front of house rather than from the soundcheck, with his iPad. Cool!

Cabaret Futura was really good too. At this historic and weird and wonderful  night, often anything can happen…and it did!  Some  talented young singers and musicians, Some comedy, some performance art…a real mixed bag that makes for a fun evening out. We enjoy attending these things as much as we enjoy performing at them! Perhaps we’re not jaded enough :) It was also nice to see Peter Cook from Academy of Rock. Thanks for all your support Peter.

Sophia and I went out to see Akala peform tracks from his new album, Thieves Banquet. I’m a big fan of Akala. Akala articulates a perspective that often goes unacknowledged in popular mainstream culture. I really resonate with a lot of what he raps about. I haven’t had a chance to buy the album yet, but I will…I really want to focus in on what he’s saying, and thats sometimes difficult to do at rap concerts. To his credit, he says the new album is recorded with all live musicians as opposed to beats that come from the production studio. Hats off to him. Here’s a link to an interview from The Guardian from a couple of week ago. Akala Guardian Interview.

It was also good to see Cassell The Beatmaker on drums. Cassell also does drums for Plan B and The Streets. I met him years ago now on a Roots Manuva tour that we both worked on. Him with Plan B, before he hit the big time, and me with a talented artist called Jimmy Screech. That seems like an age ago. I know he has been working with Akala for a long time before the Plan B and Streets stuff. I have collected some resources on Cassell here.  On the night, we also met Ayanna Witter-Johnson, Cellist, Songwriter and Vocalist. She turned in an assured performance. It’ll be good to get into more of her stuff. Just found her doing this version of Police’s Roxanne on YouTube

Last event to report was this weekend at the Alexandra Bastedo Champions Animal Sanctuary. Unfortunately, Celia wasn’t able to make it for this one, so on Saturday, it was Sophia and I performing to some of our guitar backing tracks. It was all good.  The sunshine was absolutely glorious.

On Sunday, there was a service. Some of Alex’s friends read poetry relating to the welfare and care of animals. Sue JamesonLiza GoddardViginia McKenna and Keith Baxter. These people deserve accolades all of there own. Look them up if you get a chance. This service was all the more touching as it was only a two short months ago, Alex’s husband Patrick passed away. RIP Patrick x

Also, Michael Chan was able to come along and play with us. (Look out for a special post coming soon detailing Michael’s involvement with the band.) It wasn’t as sunny, but that didn’t stop a really great turnout, even bigger than on the previous day, which was already pretty good going people wise. Also, the sun did manage to show its face a few times. Also performing on day two was Concert Pianist Simon Mulligan with Steve Rubie of 606 club on Sax and percussion. Top quality music. Sophia commented that it would be nice to hear Simon’s beautiful compositions in their rightful home…perhaps somewhere like the Albert Hall. Hearing those intricate melodies bouncing off some great acoustics would be amazing I agree. Simon will be performing at the 606 Club on 10 July 2013, so if you can get to Chelsea, I recommend it. I’ve seen Simon play here before, so I’m looking forward to seeing him again.

All this means that a lot of money was raised which allows Alex (Bastedo) to keep the sanctuary going. She really is a very clever lady. It’s not easy to pull this type of thing off…but somehow she does.

We also had a lot of fun with compere for the day Craig Henderson and Captain Jack Sparrow and Zena the warrior princess 😉

This is the third occasion one or more of us has been down to perform at the Sanctuary. Its the least we can do for Alex since we’ve usurped her name for our band  and she is so supportive of us and our music :)

Lastly, Sophia and I would like to provide a special mention for the staff at The White Horse in Storrington who provided our accommodation. We has a wonderful meal with Alex and friends in the evening and a hearty full English breakfast in the morning. Delish! Thank you to Jackie and her wonderful staff

Links

Bastedo Website

ABC Animal Sanctuary

Cassell The Beatmaker

Akala

Craig Henderson

AnUndeadMonkey (Captain Jack Sparrow and Zena)

Ayanna Witter-Johnson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted on 8/05

Bastedo Bank Holiday at Proud Galleries

Hi, its Alex here. We played at Proud Galleries this Bank Holiday Monday. It was a last minute.com, but we were all free and able to do it which was great. We will be back at Proud this coming Sunday 12th May, so if you missed us on Sunday, you can catch us again. There is a flyer at the end of this post showing the remaining May dates.

This was out first performance with the Sam Royal on Bass. Sam plays for another band as well, so he keeps them bass fingers dexterous. This is great for us. We loved our acoustic sound, but the bass adds a certain depth. Its also adds to the  way I am able deliver and flow through a song. Helps with hip swinging action too :) It was a gloriously sunny day, and we all enjoyed ourselves (I checked with the others :))

When you gig round about London, you meet some amazing talent. I don’t always have the time to share with you all great people I meet and places I go to. Too busy living, but I should do it a little more.

Bank Holiday was no exception. A wonderful Harpist, Songwriter and Singer Tara Milton performed before us. Who doesn’t love the sound of a harp? If I meet that person I’d like to have a serious discussion. Anyway, she played it beautifully, she sang beautifully, and her songs were great too. My particular favourite was her song (You are my) Tower of London. I like a bit of clever wordplay myself, so I really appreciated the clever lyrics in that one. Her twitter is @Tara_Minton.  I managed to capture this one. I think its called February Forever.

February Forever – Tara Minton

Another artist who did a great job was Martin Broad. Especially loved his rendition of The One That I Want, a personal favourite of mine. I managed to catch the end, but you don’t get to appreciate how well he covered it from this clip. Anyway…its a taster.

Martin Broad @Proud Galleries. You can also follow him on Twitter on @mcbroad.

Anyhow. Much fun was had, and although there were a few glitches, that is to be expected. It was out first time with a new format. However, we kept it show business. Most importantly of all, we enjoyed ourselves. That is the whole point!

May Dates

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Posted on 15/04

Update: 2103 Q1

Recap:

The start of the year was a little slow for Bastedo for one reason or another. We needed to take step back to reflect on our current situation and strategise on how we can move forwards. Its always a challenge when resources including time and money are few. However, we have a belief in what we do. We have a drive to succeed, and most of all…we enjoy being in a band. So, we keep pushing. Always looking for new opportunities to expand, learn and grow.

Some people have mentioned that Vinz is still on our website, and its been a while since he left the band…but we like the picture, and until we find a suitable replacement…it stays. Vinz hasn’t complained either. I (Alex) have a philosophy. I’ll do what I can. We often have a drive to see loose ends tied up. To emit perfection…but there is no such thing.

What we’ve been up to:

So what have we been up to of late? Well, since Vinz left, we were kind of in between guitarists. Working with a variety of musicians. There is a lot of talent out there, and some of these guys did an amazing job for us. However, we still needed someone who was able to commit on a more permanent basis, and who did not necessarily have financial constraints which prevented them from doing so. Enter Michael Chan.

Michael has been working with us for a while now, and we will soon update you with a post from his perspective on hitching up onto the Bastedo wagon. We will also be updating you on a more regular basis and have more contributions from all band members. Not only this. We are experimenting with an additional bass to add to our acoustic sounds. The rehearsals are sounding really lovely with these new editions and we look forward to sharing with everyone at our upcoming gig on Bank Holiday Monday, 6th May at Proud Galleries, Camden, where we will perform with Sam on bass for the first time. We are properly excited!! He is really very good, and has added some beautiful bass licks to enhance the Bastedo sound.

The Bastedo ladies were down at Bar 216 last month to see UK Soul legend Omar.(We don’t bandy that term around loosely.) This month will be another UK Soul star Noel McKoy, so we are indeed in esteemed company.

Noel McKoy @ Bar 216

Video Shoot

Currently, we are also working on getting a video together for one our songs. We will be working with an amazing photographer and supporter of ours, Darren Brade. There is much to organise. Its all fun though.

We apologise for the length of time since our last post, and thank you for your continued support.

Peace

Bastedo x

 

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Posted on 7/01

Bastedo – The Vineyard

Happy New Year from Bastedo.

Our last gig took place at the luxury spa hotel, The Vineyard in Newbury.  http://www.the-vineyard.co.uk

Alongside a jazz pianist, Bastedo provided entertainment for the evening, which guests enjoyed alongside an a la carte menu from the Michelin Star restaurant. Yes my friends…that is how we roll these days :)

Providing accompaniement was Igor Fezjula, and amazingly talented guitarist whom we met mid 2012 at A.R.I.S.E. We’s just ike to offer special thanks to Igor and his beautiful partner Fatima.

We performed some covers alongside usual Bastedo fair, and for the first time, Sophia took the lead on some numbers including Anita Baker’s, Sweet Love, Billie Holiday’s, That Ole Devil Called Love and Whitney’s Saving All My Love for You. Other covers on the night including one of Alex’s favourites, Smooth Operator, Nina Simone’s My Baby Just Cares for Me among others. All in all an hours worth of Suburban Blues. We gave it diva style as much as we could.

It was a wonderful evening, and we all stayed over at the hotel and enjoyed the beautiful surroundings. Thanks to hotel manager Hayden and his staff for taking great care of us.

 

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Posted on 10/09

SMM Hamburg: Bastedo with Ciyo Brown

Last week we did another performance in Germany, this time in Hamburg at the SMM Maritime and Shipbuilding conference. Its a nice juxtaposition to mix music with an event like this, and I hope we provided a nice relaxing atmosphere to what would have been a long few days for delegates.

We certainly enjoyed it, and we were very lucky to be accompanied by Jazz guitarist Ciyo Brown. We will definately be collaborating on more live performances and projects with Ciyo. In fact, you’ll be able to catch us at Jazz on the Hill, Herne Hill at a night titled: Ciyo & Friends. We feel honoured to have been asked. Ciyo knows some stellar musicians, and no doubt these series of night will prove to be very popular.

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Posted on 28/08

Alex from Bastedo’s weekend at ABC Animal Sanctuary

Wow. What a fantastic weekend that was. It was me (Alex) minus the other Bastedo ladies this time at the Alexandra Bastedo Champions Animal Sanctuary .

On day Simon Mulligan, internationally renowned classical pianist (Twitter: @SimonMulligan) and Steve Rubie (owner of The 606 Club, Chelsea) performed some beautiful Jazz Classics and some of Simon’s own compositions. I was able to join them and did some some standards. Summertime, My Baby Just Cares for Me, Every time we Say Goodbye among others. The following day it was just Simon and I and some more Jazz standards. All I can say is that it was an absolute honour and pleasure to work with these gentlemen!! More please :)

The entire weekend was wonderful. The elegant Alexandra Bastedo once again demonstrating her unceasing committment to the welfare of animals. She holds these events as a way to raise funds for her sanctuary which she runs as a charity. She has a team of tireless volunteers, who always seem to have smiles on their faces. You guys are awesome.

Aside from perfoming with Simon, which was just magic. Other highlights included a sizzling performance by Robert Meadmore, accompanied once again by Simon. He was just fantastic. Such an amazing voice. I was mesmerised. For those of you that don’t know his work…here’s a clip:

My main highlight was listening to Lorraine Chase talk about her life and career. Ever the racontuer, Lorraine spoke about her modelling career, her foray into  acting and television and her work on the stage. She also spoke about personal things too…her childhood and upbringing and how it affected her and her family. She is a very colourful, generous and funny woman. Still looking glamorous, with a figure women more than half her age would envy!!

Alex’s husband Patrick Garland is ever a supportive presence. He appears to bristle with pride at Alex’s achievements with the sanctuary and really enjoys mingling with visitors and friends. He  is so warm and friendly.  Thank you for your appreciation Patrick

I must give a special mention to the good folks at The White Horse in Storrington, who kindly donated a room for the night. They made me feel very welcome.

 

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Posted on 25/08

This weekend’s events – Not Carnival

I (Alex Watson) will be performing at the Alexandra Bastedo Animal Sanctuary this Bank Holiday weekend with Internationally renowned virtuoso pianist Simon Mulligan (not worthy : ))

Welcome

Hooked up with him earlier today, and among the many fascinating things he spoke to me about, he mentioned that Alexandra Bastedo graced the cover of The Smiths live album ‘Rank.’ That is spooky as I have a good friend who is a diehard Smiths/Morrisey fan…like many people. I only got around to listening to ‘The Best of The Smith’s’ earlier this week, which she had lent me months ago as we had argued about his ‘so called ‘ brilliance. I listened. I loved it, I took it all back!!!! I  hadn’t really known much of thier music before apart from one or two major hits (shamefaced.) I had Morrisey down as a bit of a (dare I say) racist. Perhaps unfoundedly so. Anyway, I was elated to discover this little fact about Alex. Simple pleasures. Alex (Bastedo) the more I learn about you…the more cool you become. I’m looking forward to this weekend :)

Image_3

 

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Posted on 25/08

This weekend’s events – Not Carnival

I (Alex Watson) will be performing at the Alexandra Bastedo Animal Sanctuary this weekend with Internationally renowned virtuoso pianist Simon Mulligan (not worthy :))[[posterous-content:ECrmbhrainpvmCGzzhpz]]

Hooked up with him earlier today, and among the many fascinating things he spoke to me about, he mentioned that Alexandra Bastedo graced the cover of The Smiths live album ‘Rank.’ That is spooky as I have a good friend who is a diehard Smiths/Morrisey fan…like many people. I only got around to listening to ‘The Best of The Smith’s’ earlier this week, which she had lent me months ago as we had argued about his ‘so called ‘ brilliance. I listened. I loved it!!!! I  hadn’t really known much of thier music before apart from one or two major hits (shamefaced.) I had[[posterous-content:CCqyIkupqfceDsjoqyyC]]Morrisey down as a bit of a (dare I say) racist. Perhaps unfoundedly so. Anyway, I was elated to discover this little fact about Alex. Simple pleasures. Alex (Bastedo) the more I learn about you…the more cool you become. I’m looking forward to this weekend :)

 

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Posted on 19/08

Bastedo @ Hanse Sail, Rostock

Last weekend Bastedo attended the annual sailing, Hanse Sail event which takes place in the German town of Rostock, Germany. (See our video reportage at the end of this post:)) The event and gig took place on the sailing boat Atlantis. You can read more about the boat and crew here: http://tallship-atlantis.com/atlantis-en/

We’ve been so busy so we really didn’t know what to expect before hand. To be honest, we hadn’t spent the time investigating just what type of event it would be, but we were really excited, as it was to be our first gig together as a band outside of the UK.

We were asked to perform as guests of Lloyd’s Register. Lead singer Alex, works for LR in a full time capacity. A German colleague had heard Alex sing at an open mike on a visit to London, and with some investigation through other colleagues, felt that a Batsedo performance would make a welcome change for the clients.

The sailing trip is LR’s way of thanking key clients for their continued support and business, and fits in with the company’s Maritime heritage.

The Day’s Schedule

We set of at about 8am to get on the boat and grab some breakfast. Clients started to arrive on board at around 9am. By this time, the PA system had been set up.

The captain gave everyone on board a briefing…I’ll paraphrase…leave the sailing to the experts!! Please don’t climb the rigging…but please enjoy yourself…and we did.

We played several sets throughout the day, of original Bastedo numbers. We also threw in a few Beatles numbers such as Hey Jude and Let it Be. We also threw in Killing Me Softly by Roberta Flack, which we could hear some folks humming as they went back onshore :)

The sunshine was glorious,  although by the time we had set sail into the Baltic, it was a little chilly. The Bastedo ladies had to cover up their ‘sexy’ numbers with some good old fashioned fleeces and scarves. Hahaha…that’ll teach us :)

The event was a resounding success. Bastedo were really thrilled with all the positive feedback, and the company has had numerous emails praising the company and the band for a magnificent event. This is very satisfying. Here are some clients that were in attendance.

TENNET GmbH 

Nordic Shipyards 

P&S Yards Stralsund 

Vattenfall Europe AG 

AIDA Cruiseship 

Hanse_Sail.mp4 Watch on Posterous

 



 

 

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