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From Barbara & John

We hope everyone is keeping safe and well in these unpredictable times.

Its been quite a while since we wrote to you, and we've been meaning to let you know for a long time what is happening. Despite lockdown taking away a lot of our normal activities, we seem to fill the days with new diversions and sometimes wonder how we managed to fit gigs in!

John's routine still includes practising every morning when, weather permitting, for want of an audience he plays for the wildlife in the area, then later in the day, to keep his stamina up, he practices clarinet.  In order to ensure he still gets enough exercise without the nightly lugging  of numerous saxophones in and out of places, John has turned to gardening to keep fit and can often be seen on his hands and knees with a tape measure checking to see if the grass is long enough to mow, he’ll be so pleased when this 'Groundhog Day' comes to an end!

Lockdown Remote Duos

The last time John worked at a club, like most musicians, was the middle of March and apart from, sadly, being asked to play at a funeral, and a special session in Pershore (see below), there has been nothing else.

To help pass the time he has collaborated in a number of remote Lockdown Duo videos, unique pieces, with the lyrics written by Ed Lee who also plays piano and sings. Here is an example, if you would like to watch, its called ‘Test, Track & Trace’.


In August, because the Pershore Festival was cancelled, Graham Smith invited John to play in a special series of videos with the band Shades of Jazz.

This felt very strange at first, with everyone turning up in their masks and with only the band, one cameraman and one sound man in the huge Frank Parkinson Centre at Pershore College. The stage area had screens between the musicians which although not a hindrance added to the strange feeling. Also playing to no audience, and everyone coming out of a long period of no gigs, it took a few numbers to feel relaxed and get back into their stride.The filming started at 11am through to 4pm with a break for lunch which was when 'Spats'  set was recorded.. All done in one take, as near to a live performance as is possible - warts & all! 

All very enjoyable and certainly very welcomed as it got a toe back in the gig water so to speak.
Pershore Jazz Festival 2020

A Real Audience!

John has an outdoor gig lined up for Sat 12th September with an audience! It's called the Beoley Jazz Revival Prom and it's on Beoley Parish field (morning & afternoon) where he will be playing again with Shades of Jazz.

All Day Ticket: £20 (Book in Advance Only)
Tickets need to be pre-booked and there will be a limited number of ‘Drive-In’ spaces behind the seated area if you would prefer to view from your car, which also need to be pre-booked,
Bands in order of appearance: 'Lockdown Behind Barnes',
Hot Fingers, Shades of Jazz

Click for PDF flyer download with full details
Download booking form

The Burnside

We have been running the John Hallam & Friends at the Burnside since 2010 and it was with great disappointment that we had to cancel this year's events. As a lot of you will know the 4 Star Burnside is not only a luxury hotel but in a lovely location and we miss our breaks up there as much as you do. We will be rescheduling the sessions we had to cancel if you had been looking forward to one of the musicians due to appear this year. 

Our next planned break will be on 19th-21st April 2021 featuring Julian Marc Stringle & Mike Piggott (see flyer below) and the hotel are already accepting bookings for this.

April 2021: Mon 19th - Wed 21st

Special Guests
Julian Stringle
Mike Piggott
Tom Kincaid Trio
click for PDF flyer download with full details

The Farmers Arms

For those of you that attended our rather popular Sunday afternoon sessions at the Farmers Arms, Bispham  we have tentatively arranged a session for November but this will depend on a number of things as at the moment the pub is using the function room for drinkers to allow for distancing, and diners are in the main bar.  If you are interested in these or any of John's other appearances please keep an eye on our website as that will have all the information as soon as we know.

The Website

Talking about the website, we have given it a little facelift. We tweaked some of the areas, adding more information, had a colour change, added some new photos on the front page and generally tuned it all up, if you'd like to have a look click here, see what you think. 

Well I think we've caught up with all the news, we won't leave it so long next time!

Take care and we look forward to seeing you in the not too distant future.

Cheers for now,
Barbara and John.
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