Salford City Radio Live at the Crescent Salford.
Playing solo is great. I get to sing what I want to sing, in the way I want to sing and perform. But sometimes it’s nice to get together with other musicians and play. So that’s where a band comes in. And the Band is China Pig!
In 2016 I was invited to play at the Jazz In The Park Festival in Cluj Napoca, Romania. I do play blues in some of my longer sets but apart from a Weissenborn version of ‘Strange Fruit’ I don’t think you could describe anything I play as Jazz. And, to be truthful, I don’t really like jazz!
But I new some people in Cluj from my previous academic work and I thought it would be good to go back and maybe meet up during the festival. The only problem was that the festival organisers had asked me to put together a band, or at least a duo. It was very short notice .
So I asked my Harry Stafford, founding member of Manchester’s renowned post punk band Inca Babies if he fancied joining me on a trip to Romania. Harry said yes and that was it. China Pig was born.
I’ve been a big fan of Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band for years and the music they made, especially on Trout Mask Replica, could be described as form of avant garde jazz. One of my favourite tracks from that album is China Pig. A very simple rough blues about being broke and needing to break into your piggy bank in order to eat. It’s always appealed to me, and I could relate to that experience personally too.
So we became China Pig. More recently Harry and I have been talking about developing China Pig as a band. So China Pig is a way for us to share songs and playing in different ways is always a good challenge and worth the effort that it takes. So we now have our first full band gig for 2017 coming up on February 24th at The Castle, Oldham Street Manchester. The following day February 25th we are at The Crescent, Salford. Harry and I will be joined by Pat Gaffney on Bass and Arthur Greaves on drums for these gigs and hopefully we will continue to play more gigs as China Pig over the coming months.
Jazz In The Park, Cluj Napoca, Romania. June 2016
Vincent O’Brien ©2017
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