Brass Monkey say their farewells at folk festival concert performance

Brass Monkeys

Brass Monkeys - Credit: Archant

One of the last opportunities to hear six-piece band Brass Monkey, fronted by Martin Carthy and John Kirkpatrick, is on offer at the St Albans folk festival concert next Saturday, June 27.

The concert at 7,30pm in St Albans Town Hall will be the finale of a day of live music in its historic courtroom and a day of dance in St Albans city centre.

Incorporating trumpet and trombone as well as squeezeboxes, mouth organ, percussion and guitar, Brass Monkey has a history spanning 30 years.

Martin Carthy and John Kirkpatrick were already an established duo when, looking for a fresh challenge, the pair recruited the brass section of Howard Evans, Roger Williams and Martin Brinsford to launch a very different type of band, a traditional act with an extra dimension.

Following the death of trumpeter Howard Evans, the original members were joined by Paul Archibald and Shane Brennan to form a six strong version of the line-up.

This year, the band has decided to call it a day and is doing a small number of farewell performances but John and Martin will be continuing their solo careers.

Support for Brass Monkey will be provided by New Roots 2015 finalists, the Barber Sisters from Derby, and Floyd, Hartwell and Hines with Bob Hines’ song from the Watford Folk Club song writing competition

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The day of free live music in the Old Town Hall will run from 10am to 6.30pm with showcase performances in the courtroom and singarounds by the cells. It will also include a final chance to see the exhibition, Medieval Lives and Liberties, which forms part of St Albans’ Magna Carta celebrations.

The Ver Players, a local ukulele club, will be giving a performance upstairs in the Assembly Room followed by a workshop. There will be opportunities to participate in singarounds by the cells and informal sessions of irish and English and old Timey Music in the nearby White Swan in Dagnall Street.

The day of dance will start at 10.15am in the Civic Centre and will be followed by dancing from 11.15am near Nationwide Building Society, by the Clock Tower, in Christopher Place and outside the West Front of the Abbey. The day will end with dancing at 4.30pm at the White Hart.

Tickets for the festival concert cost £20, £16 student concessions and are available from St Albans Tourist Information Centre, 01727 864511, online at or on the door.