For the last few years, the agency that fixes my gigs - Routes Music - has been run single-handedly by Sue Webster, under the umbrella of the various enterprises run by Chris Jaeger at The Swan Theatre in Worcester. Chris and Sue have agreed that the time has come to separate off the agency from Chris' other interests, and from this week, Sue is going it alone.

So from now on, anybody out there wanting to book John Kirkpatrick needs to go through:
Sue Webster Music, 62 Windsor Avenue, St Johns, Worcester, WR2 5NB.
Tel: 01905 312016
Website and email addresses will follow shortly, but meanwhile all phone calls and emails to the old contacts will be automatically forwarded.

We've worked out that it's thirty years since the five of us first appeared under the name "Brass Monkey". Before that, there was a duo with Messrs Carthy & Kirkpatrick ranging around for a couple of years, which grew into a trio with trumpeter Howard Evans, which gradually grew into a quintet with Martin Brinsford and Roger Williams. For a while there would be a random selection of threes, fours, and fives from gig to gig, but once we'd hit on our glorious title, "Brass Monkey" always meant all five of us.

After the sad death of Howard Evans in 2006, we weren't sure whether we could carry on or not. We did a small number of forays as a four-piece, but quickly realised that this way madness lies. So in 2009, Roger's old pal Paul Archibald came in with his glorious trumpet playing to bring us back up to our full complement, and the world was our lobster.

When Paul's many commitments ( take a deep breath and look up his dazzling web-site - we are not worthy.....) caused an occasional absence, he sent along a former student of his - Shane Brennan. We all thought this would be a ghastly idea, until we saw how brilliantly and effortlessly Shane did the business.

Shane will be the sole trumpeter at our appearance at Cheltenham Folk Festival on February 12th. But for our April tour, and the festivals we're doing during the summer, both Paul and Shane will be on stage to make Brass Monkey a six-piece band. There can be surely no better way to celebrate this milestone in the band's history. We'll be tickling up a few old hits, as well as re-vamping some of the current repertoire. Our approach might not be everybody's cup of tea, but at least it will be loud!

On Monday December 12th there will be a one hour feature about Morris Dancing on Radio 2, as part of the network's dance season. The producer is Julian May, who I first met when he was one of the team on Radio 4's general arts programme "Kaleidoscope". Julian is a great ally within the corporation, and has recently joined a morris team himself, so you can expect an enthusiatic and genuinely appreciative assessment of the art.

Mine is one of the many voices you will hear making a contribution, and the programme will be presented by comedian Stewart Hall, who had a morris team dance at his wedding and a rapper team opening for him on his recent tour of comedy venues.

Radio 2, Monday December 12th, 10.00 p.m.

21 Nov 2011:  THE COMPLEAT DANCING MASTER - Soon to be no more.
Fledg'ling Records have announced that they are deleting "The Compleat Dancing Master" from their catalogue.

Ashley Hutchings and I made the original LP in 1973, with a cast of thousands helping out in a romp through several centuries of Country Dance Music. Sales of the CD re-issue have slowed to a trickle, and now that its place on the warehouse shelves is empty, no more copies will be pressed.

We have just three copies in our Shop, and once they have been sold we shall remove the CD from our list.

Last chance!