The Night Shift

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Hot. Sweaty. Boozy. What happened when The Night Shift did Duckie?

Fri 12 Dec 2014


A month or so ago we took The Night Shift out clubbing. Night Shift team member Will blogs about the experience:

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Pics from the Night Shift

Fri 2 Nov 2012

© Joe Plommer

Here’s a selection of pictures from our Night Shift last week at the Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall.

We were entertained by violinist/director Maggie Faultless and OAE Principal Horn player Roger Montgomery, in an evening celebrating superstar composer Mozart.  Beforehand, Last Summer’s Tealights took the stage in the foyer and there was a fab set from Ben Eshmade afterwards- we particularly enjoyed the Moon River singalong!

To view the full set of sparkly photos, take a trip over to Facebook or Flickr. All pics are by Joe Plommer.

We also had a nice review from the night.  Read it here.

And don’t forget, we’ve got another event back at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on 22 November- a perfect way to escape the cold! Full details here.



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The Night Shift July podcast

Wed 1 Aug 2012

Yes, we know, there’s already loads going on in London at the moment, what with that small sporting-thingy happening, but why not take a break from all the nail-biting, nerve-wracking events and chill out in a tent with the OAE and a pint?

Our latest Night Shift podcast looks at our upcoming tent-based events in Greenwich and Blackheath on 1 August (Spiegeltent at the Lewisham Big Screen) and 2 & 9 August (Little Top at the Greenwich Summer Festival).

We feature interviews with the leaders of the events, Maggie Faultless (violin) and Chi-chi Nwanoku (double bass) plus Cimeon Ellerton from Lewisham Council and Cass Briggs from Little Top, Greenwich talk about the ‘in-tents’ choice of venues- see what we did there?!

Full info on the events can be found here and don’t forget, the first one is tonight!

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Pub Tour: The Debrief

Thu 22 Mar 2012

Well, the pub tour finished about a month ago and this blog should have been written a lot sooner. But we’ve been pretty busy with other Night Shift gigs at the Roundhouse and Southbank and with other OAE events. So it’s a bit late. Sorry.

Anyway, I thought it’d be good to just to reflect a bit on the pub tour. It was all a bit of a whirlwind at the time, and we were caught out with just how much interest it would stir up – we struggled to keep up with all the press enquiries at one stage! Almost 700 of you (including, of course, Jude Law) joined us on the tour, with 4 of the 5 nights totally selling out – way beyond our expectations.

We’ve learnt a lot from the tour. One thing was how important the size and shape of the venue is – big square rooms are fantastic, long thin ones less so, as the people at the back are a long way away! We would probably be a bit more cautious with audience sizes next time – we know some of the venues were a bit TOO full for comfort. Lastly we know NEVER to programme two consecutive nights again – way too tiring for all concerned…

Most of all though we learnt how much everyone (audience and musicians) enjoyed the night, there was such a great atmosphere at the gigs. And we really do mean that about the musicians. You can read what violinist Maggie Faultless made of playing pubs on her Guardian blog.

What next?

Well, firstly we’d welcome all your thoughts and ideas. What could we do to improve the events next time? Any other composers you’d like to hear? Any new venues we should try out?  That includes pubs outside of London!

Second, there will definitely be more pub events. (After the last gig I know my immediate reaction was ‘Let’s do it all again!’) So there’ll be some one-offs in the next 6 months or so, and hopefully another tour in the future, probably next year.

Finally we want to say a last and VERY BIG thank you to all the crowdfunders who helped make the tour happen by contributing towards it. You made it possible, and importantly, through your donations, kept ticket prices down so that everyone could enjoy it.

Thanks again for your support and keep your eyes peeled for more events coming your way soon!

William Norris, Communications Director

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The Night Shift on Resonance FM

Tue 21 Feb 2012

The other week, before our gig at the Paradise, 2 players from the OAE: Maggie Faultless and Robin Michael, myself and our regular Night Shift presenter Alistair Appleton all headed up to deepest North London to a well-hidden studio to record an hour-long show for Resonance FM’s ‘Clear-Spot’. We talked about all things Night Shift, chatting about the pub gigs and how they’d been to play at, why we had decided to do them in the first place and also talked about the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and what makes it different. Added to this we looked ahead to our Roundhouse gig (did we mention that it’s THIS FRIDAY?) and heard some interviews with conductors and audience members. Plus Maggie and Robin provided live music, which was quite a treat, and the whole 45 minutes or so was a really lovely, friendly experience. I think we all forgot the microphones were there which was probably a good thing!

The broadcast went out last week but we’ve got it here on our soundcloud page for your listening pleasure.
The Night Shift on Resonance FM’s Clear Spot:15th Feb 2012 by The Night Shift

William Norris, Night Shift Creative Director

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Empowering the audience? Maggie Faultless blogs for the Guardian

Mon 6 Feb 2012

In addition to our other press coverage violinist Maggie Fautless has today written a blog for The Guardian talking about why the pub tour is important:

“this is about empowerment. Audiences want to have a bit more ownership of what they’re listening to. The best performances involve a three-way relationship – the music (ie what’s on the page) the audience and the performers.”

We kinda like the idea of empowered audiences…

Tickets are still left for tomorrow’s show at Paradise, but Soho and Angel dates are now sold out. Sorry!

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Speed Interview: Maggie Faultless

Tue 10 Jan 2012

Maggie (or, more formally, Margaret) Faultless is one of the OAE’s four leaders and will be appearing in our forthcoming Pub Tour. Here’s our speed-interview with her:

What/when was your big breakthrough?
Being invited to lead OAE and the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra.

What do you fear the most?
Big thing – climate change
More personal – tunnels

Which mobile number do you call the most?
My gorgeous husband.

What – or where – is perfection?
Home – by the fire or in the garden – honestly – nothing could beat this!

Who is your favourite hero from fiction (book/comic/film/opera) – and why?
Ohh – hard – it used to be Jo from Little Women, now it would be a mixture of bits of George Elliot’s wonderful female characters. Strong, opinionated, vulnerable, funny.

What’s your favourite ritual?
Finding time to read.

Which living person do you most admire (and why)?
Anyone who stands up for injustice is up there for me – however ‘unfamous’.

What other talent or skill would you like to possess?
A gift for languages would have been nice!

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
Keep laughing – there really is a good side to just about everything.

What is the most played piece of music on your MP3 player or in your CD collection?
Who thought of these questions?! Ok – probably Sinfonia to Bach Cantata 106 or the end of Strauss’ Rosenkavalier.

What’s the best thing about working with the OAE?
Pub Night Shifts – what an invention

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Announcing the Night Shift pub tour

Thu 8 Dec 2011

Night Shift Pub Tour image

Yes! After exhaustive research of London’s finest drinking establishments (and thank you for all your brilliant suggestions), we now have five fabulous venues lined up and are ready to announce our Night Shift pub tour. We’ve managed to touch all points of the compass, with the bonus of a dead-central venue too (It’s more of a bar than pub but we hope you’ll forgive us that).

The list of venues and dates is below and you’ll find all the events listed in our ‘Whats on’ section, but the format of each event is the same. We’ll have two live sets, at 8.30pm and 9.30pm, with DJ sets between and afterwards. Each event is introduced by Jon Jacob, and the musicians at each will be very familiar to you if you were at our event back in September; Maggie Faultless and Matthew Truscott on violins and Robin Michael on cello. For every event advance tickets are £6, or on the door they’re £10. If you’re a student they’re just £4 – but remember to bring ID!

All the venues are special in some way – we’ll be telling you more about each of them in the coming weeks, with a little feature on each. We have two programmes of music. Best of British features the music of Henry Purcell, whose stuff was such a hit last time around. The programme will include drinking songs, for which we’ll expect full audience participation (i.e. both drinking and singing). The second programme is Best of the rest – music of all the famous continentals that either made London their home or whose music was massively popular here. One of the composers featured is Martini, which is rather appropriate…

Here are the events and dates:

31 Jan: The George Tavern, Stepney. Best of British
1 Feb: Amersham Arms, New Cross. Best of the rest
7 Feb: The Paradise, Kensal Rise. Best of British
21 Feb: Green Carnation, Soho. Best of the rest
22 Feb: Old Queens Head, Angel. Best of British

And of course don’t forget that this all builds up to our massive event at the Roundhouse on 24 Feb! This is closely followed by our all-Bach Night Shift at our usual (but lovely) Southbank Centre home on 4 March, which, excitingly, is part of the London 2012 Festival.

Last word goes to all our amazing Night Shift pub tour crowdfunders whose generosity made the whole thing happen – thank you!

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On being a fledgling presenter

Mon 19 Sep 2011

Jon Jacobs at the mini pub Night Shift

OAE photographer Joe Plommer appears to be able to capture a moment with his camera and present it in entirely different way from the way my memory recalls it now (above). He’s made me appear relaxed. I was far from it. And there were moments when I looked at Maggie (right) and was certain she probably wondered what the hell I was saying.

That’ll be the internal dialogue. I bet you.

Maybe it was the drink. Between you and me, I’d had a glass of red wine before arriving at the Star of Kings pub to ‘compere’ the OAE’s inaugural Mini Night Shift concert. I had a strong black coffee while I waited for the rehearsal to finish, and then a beer before my first moment on stage delivering the very important message: “Ladies and Gentlemen, the gig will start in ten minutes time.”

The truth is that I’ve always rather fancied doing this line of work. As I’ve said before, Alistair Appleton makes it look really easy. Surely, if I try and cultivate a similar image that should do the trick, shouldn’t it?

That was my thinking selecting the checked shirt I received the day before on my birthday. But by the time approximately 200 people had packed into the pub and the band had marked out their territory on stage, I quickly began to realise this was going to be a good deal more difficult than standing in front of a camera and waxing lyrical about the best way to listen to Beethoven 9.

What represented the massive learning curve for me in what amounted to my first stint behind the microphone was to what extent the presenter is incidental to events on stage. And in an intimate space like the Star of Kings that was a point which became even more important, not least because Matthew Truscott, Maggie Faultless and Robin Michael are all such dab hands at introducing the music anyway. Matthew especially seems more than happy to whip up the crowd into a mild frenzy (the line about ‘wives always end up killing their husbands’ certainly resulted in a discernible collective intake of breath).

But while I look on another shot from last night and think that maybe Bachtrack’s review of me appearing a little uncomfortable may have been partially correct, I’m struck with the cheeky nerve I appear to have had tweeting while the players were doing their thing.

I suspect they must have been playing Handel. I still don’t get what everyone gets so excited about where Handel is concerned. That said, serve me up some Purcell – like the 10 Sonatas in 4 Parts (but only available on 3 – don’t ask me to explain the story behind it, I don’t recall) – and you’ve got me hooked. And, as memory serves me everyone else in the room got it too. The cheer at the end of both sonatas played was overwhelming. And when a whole room full of people express that kind of appreciation at the same time you know you’re right.

And that perhaps points to the underlying joy in the Mini Night Shift and the thrill I experienced. Everyone got to stand close to the players (some even had their pictures taken with them). But I got to stand even closer. And […]

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Pub Night Shift – full playlist

Thu 1 Sep 2011

The Star of Kings

Violinist Maggie Faultless just sent through the full playlist from our pub event last week. We’ve also updated our Spotify playlist for the event with some more tracks from it.

First Set:
Corelli Opus 1 No 4
Handel Opus 2 No 3 Andante & Allegro
Bach Prelude from suite in C major for solo cello
Purcell from Sonatas in 4 parts No 6 in G minor

Second Set:
Corelli Op 2 No 12 Chaconne
Purcell from Sonatas in 4 parts No 1 in B minor
Bach Largo from suite in C major for solo violin
Vivaldi La Folia

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