New Year 2018

Hello and welcome to a New Year News Roundup

2017 ended with a terrific performance from the Electric Landladies, we’ll be posting videos and photos onto facebook and our website this week, and a wonderful evening from JFrisco and Kathy Dyson/Deirdre Cartwright at the Vortex.

We’re now in the Spring phase of our Tomorrow the Moon season at the Vortex, yes the days are getting lighter and so are we! Deirdre’s on ‘Couch to 5k’ and we’re all running round for the next round of events. ARQ are touring and we have an International Women’s Day event at The Old Church on Friday 9 March featuring one of the world’s greatest cabaret singers – Barb Jung. She’ll be featuring songs from Bob Dylan, Jacques Brel and Leonard Cohen.

So here are four highlights from the season for you:

•Annie Whitehead/Rosie Turton double bill at the Vortex, Thurs 25 January. Two trombone led groups blending jazz with African and Indian influences. BOOK TICKETS

•Claudia Lang-Colmer & Crissy Lee were the double bass player and drummer from the 1950’s and 1960’s Ivy Benson Big Band and can they swing! Thurs 15 Feb Vortex. They’re joined by Ann O’Dell, piano and Alison Cawley sax BOOK TICKETS

•ARQ at London Soho Pizza Express Jazz Club Wednesday 21 Feb.  VIDEO & BOOK TICKETS

Led by Alison Rayner, ARQ feature infectious grooves, lyrical melodies, jazz with folk, rock, classical and other world music influences.

•Celebrate International Women’s Day with Barb Jungr + Solar Flares Friday 9 March BOOK TICKETS

More dates below for your diary starting tomorrow and we look forward to seeing you at a gig soon


January dates

  • Wednesday 10 Hackney Empire bar Deirdre Carwright & Rachel Bartlett ‘Paint it Blue’. Jazz and Latin classics.
  • Thursday 11 Blues 62 Luigi’s Jazz Cellar at the Trattoria da Luigi, Stoke Newington Church Street
  • Thursday 25 The Vortex, N16
    Tomorrow the Moon V Annie Whitehead with the BTF all stars
    plus Rosie Turton Quintet BOOK

February dates

Thursday 15 February  The Vortex, N16 Tomorrow the Moon V

Claudia Lang-Colmer & Crissy Lee (Ivy Benson Reunion band) come to ‘Swing the Vortex’


March dates

Friday 9 The Old Church, Stoke Newington Church Street.
Join us in celebrating International Women’s Day
Barb Jungr + Solar Flares BOOK NOW

Tomorrow the Moon V
Blow the Fuse is supported by PRS Foundation’s Open Fund

March 2017 gig news ARQ & My Generation


It’s March and finally it feels like Spring – and we’re soon springing off!
Yes, next week Blow the Fuse takes to the road again with Alison’s group ARQ.

We’ll be playing in Sheffield, Nottingham, Lincoln and Leeds so we’d be delighted to see any of you –
or if you have friends there, do please let them know to come along and support ARQ.


Wednesday 8 March Sheffield, the Lescar
Thursday 9 March Nottingham, Bonington Theatre
Friday 10 March Lincoln, The Collection
Saturday 11 March Leeds, Jazz at Heart

We were very excited to receive another wonderful review this week for ARQ’s new album ‘A Magic Life’ – this time from Chris Searle in the Morning Star. We were trying to remember if we have been mentioned in that paper since Bea Campbell travelled with Jam Today to Amsterdam in 1976 and reviewed our gig in the Vondelpark. Ah…memories.

However, coming right up to date in 2017, here is a quote from Chris’ lovely review:
An album of unified musical dexterity, with not a note wasted and with sound as story – clear and undisguised, deeply affecting and unashamedly open”
Thank you, Chris.

Finally, the new Blow the Fuse season ‘My Generation’ starts on Thursday 6 April at the Vortex in Dalston.
MY GENERATION features a wonderful line up of mini double bills and women musicians who grew up listening to music on vinyl and transistor radio… and decided that they also wanted to PLAY! Inspiration from Joni Mitchell to Suzi Quatro, mostly self taught, they became the first wave of women musicians in the 1970s and 1980s.

Thursday 6 April an evening exploring bossa nova and latin jazz, featuring Michele Drees on guitar and vocals – singing in Portugese – and also playing drums with Emily Remembered – Kathy Dyson & Deirdre Cartwright’s beautiful guitar project remembering the great US guitarist Emily Remler.
with Alison Rayner on double bass
Tickets are on sale now

ARQ new album released

We’re all very excite here at the BTF hub as we announce the release of the latest ARQ album A Magic Life. Release Date 18 November 2016

The music is bursting with melodic and harmonic references from jazz, classical and folk musics. Rayner cites both Charlie Haden and Eberhard Weber as influences – but there is always a strong sense of Rayner’s musical personality evident in the poignant folk-inspired melodies, rootsy grooves, Hendrix stoked guitar in Mayday and improvisational invention.

Steve Lodder piano
Deirdre Cartwright guitar
Diane McLoughlin tenor, soprano saxophones
Alison Rayner bass
Buster Birch drums

Alison Rayner: ‘I was inspired to call the album A Magic Life because of two recent incidents. The loss of a friend last year, who wrote in her own epitaph about how magic her life had been; then a chance encounter with a young boy, who asked me “Is music stronger than magic?” I replied that to me, music is a merging of magic and logic. These events set me on a course of thinking about connections between memory, mortality, magic – and music.’

1. A MAGIC LIFE 05:25



4. MAYDAY 03:55

5. NEW DAY 08:43

6. SWANAGE BAY 07:07



The band is touring England Autumn 2016 and Spring 2017 – see Gig page for more details.

LUND album launch

When we made this album, we loved it but we’ve been truly surprised by the reviews it’s received partly because we have no marketing budget so it really is people picking up on it word of mouth.
A review has just come in from the SUN. Thoughtful and erudite. Who’d have thought? Wow and thank you.

SUN review1

Thanks also to Keith Ames and Phil Sutcliffe.
Now what about some of those talented women journalists giving it a spin? We’d love your comments.


Here’s another two cool reviews for the album, album of the month in The Musician and one in this month’s MOJO.
They flow from ambient spaciness and spoken poetics, to Buddy Holly Jive and assorted funk, Creamish heavitude, even Reggae, all convincing, yet all outshone when on Fallen guitarist Deirdre Cartwright and drummer Ann Day channel the skippy-dippy Police sparkle of Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland. The unruly element in LUND is singer lyrist Sarah P who lets go with fire and flair”  MOJO APRIL 2015

Fabulous album, riveting material, sublime musicianship, Merge instantly sweeps you up in a passionate embrace of shivering guitar and intriguing lyrics,” MUSICIAN MAGAZINE, MARCH 2015


Album launch 17 April 2015

lund-flawed-heroine-cd-cover   BTF1412CD
Distributed by Proper Music




 Sarah P vocals
Deirdre Cartwright guitar & bass loops
Ann Day drums, percussion


In a media world that can manipulate the ‘perfect’ look, the ‘perfect’ sound FLAWED HEROINE, Lund’s first album is inspired by some of the beautifully flawed people that they’ve met on their journey so far.

TWIYO & BTF records present
+ Kim Wei One voice, one guitar and a whole new world of sound.

The Russet Art Café, Amhurst Terrace, E8 2BT
Doors 8.00 1st set 8.30pm
£7.00 advance £8.00 door
Lovely food and cakes!

Sarah P 07770 921969 • • follow @LUNDband •

Deirdre Cartwright’s personal season preview

Deirdre Cartwright offers a very personal preview of the new Blow the Fuse season Tomorrow the Moon III
which begins at The Vortex on Wednesday 11 February 2015.
What’s behind a gig?
In our third season of Tomorrow the Moon, we deliberately wanted to put on a greater age range. We were already giving a space to and introducing younger players to our audience, which is very exciting. This time we wanted to also promote older players as well. Looking at the first three gigs in the programme, with Hilary Cameron, Maggie Nichols and Carole Gasser, I realised that I had connections with these musicians that went back to when I first started playing electric guitar in the 1970s.
I met Hilary Cameron when we were both very young musicians in the mid 1970s. I was trying to find out more about jazz and saw that the Jazz Centre Society were putting on a Summer School in London. I didn’t have any money but somehow JCS allowed me to sit in on some of the classes – for free.
As I dragged my HiWatt stack up the stairs to join the guitar class led by Dave Cliff, I learnt something straight away. I needed a small combo!
Later that day I played in Dave Cliff’s performance group. We played Dolphin Dance and Maiden Voyage (pretty challenging). This is where I met Hilary who was the piano player. Years later, playing on a gig, I heard her play piano and sing and I was thrilled by her ability to play and scat sing along on solos. We also had a mutual admiration for Tania Maria.
Maggie Nichols. I remember seeing her name from the front page of Melody Maker in 1973 in a feature about the 50 piece jazz rock group Centipede. We actually met in 1977, I think, at the Womens Monthly Event in Covent Garden. Organised partly by the feminist group I played in at the time ‘Jam Today’, it was a wild, anarchic jam session. Frustrating and exciting, it lasted only a few months. Then Maggie joined a band I was playing in, in the late 1970’s. She asked me to play at an actual jazz gig with actual jazz musicians including pianist Pete Nu. This is when I discovered that a jazz blues could be ‘God Bless the Child’ not quite the same as a 12 bar blues in terms of improvising. As I struggled through the key changes, Maggie was in her element and could  totally be herself using the words of Billie Holiday.
Carole Gasser (nee McBean). In May 1976 I had to make a very difficult choice. Was I going to take my end of year Economics exam or play on a recording session in Manchester with the Ivy Benson Big Band? My first professional studio session. Both on the same day, what a clash!
I remember closing the enormous Economics book and saying to my Mum I have to play on that session. End of my degree course at the Polytechnic of Central London after just one year.
At Strawberry Studios I met most of the band for the first time. I was nearly sick with fright.
Kathy Stobart was there on baritone, my sister Bernice was Ivy’s bass player. However, the person that created a buzz in the studio was Carol MacBean. No longer with the band, she had been Ivy’s tenor player for several years.
As some of the horn section steadily got through several carrier bags of beers, they warmed up and despite no prior rehearsal with this particular line up, there was some great playing. I can still recall what a great sound Carol had and she could really improvise. We needed one more number to complete the album at the end of a marathon day. Ivy called ‘The Pink Panther’. Carol, despite being a bit worse for wear by this point stood up and played the theme beautifully with a couple of great bluesy breaks.
Want to hear it?
Here it is from 1976. I had to record my own copy of the album in the living room, so a bit analogue!
I often wondered what happened to Carol McBean? Never heard of her again. Then last year there was a big Ivy Benson Band reunion in Bristol. One of the old band mentioned that Carol McBean had played in the Reunion Quartet set. Her married name is Carol Gasser and she still plays regularly in Cornwall. Not only that but gigs regularly with Claudia Colmer – this was Ivy’s legendary double bass player from the 1960s, who also lives in Cornwall.
I happened to be playing with ARQ in St Austell in November and managed to hook up with both of them. It was great meeting them and I managed to persuade them to come up to London, the first time in over 35 years for Claudia, to play at the Vortex as part of the Tomorrow the Moon season.
They will be joined in the Reunion Band by drummer Crissie Lee who supported The Beatles in their first national UK tour before joining the Ivy Benson band in the 1960s and pianist Max Turnbull – I don’t think he was in Ivy’s band but he’s a fine piano player!
Supports on these gigs from Yesa Sikya, a new band fronted by three young women and another young band from Bristol, Dakhla. This promises to be a great season.
2015 Tomorrow the Moon III season:
Wednesday 11th February  Hilary Cameron Quartet
Deirdre Cartwright guitar, Alison Rayner bass, Michele Drees drums 
plus Yesa Sikyi
Chelsea Carmichael tenor sax, Nubya Garcia tenor sax, Lily Carassik trumpet,
Greg Evain piano, Arthur O’Hara bass, Ed Harley drums.
Wednesday 11th March  Maggie Nicols
Deirdre Cartwright guitar, Alison Rayner bass, Asaf Sirkis drums
plus Dakhla
Charlotte Ostafew baritone saxophone, Sophie Stockham alto saxophone,
Pete Judge  trumpet, Liam Treasure trombone, Matt Brown drums.
Wednesday 8th April  Reunion Band Carol Gasser, Claudia Colmer, Max Turnbull and Crissy Lee
All gigs take place at

The Vortex Jazz Club 11 Gillett Street, London N16 8JH
Doors 8pm First set 8.45 pm £10 concessions available
Bookings: 020 7254 4097 Online:


December news from the fuse….

Hello friends and b r e a t h e ….

Blow the Fuse has had such a rich and varied musical Autumn this year – London Jazz Festival gigs, ARQ touring, a new website and a first album from LUND. Local gigs and jam sessions and throughout it all we’ve been supported by YOU.
Many, many thanks for making our 25th anniversary year such a memorable one.

There is still just time to vote in the 2015 Parliamentary Jazz Awards.
If you’d like to vote for ‘August’ by ARQ for the jazz album of the year or vote for Blow the Fuse as promoters under the Jazz Venue category, we’d really appreciate it. Last day for voting is this Friday 12th December.

Click here to nominate in the 2015 Parliamentary Jazz Awards! <>

Christmas is coming – and 
we’ve all got too much STUFF.
Time spent with friends is so much more precious. Why not book tickets for the
Electric Landladies Christmas party for you and some friends? Presents sorted!

THE ELECTRIC LANDLADIES Friday 19th December Chats Palace, London E9
It is such a joyous evening. Old favourites, new sing-a-longs and a real laugh and dance.
Laka Daisical vocals/kbd, Sarah Pritchard vocals/perc, Deirdre Cartwright/guitar
Diane McLoughlin kbd/sax, Alison Rayner bass/voc, Ann Day drums

Book online


You can also buy tickets from us this Friday…
Fri 12 Dec Jan’s Bar, London N16 Deirdre Cartwright Trio
Deirdre, Alison and Winston plus Diane McLoughlin sax and Chloe guest vocals.

We’ll have the Quality Street out again and a few Christmas songs.
Jan’s Belgian Bar (on Stoke Newington Common)
16 Northwold Road, Stoke Newington N16
Doors 8pm Music 8.45pm
Free entry but we’ll be passing the hat round for contributions.


November News catch up 2

We’re just recovering from our BIG weekend.
Nottingham with ARQ, St Mary’s Old Church with Norma Winstone & Emily Remembered and our London Jazz Festival stage ‘takeover’ on Sunday afternoon. Yes, Blow the Fuse programming 5 bands (one was an impromptu set with Roz Harding – on very good form). A varied, interesting afternoon of music with some great original writing. It was all wonderful.

Starting with a Jazz & Gender panel discussion. Yes, there should be more women involved in Jazz. We’ve been saying it for 25+ years – well, it’s about time the other big festivals took note and.. And.. YES please book more women.
There is now a new generation of great players joining our ranks and there is absolutely no excuse to see yet another festival announcing its almost entirely all male programme as Deirdre did this morning!


Public nominations for the 2015 Parliamentary Jazz Awards open on the 17th November, close on the 12th Dec.

Can you think of anyone? Ahem…. VOTES FOR WOMEN

Moving on as the magnificent ARQ hit the water this week at St Austell Bosun’s Thursday 26th and Exeter Barnfield Theatre Friday 27th and The Vortex Jazz Club next Wednesday 3 December.
Slider BTF ARQ

Led by Alison Rayner, the group are now in full flow. This is their LAST LONDON gig for several months.

ARQ were also on Jazz Record Requests last Saturday – you can listen again on the iPlayer:

Did you know ARQ is an acronym for Alison Rayner Quintet? Of course you did!
Did you know that Deirdre Cartwight is an anagram for Gitar Wretch did err?
Let us know if you have a better one from your name!

Christmas is coming – 
here’s the Christmas present that friends will really appreciate.
When all the shopping, cooking, decorating and work is over again – ask yourself. Did I really go to a great party and dance to some of my all time favourite songs? This year book tickets for the Electric Landladies for you and some friends. Presents sorted!
It is such a joyous evening. Old favourites, new sing a longs and a real laugh and dance.

Friday 19th December
 one of London’s best live groups
THE ELECTRIC LANDLADIES return to Chats Palace.
Year after year this great evening of festive fun and dancing sells out..
Laka Daisical vocals/kbd, Sarah Pritchard vocals/perc, Deirdre Cartwright/guitar
Diane McLoughlin kbd/sax, Alison Rayner bass/voc, Ann Day drums

Tickets have just gone on sale. Book online

November 2014 catch up with the news

Such a lot going on this month. ARQ are touring the UK, LUND have a mini tour of Cornwall and then…

Deirdre leads her trio at two North London local gigs.
Yes, the thrill is gone – I’m sorry, I’ll read that again. The grill is on, for some great food and a mix of some beautiful originals and standards.
Book a seat for Ajani Grill  289 Hornsey Road N19 020 7272 5566. Music 8pm
Fri 14 Nov Jan’s Bar, N16 Deirdre Cartwright Trio with Diane McLoughlin guesting on sax. 8.30pm for a seat.

Calling Nottingham! Alison Rayner steps out from behind the double bass to lead her super combo ARQ.
They’re all packing into the Ford Transit and steaming up the M1 to JazzTrane. Our tour gigs have been such fun with the group really opening out and making the most of Alison’s great compositions. Let your friends in Nottingham know about this.
If you’re not on the ARQ tour lines or have missed the London gigs; why not buy the new CD?

Thurs 20 Nov ARQ on tour JazzTrane, Nottingham

OK here’s the BIG WEEKEND.

Friday 21 November Vocal jazz legend Norma Winstone MBE with Nikki Iles and Mark Lockheart and support from Emily Remembered.
One of the UK’s most celebrated singers, Norma Winstone is performing at St Mary’s Old Church in Stoke Newington.
Part of the EFG London Jazz Festival 2014, this will be a memorable concert set in the candlelit medieval church and filmed for Mezzo/Arte Euro TV channels.
Right now, she is at the peak of her form…there is no jazz singer in the country to touch her.
Alyn Shipton, The Times
Emily Remembered: Deirdre Cartwright, Kathy Dyson guitars with Sarah P vocal.
Doors 7.45pm Lovely bar drinks at reasonable prices but no food.
Book tickets now

Sunday 23 November Front Room, Queen Elizabeth Hall, South Bank Centre. Free all afternoon.
Blow the Fuse presents
2pm Chelsea Carmichael Quartet,
3.15pm Deirdre Cartwright/Baluji Shrivastav Ensemble,
4.45pm Roz Harding’s Wave
6pm ARQ

12.45 Panel discussion Jazz & Gender with Professor George McKay, Deirdre Cartwright, Gary Crosby OBE and Roz Harding.

Finally we’d love to tell you more about TWIYO, The Word is Your Oyster at the Russet on Nov 17 with
Christine Tobin, Phil Robson, LUND, Kim Wei, Annie Whitehead, Jennifer Maidman and Ruby Thompson.
Hosted by Sarah P but we’ve run out of space.

Just time to flag up LOOK MUMMY LOOK….
Friday 19th December one of London’s best live groups THE ELECTRIC LANDLADIES return to Chats Palace.
Year after year this great evening of festive fun and dancing sells out..
Laka Daisical vocals/kbd, Sarah Pritchard vocals/perc, Deirdre Cartwright/guitar
Diane McLoughlin kbd/sax, Alison Rayner bass/voc, Ann Day drums

Tickets have just gone on sale. Book online

LUND album launch HACKNEY

The Word is your Oyster & Blow the Fuse Records present

LUND SarahP, Deirdre Cartwright, Ann Day
Annie Whitehead and Jennifer Maidman
Ruby Thompson


The Russet Art Café, Amhurst Terrace, E8 2BT
Doors 7.30 1st set 8pm  

£7.00 advance £8.00/£5.00 conc on the door

Buy one get one half price cocktails and beers before 9.00pm and lovely food and cakes!

Buy album Flawed Heroine at the gig
or order online: