Interplay’s New Website

September 7, 2013 at 1:23 pm | Posted in Jazz | Leave a comment
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Hello everyone. You may have noticed that things have been a bit quiet on this site recently. The reason is, we’ve been building a new site, and now it’s ready!

Please head over to and you’ll find all sorts of good things, including new video, more detail about the band and its members, greater functionality and a whole new livery.

In addition, as a ‘thank-you’ to all our early visitors we are offering two previously un-released Interplay tracks as free downloads! These can be yours just for dropping by our new site, so please do so and help us get our new URL noticed. 

Thanks for your interest in Interplay – hope to see you soon.

Interplay in words and pictures

June 26, 2013 at 10:00 am | Posted in Coventry and Warwickshire, Jazz, Photos | Leave a comment
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Interplay jazz group photoshootHere’s a short interview I did following our recent photoshoot for the band at LAMP in Leamington.   You can also see some more great shots of the band taken by specialist music photographer Rob Bridge of Redwood Photography.

Rob is well known for his work with indie bands – I think we were something of a challenge for him! The occasion also established beyond any doubt that Alan has the best wardrobe. Killer jacket!  

The interview reveals that a new Interplay web site is in development. That’s right! More information coming soon.

Dave Balen Sonnymoons at the 606

June 21, 2013 at 12:24 am | Posted in Jazz, music | 1 Comment
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Interplay's Dave Balen at the 606 Club with Peter Ind

Dave on tabla at the 606

Interplay’s drummer Dave Balen found his London business trip took a surprising turn when he was asked to sit in with the legendary British bassist Peter Ind and friends at the 606 Club. Himself an old friend of Peter’s, Dave was delighted to be invited to take part in the gig, arranged as part of the 606’s impressive 25th anniversary celebrations.

By pure co-incidence Dave was packing a new set of tablas he had just acquired! He was naturally eager to try them out and this provided a memorable opportunity. Club owner Steve Rubie was on flute, his brother Peter on guitar and someones else (unknown – apologies!) on oud (but see comment below for further info).  Their rendition of  ‘Sonnymoon For Two’ was impromptu, fresh and eclectic – just the way  Dave likes it!

This year Peter Ind celebrates his 85th birthday. His extraordinary career spans over 60 years, virtually concurrent with the whole evolution of modern and contemporary jazz. Among his musical associates are Lennie Tristano, Warne Marsh and Lee Konitz from the US, and Louis Stewart, Stephane Grappelli and Martin Taylor among the European notables. At times a recording engineer, record producer, club owner, painter and author, Peter’s work constitutes a substantial archive, and he clearly isn’t done yet! For more insight into this amazing musician visit Peter Ind.

Interplay’s high holiday

May 28, 2013 at 12:37 pm | Posted in Coventry and Warwickshire, Jazz, music | Leave a comment
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AL smiles at JazzfestThis has been an exceptional weekend for Interplay and many other musicians in and around Coventry. The band delivered a storming set at Leamington’s venue LAMP, eliciting comments from the audience such as ‘My chin was on the floor’. This was despite a security alert on the M6 resulting in Neil being delayed by over 2 hours (I nearly said ‘detained’) and arriving just 15 mins before the scheduled start time. ‘Weightless’ (featuring Dave on tabla) and ‘Ruby My Dear’ (featuring Richard on trombone) attracted particular attention, as also did ‘Spanish Step’ – only our second time out with that one. There are some nice pictures of the gig at

Then it was time for the Coventry Jazz Festival, and a trio set with Alan and Neil at Playwrights, the festival’s spiritual home. This place has the smallest stage imaginable (hence it being a trio set), but the audience was really receptive and out for some good music. With the sun out and the doors open the music flew out along the street and all kinds of people came by to savour the music and the really festive atmosphere.  Continue Reading Interplay’s high holiday…

Interplay getting even more lyrical

May 20, 2013 at 11:56 am | Posted in Coventry and Warwickshire, Jazz | 1 Comment
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Ellen Callender to sing with Interplay on 24th MayLeamington Spa’s favourite jazz singer Ellen Callender will join Interplay on Friday night at LAMP to furnish one or two of Adrian Litvinoff’s seldom-heard lyrics. Ellen is well known for her full-on performances with her own band the Swing Cats and for fronting the highly successful monthly Spa Jazz sessions at the Clarendon.

The Interplay tunes are in something of a different vein, less great American song book, more abstract impressionism meets confessional whimsey. One of these is so unknown not even the band has heard it! It says a lot about Ellen that she has taken on this commission and we look forward very much to hearing her interpretations, adding to gaiety and the uniqueness of the occasion.

For further details and reservations please visit LAMP

Interplay lighting up at LAMP

May 14, 2013 at 11:58 am | Posted in Coventry and Warwickshire, Jazz, music | Leave a comment
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LAMP - venue for Interplay's gig on May 24thOur next gig sees Interplay back in Leamington – gosh, that’s twice in one year. The venue is LAMP – rapidly becoming established as Leamington’s new über-cool place for music. LAMP is being developed by Hybrid Arts to extend their musical and social engagement work with young people.

This is potentially the best development for live music that Continue Reading Interplay lighting up at LAMP…

April is the Coolest Month

April 3, 2013 at 12:16 am | Posted in International, Jazz, music | Leave a comment
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Interplay flyer for gig at Baker Street Swindon on 1st May 2012Last year saw the launch of UNESCO’s International Jazz Day under the auspices of Herbie Hancock and the Thelonious Monk Institute, while the Smithsonian Institute designated April as Jazz Appreciation Month. This year US Jazz Journalists are teaming up to recognise and celebrate local jazz promoters and others who contribute to the health and vigour of the local scene. The following paragraph comes from their own announcement in Jazz Week online magazine.

‘JazzApril starts NOW: April is Jazz Appreciation Month (so named by the Smithsonian Institution), culminating on the 30th with International Jazz Day(a project of UNESCO, organized by the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz) — and both those initiatives are endorsed by the U.S. Conference of Mayors. So the Jazz Journalists Association has launched a major media campaign called JazzApril in support of local jazz scenes taking advantage of JAM and IJD to raise awareness of the jazz resources all around us, and today posted bios + photos of 25 JJA “Jazz Heroes,” nominated by grassroots activists in 25 cities which will have parties to celebrate them, ask officials to proclaim their endorsements, and generally make noise to show that jazz is everywhere, in April and all year long.’  Read more »

There’s little point in being envious. I doubt whether we can muster enough jazz journalists to form an association, let alone get Continue Reading April is the Coolest Month…

Music and its associations – it’s all in the mind

March 7, 2013 at 3:08 pm | Posted in Impressions, Jazz | Leave a comment
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LAMP  - where Interplay plays on May 24thAfter a recent Interplay gig a friend of about my age asked “Where does this stuff come from? It sounds like those cool American detective series from the early 1960s”. He was expressing pleasure both at the music and at how it connected him with something else he really liked.

It’s lovely that people attribute the same music with such widely varied associations. If the music is mine these are often ideas I have never even thought of! Of course the suggestive power of music and its ability to fire the imagination is one of its greatest qualities. But it still knocks me out – and makes me smile – when I hear comments like this. Continue Reading Music and its associations – it’s all in the mind…

Interplay – the audience verdict!

February 25, 2013 at 3:53 pm | Posted in Impressions, Jazz, music | 1 Comment
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Our visit to Chesterfield Jazz Club last week seems to have been a great success! There was a good and responsive audience and the band was on really fine form. But don’t just take our word for it – see what some of the audience said afterwards…

Interplay – Out to Play!

February 13, 2013 at 10:08 pm | Posted in Coventry and Warwickshire, Jazz, music | Leave a comment
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Interplay will be at Chesterfield Jazz Club on 21st February

Last night Interplay took to the stage at Leamington’s Clarendon pub and delivered to a packed house. It was hard to believe it was our first outing since June last year! Not just like riding a bike – it was refreshing and heartening to find that the long interval has done nothing to blunt the band’s emotion Continue Reading Interplay – Out to Play!…

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