holding hands octet / Fowl

Thursday 27 May 2021
7:30 pm - 10:00 pm

Ashburton Arts Centre


£13/£10/£6 – Get your tickets here

holding hands
Chris Dowding (trumpet)
Ralph Clarkson (trombone)
Dee Byrne (alto sax)
Rob Milne (tenor sax & bass clarinet)
Ben Higham (tuba)
Morris Masuda (samples, electronics & guitar)
Martin Pyne (vibraphone)
Azzy King (drums)

Hugh Nankivell
Graham Browning


The octet explores the relationship between the UK and US, and mixes orchestrated samples of Trump and others with pieces by Chris Dowding and Norwich-based saxophonist Rob Milne.

The octet features some of the most exciting improvisers from around the UK, including saxophonist Dee Byrne, vibraphonist Martin Pyne and tuba player Ben Higham. The music mixes hymn-like and lush brass textures with post-minimalist vibraphone patterns, merged together with electronics by several members of the group.

holding hands octet

At their most succinct Fowl are Hugh Nankivell and Graham Browning.

They make pieces that involve words and music, sometimes these creations are songs. Graham lives in West Yorkshire, Hugh lives in South Devon. During the last year they have been productive making a new album of music that emerged from the critical times we live in called HUMANKINDWEED.

This veers from the domestic, to horticultural, to spiritual, to DIY and to Travelodge. They specialise in songs that feature fowl and have 2 songs about Geese and one about Pigeons. Generally Hugh plays keyboards and sings and Graham plays guitar and sings, but in Fowl the things that are generally expected don’t always bear fruit.

“I’m absolutely transported elsewhere”

“A happy uncanny valley of songs”

Doors open at 7:00. Start time 7:30.


Pandemic policies. This information will be updated as things change.

Thu 14 October: some minor changes below to make clearer, and adding a request to take a Lateral Flow Test before coming to an event at the Arts Centre

Mon 19 July: We will continue with everything listed below, which have been in place since 17 May. We have added a new protocol for sitting in the balcony, making face masks compulsory there:

  • As levels of Covid infections are increasing again in this area (on 14 October), we request that everyone take a Lateral Flow test before coming to the Arts Centre, and that you don’t come if this is positive. In this case, a refund or transfer of your ticket to another event can be arranged, if you let us know before the end of the event, by emailing boxoffice@ashburtonarts.org.uk.
  • The windows and doors of the venue will be open, allowing fresh air to be constantly moving through. This may mean that the ambient temperature is similar to outdoors, and audience members should dress accordingly. From October, when necessary, we are switching on the electric heaters in the main hall, even though the windows are open. This makes the central part of the hall warmer. The seats at the sides under the balcony don’t get as much benefit from this.
  • We recommend wearing face masks whenever inside the building. We particularly ask everyone to wear a mask when in the bar area, unless medically exempt; and…
  • Anyone who sits in the balcony MUST wear a face mask – with no exceptions. This is: (a) to provide a place for people who want to be as distanced as possible from others, and with anyone nearby wearing a mask – the seats in the balcony are naturally separated; and (b) as virus particles when airborne are generally heavier than air, this helps to mitigate the risk of transmission from people sitting in the balcony to audience members below.
  • Hand sanitiser will be available as well as soap and water in the toilets; please use these frequently.
  • Bar service at the Arts Centre is carried out by volunteers. If enough are available, they will take orders at your seat, and bring drinks to you. Otherwise, you can order drinks at the bar, one person at each end of the bar at a time, and take them immediately to your seat.
  • All members of the audience should wear a facemask while indoors, except if medically exempt, or when eating or drinking. Our experience is that this is one of the things most important for making some (perhaps more vulnerable) members of the audience feel safe to attend concerts. Whatever your opinion of the efficacy of facemasks in preventing the spread of the virus, please help to reassure others, and showing that you’re thinking of them, by complying with this.
  • There are posters inside the building showing the QR code that’s connected to the NHS Track and Trace app – please use this. We will also keep a record of all ticket buyers for the required period, and pass this on to the NHS or Devon Public Health if requested.