associate artist -mac birmingham,


And relax….

After an enjoyably busy time at mac Birmingham with Surge and many other projects, a trip to China and various performances culminating in Surge at  Mostly Jazz and Peacock Angell at Moseley Folk I’ve arrived at a breathing point.

Future plans and gigs will appear here shortly. If you’re interested in booking Surge, Peacock Angell or just myself please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Meanwhile please enjoy this  video of me performing Black is the Colour with Hu Yan of the Chongqing Sichuan Opera Troupe on erhu.

Peacock Angell at Moseley Folk on 6th Sep 12.30pm


Surge to play at Mostly Jazz festival on 12th July!


Surge Orchestra

Surge Orchestra 7th feb Our Surge Orchestra gig at mac was a huge success with a very heartening turn out. Feeling fully inspired and optimistic about the future of Surge as an established Birmingham ensemble. Plans are afoot. Here’s a couple of reviews of the gig that gives you more info on the set we played. Surge Orchestra review at Jazz Mann and Surge Orchestra review at Jazz Breakfast .Huge thanks to all at mac, Arts Council England, Feeney Trust, Peter Bacon PR, Garry Corbett, everyone who came and all the people who have helped out in various ways. Finally, the biggest thanks of all to the wonderful and talented musicians of Surge!

Peacock Angell Band – Fear a’ Bhàta

Surge at mac 7th february, 2015

Currently working on the music for Surge Orchestra at mac centre on 7th feb, 2015 as part of my Associate Artist position there. BOOK HERE
This gig will see the string section get bigger and feature drummer Mark Sanders and pianist Steve Tromans as main improvisers.

Sid Peacock & Surge

Peacock Angell Band @ mac birmingham 7th Nov….

peacock angell

Celebrating Sanctuary Birmingham

Grand Finale – Sichuan Opera

So, I have been back in Birmingham since 18th June. My flight back from Chengdu was quite an emotional one, perhaps partly brought on by the free beer. Having set up a random listening list on the in flight entertainment I wondered what I would touch down to in London. As we glided over London it seemed it was going to be Curtis Mayfield’s Superfly. That would have been cool but it finished just moments before landing to be followed by Vaughan William’s Lark Ascending, very nice moment.


As mentioned in previous posts my main host in Chongqing was the Sichuan Opera Troupe. On the 11th June we put on a big performance to celebrate the residency and relations between the British Council and the Opera. It was some show and I think I had my picture taken more times in that day than I’ve had this entire year so far.

As you can see in the gallery below the entire troupe did an impressive show involving all their musicians, costumes, dancers and singers. I had to follow this and was a bit apprehensive to be fair but there was never a feeling of oneupmanship or competition. Everybody there was genuinely enthusiastic and the atmosphere was very encouraging.

I had worked with seven musicians from the Opera and a local bass player. I need to double check all their names and will post them up soon. We did quite an experimental version of Red is the Rose, a new piece I had composed for them simply titled Sichuan and then some arrangements of their tunes Chinese Flowers and Open a Little Door. The music had all come together very quickly and rehearsals initially proved a bit difficult with communication and so on. By the end however we were running the rehearsals without a translator, perfectly understanding each other without having to  do much talking.


I was presented with an Honorary Certificate making me an Ambassador for Sichuan Opera.  I guess the extent as to how serious this is depends on me and  what I give to it.  There really is a lot for us to learn about Chinese music and how we can collaborate with it. There is a serious misconception  in some parts that Chinese music is simplistic and very easy listening.  Hopefully, in a small way.I can challenge that misconception and inspire more people to engage with music that can be as challenging as it is soothing.

It was a perfect day. Everybody had a great time except perhaps  for the translator who couldn’t get my way of talking and had to be replaced by Joanne from the British Council. I plan to arrange  Chinese Flowers for the Surge Orchestra to be performed in Feb 2015 at the mac in Birmingham.  It would be a nice Chinese new years gift to be able to send to the Troupe.

Still a bit more to post on my trip to Chongqing to include thanks and future plans. Other projects are under way at the moment including an experimental exploration of Irish trad and the very creative mac youth group (who hopefully will soon be called the Rea Roots Orchestra.)

Thanks and check back soon.


Allen Ginsberg in Chongqing


I write poetry because this morning I woke trembling with fear what could I say in China?

from “Improvisation in Beijing” by Allen Ginsberg


I have discovered that on 8th November 1985 Allen Ginsberg landed in Chongqing! If “Howl” has been recited here before it was by Ginsberg himself.

So far the only info I have is this link to an article by Liang Shan Quan describing his visit. I hope to somehow locate it when I get home and  learn more about his trip to China.

My head is spinning with this…