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Burntollet Sons of Ulster Play at Jazz Festival Updated

Burntollet Sons of Ulster Play at Jazz Festival Updated

Well done to the members of Burntollet Sons of Ulster Flute Band who along with Sid Peacock and other Jazz musicians performed an innovative set at the City of Derry Jazz Festival over the weekend. It’s great to see the continued promtion of our bands within venues in the City centre.


The band in Holywell, Bishops street on Saturday afternonn and in the Craft Village on Sunday afternoon pboth performances were well supported with the band getting postive feedback from everyone.

How it Happened

Back in September 2016 the band was contacted by Eamonn Baker about the possibility of playing in the Jazz festival 2017. We were willing to participate but only if we could get Sid Peacock on board, to continue the relationship started in 2013 with the band playing at the Playhouse as part of the Beyond the March project, and later that year performing at the All Ireland Fleadh. Contact was made through the Londonderry Bands Forum and Sid jumped at the opportunity to work with us again, making a flying visit over in February to discuss what we could do and sample some of the Music we play currently.

Believe it or not we did not have one single rehearsal until two nights before our first gig, this was due to Sid and his fellow band members currently residing in Birmingham and not being able to make it over sooner. Some uncertainty was creeping into the members of the band who were taking part in the gigs and whether we would have enough time to learn music in a new style. Speaking to Sid by phone about these concerns his response was “trust me”, and that’s what we did and with the skills and commitment of everyone involved it all came out better than we expected.

Our first gig was on Saturday in the Holywell Trust centre, a small venue filled with mainly family and friends. The Mayor also attended the event where we performed 3 pieces of music, 2 of which we have never played before in that style, and the other piece was from the project we played in 2013. The band performed well and the crowd seemed to enjoy our efforts and the music. Our second gig was on Sunday in the City’s Craft Village, on arrival there was a large crowd and that is where the nerves really set in. We were completely out of our comfort zone and playing to a far more diverse crowd, we didn’t know what people were going to think of this and what reaction we would get. We performed the same set and the reception when we finished was unbelievable, cheers and applause all round, everyone we had met from all sides of the community were praising us for our efforts and how good the music actually was. One man came up and said ” I’m a republican but what use just did was brilliant” which proved the saying that “Music speaks louder than words”

Again our members were willing to take a risk, doing something different to help and promote the musical skills within the band community in the City. A very successful weekend for all involved and something we will never forget.