Playing the Bridge Concert

How lucky we were to have such a fantastic sunny day – and a great crowd – for the ‘Playing the Bridge’ concert yesterday. Playing the Bridge is a cool collaboration which transforms Hull’s Scale Lane Bridge into an interactive musical instrument as part of Hull 2017 City of Culture. It’s the idea of bridge architect Jonathan McDowell who recognised that like the Gamelan, the bridge can be played by striking the metal work to make tuned sounds. It was great to be part of the group of Hull Gamelan players led by Laurence Rugg.

Playing the Bridge
Playing the Bridge, Gamelan with Siemens in the background

For the first part of the concert the Gamelan was set up in the sunshine on top of the bridge and York Gamelan group and Hull Gamelan players performed a selection of traditional, new and improvised pieces including Alec Roth’s specially commissioned tunes for Hull – Kingston Bells and Bubaran Hull.

The second part of the concert took place inside the bridge, where we performed a soundscape work, directed by composer Nye Parry, using Gamelan mallets on the bridge’s metal panels and girders as the main instrument, accompanied by the  strings, woodwind and electronic sounds of York ensemble, The Assembled. Big gong sounds using huge metal panels from inside & outside the chamber built to a metallic rhythmic pulse and merged into the  drones of cellos, viola, harmonium, wind instruments and bridge parts built to huge ominous crescendos and diminished to delicate hums. The musicians moved around the space and continued to play as they left the chamber where the piece closed with the deep resonant sound of the largest Gamelan gong, the gong ageng.

Rich took this gallery of photographs, click on an image to see the full picture and scroll along…

Playing the Bridge is an artistic commission and performance devised by bridge architect Jonathan McDowell and composer Nye Parry who are both Gamelan players – and coordinated here by Hull Gamelan’s Laurence Rugg.

Playing the Bridge
Playing the Scale Lane bridge Gamelan with Hull Tidal Barrier in the background
The project will culminate in a multimedia installation by Nye Parry and Madi Boyd inside the bridge hub, using sounds gathered in the workshops, as well as interviews and sounds from Qualter Hall, the engineers who built the bridge. These are combined with films created through a collage of hundreds of found images of the bridge under construction. The imagery is abstracted and fragmented into a  visual poem that conveys a sense of the complexity of the bridge and reveals the hidden mechanics of the opening mechanism. The installation will be open each weekend throughout April and easter bank holidays (Friday and Monday) from 10am till 4pm.

Photographs © Rich Duffy-Howard

Rich & Lou Duffy-Howard- visit our Loudhailer Home Page

Spiders from Mars night on BBC Introducing

What a brilliant vibe in the BBC Introducing studio in Hull this week, for a very special show celebrating all things Ziggy Stardust. The show was a superb radio show tribute to David Bowie’s band, Mick Ronson, Trevor Bolder and Woody Woodmansey in their home town. A host of fantastic musicians from round here – Chambers, Holly Tamar and Chris Bilton, Waste of Paint, Urban Rain and Matt Edible played totally amazing interpretations of songs from The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.

BBC Introducing Bowie Night Crew & Co.
BBC Introducing Bowie Night Crew & Co.

I was invited onto the show to play some Ziggy basslines on Spider bassist Trevor Bolder’s Bass, so huge thanks to The Legend Mark Kay and Tom Kay for bringing the bass (complete with original strap and green gaffer tape) into the studio. It’s a gorgeous fretless Kramer, 1970s model with an aluminium headstock and neck frame – Mark showed me pictures of Trevor playing it in Uriah Heep. I was made up! The 13 year old me at the Ziggy gig way back then would *never* have believed this could happen in a million years. Alan and I chatted about Bowie and the band, and I took in a couple of bits of precious memorabilia (aka teenage relics). Here are a couple of them again, my letter from Angie Bowie – seal of approval from the Bowie family for my first band with my best mate Julie, The Weirdies in the Wardrobe, and my Bowie autograph letter.

So here we are, me and Trevor’s Bass. You can see I’m holding a book, You Rocked We Rolled by Mott the Hoople (also my heroes, the second gig I ever went to after Ziggy) road crew technician Phil John. Phil was also the spotlight operator on the Ziggy Stardust tour, and as fate would have it he sent me a message this week saying some very complimentary things about our Loudhailer Electric Company album. I was so chuffed, who would have thought that could have happened either!

BBC Introducing Bowie Night Lou

The radio show coincides with Woody Woodmansey’s Ziggy gigs in Hull this weekend. You can listen to BBC Introducing Ziggy special on BBC Radio Humberside  95.9 FM/ DAB 25th March 8pm or catch up on line for 30 days.

Big high five to the BBC Intro team, Katy Noone for setting it all up, presenter extraordinaire, Alan Raw, engineer John Anguish and George in the studio.

Here’s Rich’s gallery of photos, click on an image to see the full picture and scroll on…

BBC Introducing on Radio Humberside – listen live 95.9FM/DAB and catch up here: BBC Introducing Humberside

Rich and Lou and Dexter Duffy-Howard – Visit our Loudhailer Home Page

Jackson D – Face

Jackson D Face

It was our buddy Jackson D’s album launch last night. With a cool cat sound, a huge voice and a bag full of the most catchy killer songs, Jackson D and ace percussionist Zachary Theodorou played a storming show to an invited audience at The Back Room. Joined by Sarah Shiels on bass for a couple of numbers and with special guests Fiona Lee and Strawberry Moon to open the show, it was a brilliant night out. Jackson D’s debut album, Face, is a work of art, so stylish, we love it.

Have a look at Rich’s photos…

Jackson D – Discover more on Jackson D’s website here

Rich and Lou Duffy-Howard – Visit our Home Page

Hull UK City of Culture

Me & Dex at In with a Bang

Pleased to be included in the Hull City of Culture opening show – Red Guitars Good Technology, with some great Hull music buddies, Roland Gift and Fine Young Cannibals, The Housemartins, Kingmaker, and my biggest hero Mick Ronson with David Bowie and Trevor Bolder.

Here is a gallery of Rich’s photos from the evening. click on an image to see the full picture and scroll through…

Rich and Lou Duffy-Howard – Visit our Home Page

Here’s to a Cool Yule

Wishing all our friends the coolest of Yules! Come and join us for a drive through our Lego Winter Village, see if you can spot the real Father Christmas…


Thanks to everyone who’s linked up with us this year, visited our website, been to our gigs, played our Loudhailer Electric Company album, been to Loudhailer Acoustic, invited us to play and shared the stage with us. We’ve had lots of fun this year, here’s to the next one!

Rich and Lou Duffy-Howard – Visit our Home Page

A Perfect Combination Gig

What a brilliant night it was at last night’s gig ‘A Perfect Combination’ at Kardomah94. It was an amazing evening. There were so many of our musical heroes there, and magic moments came thick and fast throughout the night.

Boogie Nights photo thanks to Dez and Cathy Allenby

We loved the vibe throughout sets from a host of bands all of whom had members featured on the recently released Perfect Combination CD – Martin Peirson, Peter Robinson (ex Diggory Venn) with Dez Allenby and friends; Ted Key and Hugh Whitaker (ex Gargoyles and Housemartins); Cassie Patton (ex Cheap Thrills); Keith Cheesman (Ched) and his band; MG Greaves, The Brontes, Sleeperman (ex The Vets).  We were delighted to be invited to play a Loudhailer Electric Company set to represent some of the bands Jeff and I played in who feature on the Perfect Combination album. In the spirit of the evening we did something we’ve never done before and played a Red Guitars song – Good Technology, a Dead Fingers Talk song – Fight Our Way Out Of Here, and and one of our own we’ve recorded for the Fairview Studio 50th anniversary – Underneath the Underground.

The show was topped off with a tribute to Rod Temperton – so big high fives to everybody on and off the stage who joined us playing, singing and dancing to Boogie Nights.

It was an amazing night all round, but really special when Geoff Appleby joined us on the stage for Boogie Nights – fantastic!

Thanks to organisers Gary Marks and Andy Richardson, Burnsy for MCing the evening, Mal at Kardomah94 and  to Matt White for a great sound & cool vibe on the desk.

Rich took this gallery of photos, click on an image to see the full picture and scroll through…

All the proceeds of the night were donated to a local charity, The Stephen Hughes Foundation. Stephen was a young Hull born school teacher and footballer who died at the age of 23 of the heart condition giant cell myocarditis. The charity set up in his name raises funds for the British Heart Foundation, the Myocarditis Foundation and the Stephen Hughes Foundation Sports Award which helps primary school children participate in sport for social skills and self-esteem purposes. It was lovely to meet Stephen’s family and friends, what an excellent charity, celebrating Stephen’s life by creating real positive musical and sporting benefits for children and young people.

Rich and Lou Duffy-Howard – Visit our Home Page

Cowboy DC’s Work in Progress

It was brilliant to welcome one of our favourite bands in Hull, and great guys Work in Progress to open the show at our Loudhailer Electric Company album launch gig at Kardomah94 last weekend. And they were awesome! With mix of up tempo country and bluegrass tunes it’s hard to keep still from the moment they hit the groove right through their feel good set of original and traditional foot stomping songs. We all loved them, thanks guys!

Photographer Paul Newbon captured some great shots of Work in Progress in action. Click on an image to see the full picture…

Work in Progress are: Dale ‘Cowboy DC’ Cavany guitar/vocals, Kelvin ‘Kelvindolin’ Richmond on Mandolin/Vocals and on bass Lewis ‘Marty’ Woods playing country/Bluegrass/Punkgrass tunes to stomp your feet and raise some dust. Visit them on Facebook Work in Progress

Rich and Lou Duffy-Howard – Visit our Home Page


Hull International Photography Festival Workshop

HIP web page

Rich was invited to host a workshop for Hull International Photography Festival 2016. The subject was live music photography and portraits. The gallery below is of the photographs chosen to illustrate different approaches, techniques and experience shared and discussed during the workshop. It was lovely to chat with photographers Ian Macdonald and Peter Dench. Thanks to Alan, Darren and the team for a world class festival. Try to get to the galleries during the rest of October if you can.

Click on an image in the gallery to enlarge and see the full picture, and scroll through:

All photographs © Richard Duffy-Howard

Rich and Lou Duffy-Howard – Visit our Home Page

Cross Borders

How lovely it was to catch up with our buddy Nahro at the Cross Borders concert at Hull Truck last week. Part of the Amy Johnson Festival, it was a beautiful and evocative evening of music and video projections depicting a dialogue between Hull and Kurdistan. When Dexter was a baby, Nahro was the first person he heard playing the violin. He loved it then and it inspired him to want to learn to play. So it was especially good for him to experience this most absorbing live performance of Dave Gawthorpe’s engaging compositions and Nahro’s superb violin.

Dex, Nahro and Dave Windass Crossing Borders
Dex, Nahro and Dave W
Nahro Zagros and Dave Gawthorpe Crossing Borders
Violinist, Nahro and composer, Dave G
Nahro Zagros Crossing Borders
Nahro and film

Music by The Zagros Band:

Nahro Zagros – Violin
Andy Swift – Bass
Simon Higley – Percussion
Dave Gawthorpe – Guitar
Amanda Cawley – Keyboards

Interlude music produced by Max Jung (Sevenlocks)

Projections by Jay Moy

Inspired by Amy Johnson’s leg of her journey through the Middle East, Cross Borders re-visits the landscapes 75 years on – instigating a compelling dialogue between artists living in Hull and Kurdistan.

Localised perspectives and intercultural exchanges merge to disclose a unique and stark commentary upon current global concerns through an evocative synergy of newly composed music, live video projections and footage of performances recorded in Kurdistan.”

Rich and Lou Duffy-Howard – Visit our Home Page

Amanda Lowe & The Aviatrix World Premiere

Last night’s world premiere of Amanda Lowe and The Aviatrix’ full band Amy Johnson Song Cycle was terrific. Amanda put a a great band together and it was super to play with such a fabulous group of musicians.

Aviatrix 3
The Aviatrix – Ellie, Jess, Amanda and Lou

Amanda Lowe – guitar, mandolin and vocals
Ellie Gaynard – violin and vocals
Jessica Lawson – autoharp, guitar, mandolin and vocals
Lou Duffy-Howard – bass and vocals

We flew, did a couple of unexpected loop the loops and made a beautiful smooth landing to a lovely audience at The Amy Johnson Festival’s Zebedee’s Yard stage.

Rich took these photographs. Click on an image to see the full picture and scroll through…

Amanda Lowe’s Amy Johnson Song Cycle: “A brand new collaboration of women musicians – The Aviatrix – perform Amanda Lowe’s specially commissioned Amy Johnson Song Cycle. Expect a vibrant and evocative live performance featuring lush vocal harmonies, autoharp, violin, guitars, mandolin and bass. Come with us on a journey through Amy’s adventures and achievements, her rise to celebrity status, love life and untimely death.”

Here we are after our rehearsal playing a couple of impromptu songs at the Sun Inn in Beverley.


Amanda Lowe Amy Johnson Song Cycle website

Rich and Lou Duffy-Howard – Visit our Home Page