When the call went out a few days ago that we’d be showcasing performances by SE London locals during what should have been Brockley Max 2020 we received a flurry of fantastic emails. Here’s a selection of prerecorded performances you can enjoy at any time.

Great Beecroft Singalong

Here’s something truly uplifting: the community of Beecroft Garden Primary School in Lewisham join together virtually during lockdown to bring you this reworking of Bobby McFerrin’s well-known song, Don’t Worry, Be Happy!

It’s such a fantastic song choice and nearly impossible to resist joining in.

The PJs

Brockley Max alumni Mary Currie and Alison Craig previously performed with Peter, Paul & Gordon. For this year’s festival they were very much looking forward to introducing us to their new group, The PGs, in which they are joined by guitarist Nat Wallace. Nat is also a dab-hand at making videos, as you can see from these two PGs tracks.

The PGs perform songs by Ivor Cutler and a poem by Kathleen Raine
The PGs perform a song by Ivor Cutler and a poem by Kathleen Raine

The first is The PGs’ reworking of an Ivor Cutler song Beautiful Cosmos; the second was recorded and mixed during lockdown and is a song called Because I Love. The lyrics are taken from the poem Amo Ergo Sum by Kathleen Raine. Both songs would have appeared in their set had they got to perform at Brockley Max 2020.

SelFolk Orchestra V Project

Fiddles, accordions, concertinas, whistles, bodhrans, guitars, mandolins, flutes – the SELFolk Orchestra has it all! SELFolk Orchestra claims its tunes are guaranteed to put a smile on your face and will encourage you to dance and sing along! We can attest to this after a lively, audience-interactive fundraising event at Brockley Social Club back in early March.

The South East London Folk Orchestra has been meeting weekly since 2012 and regularly performs at local community events including Brockley Max. The V Project consists of virtual recordings of the SelFolk Orchestra. Members recorded themselves in isolation at home to a pre-recorded backing guide track. Orchestra leader Richard Jones then mixed all the recordings together to recreate these glorious orchestra sounds.

SELFolk Orchestra recorded instruments in isolation and tracks were then mixed together for the V Project
SELFolk Orchestra recorded instruments in isolation. Tracks were then mixed together for the V Project

Professor Nohair 

Professor Nohair (aka Simon Palmer) has lived in Brockley since 1984, performing as part of rhythm ‘n’ blues band The Jivin’ Instructors and as part of the comic street theatre troupe The Cosmic Sausages. As magician Professor Palmermoff he’s performed for 25 years at events of all kinds including 100s of children’s parties in Brockley alone.

His piano trio Professor Nohair and the Wiglifters play jazz, blues  and boogie. They were due to perform on Hilly fields outside Pistachios In The Park during this year’s Brockley Max Festival. These three videos provide a preview of what they might perform for us at Brockley Max 2021.

If you live in the Brockley/Crofton Park/Ladywell/Honor Oak area and would like your band to feature here, please email moira@brockleymax.co.uk. We will update this page throughout the festival’s duration (29th May to 6th June).

Click here for a whole heap of events taking place as Brockley Max goes live online.

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