Discover the power of Basil at Mind on the Run

Published: Friday 17th February 2017 by Rich Sutherland

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Basil Kirchin is a name that you may not have come across, as he’s the forgotten genius of post-war British music.

Born in Blackpool, his life took him to many places, including London, Sydney and India, before settling in Hull.

During his lifetime, the drummer and composer experimented with all sorts of sounds and sensations. This led to the collision of popular and experimental musical cultures that predate and define much of the music we hear today.

From today until Sunday, an eclectic festival called Mind on the Run celebrates the life and soul of this fascinating individual.

We spoke to Sam Hunt, Executive Producer at Hull UK City of Culture 2017, to find out more.

“The idea for the festival came about during a conversation with Matt Stephenson and Alan Jones of Nova Studios,” says Sam.

“We were discussing ways of representing jazz as widely as possible and developing audiences in the process. It was agreed that Basil Kirchin brought these objectives together perfectly.”

Mind on the Run presents an incredible range of activity, from a showing of The Abominable Dr. Phibes, starring Vincent Price with a soundtrack by Kirchin, to free talks hosted by writer and critic Jane Cornwell.

“We seldom get opportunities to share unknown or long-lost stories,” Says Sam. “Matt Stephenson likened Kirchin’s work to discovering an original Picasso in your shed.”

The programme of activity is designed to be highly accessible for absolutely everyone. With beautiful vocal and lyrical content on the Friday, experimental hip-hop and jazz on the Saturday, and the BBC Concert Orchestra on the Sunday, it truly is wide-ranging.

“It’s very fortunate that 2017 can provide a platform to do this,” adds Sam. “And the response has been amazing too, with a Radio 3 takeover, articles in the Guardian and all kinds of other coverage.”

The series of events has been made in collaboration with organisations such as J-Night, the people behind Hull Jazz Festival, and Serious, the producers of the London Jazz Festival.

“This has allowed us to infuse every element with the spirit of Kirchin,” Sam explains. “It’s not so much a festival of Basil, but more a framework for programming artists who embody his style.”

Pushing boundaries through sonic experimentation, Mind on the Run is an outward-looking festival that’s still very much rooted in Hull.

“We can legitimately say that we’re crossing most musical genres,” says Sam. “From jazz, dance hall and disco, to crazy electronics and proto-sampling, it’s going to be a total eye-opener!”

Presenting six decades of Kirchin’s own work and the techniques that resulted from his wild imagination, Mind on the Run is absolutely unmissable.

To get involved in this series of events, which includes the free premiere of Nova Studios’ documentary film, please visit

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Published: Friday 17th February 2017 by Rich Sutherland

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