Emma Johnson’s Gravy Boat return to Wakefield Jazz this Autumn for the release of their second album Northern Flame, a free-flowing, cinematic jazz record inspired by stories of the strength and resilience of Northern women past and present.

Developed from a commission for Lancaster Jazz Festival 2022, Northern Flame ties together tales from the history of Lancashire about lighthouse keeper Janet Raby (in first track Force of Light) and local hospice founder Sister Aine Cox (in track 3, Sister) with wider themes of light and the feeling of home.

 The band share their ‘characteristic Northern warmth & charm’ in live settings through both the music and stories that inspire it.

Recorded at Giant Wafer Studio in Wales and produced by Ivor Novello nominated James Hamilton, the quintet explores dynamic and interplay further in this new album, which marks a more open and exploratory way of writing and recording for Johnson and Gravy Boat.

Speaking about Northern Flame Johnson says: “I’m really happy with the process and feeling of the album as a whole. It was an incredible experience to be commissioned for the first time and have time to research and write from different stories and perspectives, and to go on from there to turn those songs into a full length album has been a new and invigorating way of working for me, and I feel like that comes across.

“The theme of light ties together all the tracks on the album, from Janet Raby’s lighthouse beam shining in the darkness, to the more figurative idea of the light shared between Sister Aine Cox MBE and hospice patient Anne Charlesworth when all hope was lost, to the light you find left on for you when coming home late. In these dark times, I think we all need a little more light.”

Emma Johnson – Tenor Saxophone

Fergus Vickers – Electric Guitar

Richard Jones – Piano

Angus Milne – Double Bass

Steve Hanley – Drum Kit

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Friday : 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm

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    Access facilities

  • Accessible Car Parking
  • Accessible Toilet
  • Assistance Dogs Welcome
  • Dementia Friendly
  • Guide Dogs Welcome
  • Relaxed
  • Wheelchair Accessible

Venue Details

Find us at

Wakefield (College Grove) Sports Club, Eastmoor Road, Wakefield, WF1 3RR