Exeter Barnfield - ARG : A Magic Life

Exeter Barnfield Theatre, Clifford Room, Barnfield Road, Exeter, Devon, EX1 1SN

Tel: 01392 271808

Exeter Barnfield - ARG : A Magic Life


Blow the Fuse Records presents  : A Magic Life

This concert at the Barnfield is part of a nationwide promotional tour for ARQ's new album 'A Magic Life', released in November 2016.

in ARQ, Alison Rayner has gathered a group of musicians who sympathetically support her music. The group's imaginative and assured playing are superbly suited to Rayner's compositions and reflect a confidence inspired by working intensively together, touring their first album 'August'.

‘Highly intelligible music, characterized by individuality, spirit and a sense of freedom.’ Val Wilmer, authorAs Serious As Your Life: the Story of the New Jazz’ Sept 2016

‘Purposeful, full-toned and melodic… a beautifully integrated band’  Dave Gelly, Sunday Observer Nov 2016

‘This is a particularly well-balanced ensemble. The writing is rich and varied and the arrangements combine brightness and colour with exactitude and precision.’  Ian Mann, thejazzman.com Nov 2016


Steve Lodder piano

Deirdre Cartwright guitar

Diane McLoughlin tenor, soprano saxophones

Alison Rayner bass

Buster Birch drums


A Magic Life reviews:

‘Playing bass with a big, beautiful bass sound that comes from the heart, Alison Rayner leads a team of intelligent, responsive musicians through these original compositions. Highly intelligible music, characterized by individuality, spirit and a sense of freedom.’   Val Wilmer, author, As Serious As Your Life: the Story of the New Jazz

‘Purposeful, full-toned and melodic – those are the qualities of Alison Rayner’s music, in her roles as both bass player and composer. Jazz today takes so many forms, and incorporates so many diverse influence, that it takes a strong musical voice, such as Rayner’s, to stand out clearly amid the surrounding din. She has a beautifully integrated band too. The whole thing has that loose feeling which is the mark of musicians who have been working together for some time. The bright, fibrous sound of Diane McLoughlin’s soprano saxophone is a particular delight, and the wild guitar and piano interplay between Deirdre Cartwright and Steve Lodder in Mayday is one of the set’s many highlights.’

Dave Gelly, Sunday Observer 20 November 2016


Live reviews:

‘In a Jazz age with an abundance of technical excellence – and ARQ have it in great quantity – we look for something else as well. ARQ bring to the stage a musical bond that is expressed in such fun and joyful moments that it is a pleasure to be in the room with them. Jazz of the highest quality.’   Phil Rose, Birmingham Jazz

“A master-class in empathetic playing with superb solos and a rhythm section of the highest calibre. Don’t miss these virtuoso musicians when they come to town.’  Phil Webb, Restormel Arts, South Cornwall

The production of A Magic Life has been supported by the Arts Council’s Grants For The Arts scheme.

Guide Prices

Advance Tickets £10 (£5) On The Door Tickets £12 (£6) -





  • All Areas Accessible to Disabled Visitors
  • Facilities for Hearing Impaired Visitors
  • Guide Dogs Permitted
  • Ramp/Level Access
  • Toilets for Disabled Visitors


  • On-Site café/restaurant

Establishment Features

  • Toilets

Event Facilities

  • Booking Advised

Key Features

  • In town/city centre
  • Indoor Event

Parking & Transport

  • Car parking - City centre parks or on-street metered parking closeby.
  • Parking (free) - All car parks are free to park after 6pm

Specialist Features

  • Marketed towards student/youth

Opening Times

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Exeter Barnfield Theatre, Exeter