BROOK PUMPHand of Stabs, a quirky three-man band known for their improvised shows in unusual settings, will be performing a one-off gig at the Old Brook Pumping Station in Chatham on Saturday, 28 September.

The Royal Albert Hall may have fine acoustics and the O2 Greenwich a show-stopping all round view but neither has a belt driven Blackstone 14 inch Unchokeable Pump on hand to wow the audience.

The 84-year-old water pumping device at The Old Brook Pumping Station, off Solomons Road, Chatham will be getting a new lease of life but this time as a musical instrument.

It will be providing the beat to an unique live and free performance by three-piece impressarios of the improvised Medway band Hand of Stabs at 11.30am on Saturday.
Banging on surfaces and playing homebuilt instruments the Medway trio – Captain Rex Standish, James Worse and Jocelyn von Bergdorff ¬- use their natural surroundings to create a sound sensation many have never experienced before and will certainly not forget.

Their work is entirely improvised seeking inspiration from the chosen venue, essentially signing up the building as an extra member of the band. Previous shows have included art galleries, derelict buildings and the Guildhall Museum in Rochester High Street.

Using the Old Brook Pumping Station as their latest venue, the band aim to celebrate the building’s history with the belt driven pump providing the backing track to the performance.

Cllr Howard Doe, Portfolio Holder for Community Services and Housing, said: “It’s great to welcome back Hand of Stabs to Medway. Those who witnessed their show at The Guildhall Museum will know what a treat lies in store.”

“This performance will also showcase one of Medway’s hidden treasures tucked away behind Chatham’s bustling high-street. For those who haven’t seen the Old Pumping Station yet, this is an ideal opportunity.”

Chris Berthoud from Hand of Stabs, said: “We are really pleased to be performing at the Old Brook Pumping Station as guests of The Medway Industrial Archaeology Group. Architecturally it is an inspiring expression of civic pride, and it’s amazing that the mechanism is still performing its original purpose”

“We will be playing alongside a belt driven Blackstone 14 inch Unchokeable Pump which will be providing its own shifting rhythms only a matter of days after its 84th birthday.”

The Brook Pumping Station originally opened in September 1929 and during its lifetime played an important role in removing vast amounts of waste water from Chatham to the Motney Hill treatment works.

It was at the forefront of industrial technology in its day, but closed in 1979 when the new automated Rats Bay station at Globe Lane opened.. The Old Brook Pumping Station reopened to the public in April 2013 as a visitor attraction after extensive repairs.

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