Andy Hague quartet, Golden Lion March 26

A short walk up the Gloucester Road for an interesting contrast with more regular Hague haunts like the Be-bop Club at the Bear. Mostly young drinkers, not that interested in listening to music – though some do, and dance. Not like us older folks who go to the Bear and sit in rows and (usually) listen intently.

So the band adapt their style to suit. Louder, funkier, and electric (piano and amplified trumpet). Hague even uses an effects box and plays wah-wah at length. Mostly this works well, is atmospheric and good fun. Terrific bass playing, and drums from the redoubtable Daisy Palmer enliven things no end. Toward the end of the second set, though, it all gets a bit louder, funkier and more formulaic. These guys could do this in their sleep, and while it passes the time it is a bit constraining for musicians as good as these. Goes down OK with a glass of wine, though. Bet the set they played down in Hotwells the next  night, with the regular sax on hand, was different…

Kevin Figes plays the Lion next week with his “jazz” quartet, so it will be interesting to see how that goes down. But off to the Cube first to hear him, and most of the other top notch locals, in a big band.

Missing the Bear again next week, unfortunately, when piano player (and blogger) Mike Collins launches his attractive sounding new CD. We have a date with Mitsuko Uchida that night.  Can’t be a better place to hear her than the front row at St George’s…

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