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Gareth Williams, Future Inn, Dec 19th

December 23, 2009

I guess this was the last gig of the year, and a great one to end with. Williams shone as part of Iain Ballamy’s quartet a couple of weeks earlier, and in duo with Andy Sheppard at St George’s last year. Now we were treated to his own trio or, er Power Trio. He says they don’t play together that often – the others (Laurence Cottle on bass and Ian Thomas on drums) being busy elsewhere. But it didn’t show – the pleasingly complex arrangements were done smoothly and cleanly. Satisfying to hear, although a quite different feel from, say, Kit Downes’ trio. This was all quite carefully arranged so one does not get the feeling, as with Downes, that the players don’t know what is going to happen next. But always hard to know whether that is illusory anyhow. It was all new to me, if not to them, and beautifully done.

These guys obviously all love each other’s playing – just as well as there were a LOT of bass solos. I find I like the sound of the electric bass less these days, but Cottle is a very musical fella. Some of the funk stuff with electric keyboard sounded very ’80s, too, but also still great to listen to. Most affecting moment, though, was probably a Williams ballad dedicated to a Welsh poet (didn’t catch the name) – a fine piece, and well up to the standards he also played (and sang). I liked the singing, too, though my companion would have preferred he had kept silent. If you are going to play a song, it is good to remind the audience what the words are, and Williams’ voice is well up to that.

Piano player who blogs Mike Collins liked it too, and has a picture as well (there’s posh). Apologies this blog offers no visuals, but it is the sounds that matter…  These were well worth walking home in the snow for. Looking forward to finding out what Mr Storror has in store for us next year – Don Weller already lined up for January apparently.

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