A couple of musical nights last week. Highlight was the reliably spine-tingling voice of June Tabor with the Oyster Band at St George’s. The band I can take or leave, though the combination works well. There’s just a slight sense of let down whenever Tabor leaves the mike. She blends well with them, but really sounds as good or better on her own, and does better song intros, too. An unmatchable artist, and this tour is well described elsewhere, here and here. The associated CD is terrific as well.
The Friday jazz from Kevin Figes and friends down at the Bear didn’t quite match that, but was very enjoyable for all that. They mostly ploughed a funky furrow, with electric keys from Dan Moore and Jerry Crozier-Cole’s resourceful guitar cruising along cheerfully behind Figes’ punchy baritone sax. This was the band’s first gig, I think, and felt a little like that – quite a few new compositions, some a little slender, and a sound which carried more conviction as the evening went on. The final piece of the second set, an older tune with some excellent alto, was the highlight – good place to have it. It meant that what started as a fairly bread and butter gig finished in a better place. It’ll be worth catching this foursome again in a while to see how they develop.
Don’t have a gig of the week in Bristol this week – my sights are set on London for the opening of the jazz festival on Friday, and a long-awaited appearance from Steve Coleman…
- June Tabor and the Oysterband: Ragged Kingdom, CD review (telegraph.co.uk)