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Bebop Spoken There

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11,652 (and counting) posts since we started blogging just over 12 years ago. 787 of them this year alone and, so far, 51 this month (July 13).

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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Contraband Discovered Near Blyth Beach

Vicky Wadsworth (vcl), Jonathon Haslett ? (pno), Andy Lawrenson (bs), Richard Miles (dms).
Before the gig I spoke to the bass player and I couldn't help thinking that he looked a lot like Andy Lawrenson - violin player I knew from my music shop days. Lo and behold I check out the names on the Contraband website and - It is Andy Lawrenson! I must have changed even more than he has. Anyhow my excuse is that I knew him as a violin player - I guess the doggone thing grew up on him!
Anyway, back to the music. Difficult to judge a band as sophisticated as Contraband are when they are playing to a scattered al fresco audience in a windswept park. Nevertheless, despite the conditions, they had a good polished sound with Vicky Wadsworth yet another outstanding vocalist to arrive on the scene.
On their site they look positively debonair - on the sea front at Blyth, debonair gave way to practicality. Overcoats and sweaters were the order of the day - even the pianist wore gloves which may account for some of the rich full chords he played behind Vicky's vocals.
"Summertime", Bill Wither's "Ain't No Sunshine", Norah Jones' "You Don't Have To", "Fly Me to The Moon" were just some of her vocals - put over with an attractive earthiness that in a different setting would have been showstopping.
A bit more volume and a bit less hurricane would have made the listening easier and saved the scores being scattered to the four winds and one of the seven seas.
I'd have stayed for the second set but, unlike the band and the wiser members of the audience I didn't have an overcoat.
Hope to catch you again guys.
As a matter of non-musical interest, the Great North Bike Ride Was taking place - over 2000 cyclists. I felt quite nostalgic for the good old days of cycling down to Richmond (N.Yorks) and back or climbing up to Nenthead near Alston as was once my wont. By coincidence, a couple of the band have connections with both of those places.
Click here for Photos. (The above photo was taken by John Taylor - I was totally unaware!)
Lance.

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