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Thursday 20: Vieux Carre Jazzmen - The Holystone, Whitley Road, Holystone, North Tyneside NE27 0DA. Tel: 0191 266 6173. 1:00pm. Free. OUTDOOR gig.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Anna Luca and her band, Library Theatre, South Shields, Wednesday July 18.

Anna Luca (vocals/keys); Christian Moorhen (percussion); Johans ? (electric bass guitar)
(Review by Ann Alex.)
This gig was a real bargain at £7.50 per ticket, which included a finger buffet, wine and the company of the Mayor of South Tyneside (Eileen Leask, my cousin, I couldn’t help mentioning that), and also a raffle ticket for an extra £1. The event was in aid of the Mayor’s charities so we were supporting good causes as well. The music was very enjoyable, not really jazz, but mostly sweet-voiced original songs from this very talented singer.
The content and singing style were somewhat reminiscent of Madeleine Peroux or Janis Ian. The guitarist was well skilled and the percussionist was fascinating to watch. It was a cut-down version of the conventional jazz kit, with ethnic instruments added. So we had the large wooden box which the player slaps and beats, and this also doubled as a bass drum. There were bells, shakey eggs, handclapping, and lots of brush work on the cymbals and snare drum. The latter was covered with a tea towel to dampen the sound. And the communication between drummer and singer was superb, presumably because they are married to each other. Nice work if you can get it.
That song was not on the menu, but we were treated to many love songs, such as Beautiful Love (not the Victor Young song from 1931 nor the 2006 song by "The Afters" but an original by Anna); songs about the singer’s fears and experiences, such as Listen and Wait (Anna said she is a person who acts too impulsively); The Harbour; Blue Hour (a beautiful song in German about twilight in Cologne). Promised Land included a delicate piano break and skilled work on the bass drum. Berlin, Berlin gave us an articulate pen picture of that city. We had a version of the Oasis song Wonderwall, with a skilfully adapted tune; Dark Thoughts with a Happy Mind had been written recently since the band had been at South Shields, as part of the exchange with South Shields twin town, Wuppertal, in Germany. The gig ended with an amusing encore, which Anna had written just before she and Christian married, You Can Keep What’s Yours and I Can Keep What’s Mine, about hanging on to your individuality, which seems like good advice.
Ann Alex

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