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Saturday, September 01, 2012

The 6 and 2 Threes Sextet @ The Sage. August 31


(Review by Russell)
The last in the summer series of gigs on the concourse featured a band of student musicians led by the impressive pianist James Harrison. Originally billed as the Henchmen Sextet, on arrival the poster at the door said 6 and 2 Three’s Sextet (sic). Was this the same band with a sudden change of name? 
The acoustics in the cavernous space don’t help musicians at the best of times and on this occasion, despite the assistance of a sound engineer, the sound balance was poor and PA announcements left an awful lot to be desired. 

My review lacks a line-up due to inaudible mutterings on (and off) mic. A suggestion - speak clearly, directly to the audience. The tenor player should have been on a mic – stand still and play the music (when you get to Sonny Rollins’ standard feel free to wander round with a clip mic). The guitarist sounded promising – difficult to hear first set, better second set. 
The vocalist did her best – a tad under rehearsed I’d suggest. Bass and drums had their moments. The tunes were good ones – Almost Like Being in Love, Blue Skies, Georgia, Cantaloupe Island, Tenderly, Tenor Madness and many others. 
Any musician who gets up to perform in front of the public has my total respect. Stage fright must be a terrible thing to deal with but…but. The Sage Gateshead wow! One of the most prestigious venues in the country…seize the opportunity and do yourself justice.
Russell

2 comments :

Anonymous said...

As a friend to many members of the night's band I can safely tell you they are NOT the henchmen jazz sextet. I also called them on a number of the topics you raised here and after speaking to them the lack of audibility, particularly for the saxophone player and announcements was down solely to the sound guys as they had apparently said not to use a clip on mic (or indeed any form of mic)

Anonymous said...

(continued) Also, as a musician myself, I believe it is disheartening to read a review that blames the band themselves for what was clearly a bad call on the sound engineer's part. I have worked at the sage in performances on numerous occasions but let me tell you the sound engineering standards in ability and personality have been par at best - and that's being generous. Could you not also talk about the technical ability of the musicians rather than getting hung up on what was not their fault? How were the solos? How did the band work together and react off each other? What did the crowd thing of it all? Are these not the most important questions?! A rather damning review for an up an coming group of musicians / students don't you think? Great boost to confidence and self esteem. Hmm you know what, I think I'm going to go have a talk with them and blame them for global warming or the global recession...hell why not!?

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