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Monday, April 08, 2013

GIJF Day 3: Ruby Turner; The Brand New Heavies. April 7.

(Review by Lance).
(Dawn Joseph: Photo credit, Mark Savage.)
Tonight posed the question what is and what isn't jazz? Both sets had lots of soul and funk but as regards jazz content that is debatable. Paradoxically, this was, I would guess, one of, if not the, best attended concerts of the Festival. If this helps to subsidise the jazzier events then so be it.
However, the music, irrespective of genre, was exciting albeit the show itself was a visually challenged event.
Ruby Turner bounced around with the exuberance and soulful utterances we have come to know and love via her appearances with Jools and on previous Sage gigs. Without doubt the Lord was on her side as she sang Gospel inspired numbers such as Sister Rosetta Tharpe's This Train with it's underlying suggestion of the work of Harriet Tubman who did so much to help free slaves after the American Civil War.
The downside was the stage lighting. For some reason it rarely caught Ms. Turner who appeared as a shadowy figure probably only recognisable from say the first 5 rows!
Nevertheless, she sounded good and the band, who were somewhat better lit, gave her sterling support.
No shortage of light for the Brand New Heavies who, with their new vocalist Dawn Joseph, soon had Hall One rocking. The horn section of trumpet and tenor blended well and they had some good solos. Ms. Joseph quickly removed most of her clothes to facilitate her onstage cavorting and it was both easy on the eye and the ear. Soon it became just  "the ear".
"Everybody stand" she yelled and everybody did.
This was fine if you happen to be 7 feet tall of which it seems everyone in front of me was but for those who aren't, or are incapable of standing for long periods of time, it took a lot of shine off the gig. Indeed several of the more elderly members of the audience did leave early and I didn't blame them. 
My journey on the Quaylink bus was spent with a chap, much younger than me, complaining about paying for a seat at the concert and having to stand.
A bit of an anti-climax to what had been an otherwise absolutely fabulous weekend.
Lance.

1 comment :

Stocksfield Jazzer said...

Enjoyed the Ruby Turner gig greatly. I agree with you is is not Jazz, but certainly hits the blues button. For various reasons we did not stay for the Brand New Heavies - sounds like (as an older, shorter Jazz [and Ruby Turner] fans) we may have made the right choice!

Why do the Sage insist on booking two major acts for the same concert? I suspect it is to maximise revenue, by attracting two different audiences. At least Ruby Turner was allowed an encore this year. Last year we were allowed one hour of Roberto Fonseca - NO encore. We then had to endure nearly two hours of some Columbian Salsa (it's all the same!) band, as they (being second) were allowed an extended encore.

It may be a "Serious" thing, rather than a "Sage" thing, as some of last year's LJF fixtures also featured two major bands/artists on the same bill.

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