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Bebop Spoken There

Charlie Musselwhite: "I used to see these posters in the windows of the [Chicago] blues clubs advertising Elmore James and Muddy Waters which knocked me out. I was making a note of the addresses and at night I'd go back and listen to the blues until 4-5 in the morning." - (Blues Matters! Aug/Sep 2021)

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Postage

13,530 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 948 of them this year alone and, so far, 112 this month (July 31).

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Gwyneth Herbert - The Sea Cabinet - @ Sage Gateshead June 12.

Gwyneth Herbert (vcl, pno, uke, various perc inst), Fiona Bevan (vcl, pno, uke, gtr, vln, various perc inst); Al Cherry (gtr); Sam Burgess (bs); David Price (dms, vln, glock, various inst); Burnside College Choir, Wallsend) (Pirates Chorus).
(Review by Lance).
A short, but well received opening set by Bevan (right) culminated with the curly permed singer / songwriter / guitarist being joined by Herbert for a brief taste of the main event.
I use the word main advisedly as The Sea Cabinet was indeed a suite/story, with words and music by Gwyneth Herbert, based on people, places and sea related artefacts.
Too complex to detail here - see concert preview and Gwyneth Herbert interview - it was almost a mini-folk opera with moments of humour, drama and pathos.
Both women have distinctive voices - at one point Herbert sat at the stage edge and sang unmiked. The voice was as clear as a bell, possibly a ships bell. Bevan too was pitch perfect particularly on the wordless passages. Between them they played a multitude of instruments as did percussionist Price. Cherry alternated between acoustic and electric guitar whilst Burgess excelled in adding the depth (50 fathoms perhaps?) with or without the bow..
The choir from Burnside College provided an effective "Pirates Chorus".
It was a non-stop performance that had me entranced from start to finish but...
I was fortunate having read the press notes, interviewed Herbert and heard some tracks from the CD in advance.
For those in the audience who hadn't done their homework this was possibly a challenge and maybe some program notes or a few explanatory words between pieces would have helped as I felt that some of the more humorous lines went over the audience's head.
Nevertheless, it was a rewarding experience and if the jazz content was minimal that didn't detract from the overall musicality of the evening.
Across in Hall One Elvis Costello may have had more bums on seats but I'm quite sure these two girls more than matched the quality.
Lance.

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