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Bebop Spoken There

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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Pink Lane Jazz Coop: The Henchmen and Burundanga @ World Headquarters, Newcastle, Nov 23

The Henchmen: Belinda Voshtina (vocals); Tim Bloomer (guitar); James Carmichael (drums); A N Other (bass guitar)
(Review by Ann Alex).
Sorry about not knowing the line-up properly, but I could see that the personnel were different from an incarnation reviewed previously in BSH and I hadn’t seen this band before. Katie Trigger was not on bass - presumably saving herself for her part in Burundanga later.
And when the band kicked off I wasn't’ disappointed, no way. Belinda sings in an expressive strong voice, backed by truly competent musicians, playing in an interesting style which bears the influence of rock as well as jazz, with plenty of solos for the band.  Out spun the numbers such as: Route 66; with the guitars portraying a journey, a sexy swirling Fever; Ray Charles’ Unchain My Heart; Georgia; Besame Mucho; and finally The Thrill Is Gone.
If I describe the venue, readers may be able to pick up on the atmosphere of the evening. It’s situated near the old Worswick Street bus station and has obviously had a previous life as a warehouse.This nightclub is an independent organisation based on the idea of being affordable and based on enjoyment of music rather than drinking.  Multiculturalism is emphasised and the young clientèle were really friendly.So these were very suitable surroundings for:
Burundanga - Alan Law (Keys); Katie Trigger (double bass) and 6 others on hand drums, kit, percussion; guitars, vocals.
I love the way this type of band begins, by a sort of calling on process, rumbles of drums, whistles, cymbals shaking, the odd shout, great tension-building stuff. You know this is to be a wonderful mixture of Afro, Caribbean, funk, and tonight there were lots of Latin rhythms, duets, songs with question and answer, short bursts from band sections in turn, how do they know when it’s their turn? Can’t name the songs as I recognised only one and the singing was in Spanish and other languages. I can’t say much more either because I spent most of the set dancing as did many others – I found it impossible to stay sitting. One of the later numbers was especially great stuff, beginning with the girl singer and fast drums at the back, then a build up as others joined in, lots of us dancing, then a sudden end, just like that.
A thoroughly enjoyable evening.
Ann Alex    

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