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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Gypsies of Bohemia @ Jazz Café - October 11

Matthew Whitaker (vcl/rhythm gtr.); Jim Wallace (ld gtr/vcl); Frank Grime (bs/vcl); Sam Draper (dms/vcl); Andy Stamatakis-Brown (keys/melodica/vcl).
(Review by Lance/photo by Mike Tilley.)
The gig was sold out. If the scalpers had known they'd have made a killing! As it was the 60 or so aficionados with the savvy to buy in advance were privileged to witness a truly stunning performance.
In many ways, Hot Club has become today's Trad - recreating the sounds of Paris and Old Orleans with the verve and enthusiasm the original revivalists gave to the jazz of New Orleans.
Nowadays, there are so many bands across the world building upon the format set down by Django et Stephane. Remember WASO? they were something and of course our own north east based Djangologie est aussi un trés formidable ensemble. However, the Gypsies of Bohemia have added another dimension to the genre.  The use of keyboards and drums and a repertoire of contemporary pop songs takes it away from the chugology of typical Hot Club fare to a swingier sound.
Earlier this year the hirsute quintet from Manchester  played a sell-out gig at The Caff and that, along with an academic pedigree at Newcastle College, ensured they had a large and, it has to be said, a boisterous following!
This was both a good and a bad thing. The ambience created by the noise was akin to the bonhomie emulating from a café in Monmartré on New Year's Eve.
The downside was that Whitaker's vocals and Wallace's announcements weren't always as audible as I'd have liked.
That aside, it was a cracking night full of excitement and virtuosity. The material ranged from standards such as Tea For Two to a version of Wuthering Heights that even Kate Bush never contemplated let alone Emily Bronté or Heathcliff!
Tainted Love was another contemporary classic that had the room upstanding and Americano complete with vocal had us totally transported as did Hot in Herre - it certainly was!
When I left for zee Metro they were still stomping away!
CD review to follow...
Lance.

2 comments :

Life in Geordieland said...

Glad the gypos had a good gig, I was gutted to discover it was sold out but I had the pleasure of attending their last gig at the Jazz Cafe and catching both their sets at Kendal Calling! Hope they return to Newcastle again soon!!
Rachel
www.lifeingeordieland.com

Patti D. said...

It was a smoking hot gig - the crowd was all but hanging from the ceiling ..... reworked jazz classics, ace solos and wonderful playing - but brilliant contemporary hits like Tainted Love, Ain't Nobody and Seven Nation Armies - these guys know how to get that groove going.

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