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Saturday, September 19, 2015

Elliot Galvin Trio @ The Lit and Phil - Sept. 18

Elliot Galvin – Piano; Tom McCreadle – Double Bass; Simon Roth - Percussion
(Review by Steve H). 
When a Newcastle jazz audience is double the size of those up there on stage then that can be a good thing providing it is a big band they have come to see. However, when it is a piano, bass and drums combo then that's not so good. Sadly, at the Lit and Phil on Friday night, the latter applied but it did not stop the Eliot Galvin Trio from producing a wonderful set which completely enthralled the select and, dare I say it?, rather discerning audience present.
The trio, undaunted by the under capacity crowd, performed a fascinating and challenging set. The music swung from the almost totally free to the near classical. Most of the tunes played were from their debut album Dreamland but there were also a couple of well-known standards Lulu’s Back in Town and Mack the Knife on which the famous melody was played on Glockenspiel by drummer Roth. Roth in fact seemed to have many additions to the standard drum kit adding all manner of crazy augmentations to the proceedings.
Galvin also played a fascinating range of instruments including a marimba, musical boxes, a stylophone , a homemade double melodian and a toy piano which seems to be a particular favourite. In fact I felt a bit sorry for Tom McCreadle who only got to play the bass albeit magnificently especially when using the bow. The highlight of the evening for me was Tipu’s Tiger which was inspired by an exhibit at the V&A of a life size automation of a tiger eating a European! (see photo) Galvin strumming the insides of the grand piano to great effect and the whole piece really evoked the feeling of colonial India. At the conclusion of the set the enthused crowd asked for an encore and the band cordially agreed and performed Punch and Judy, aided by a cassette player with samples of an actual Punch and Judy show. At the end of the gig the delightful trio hung around to chat to the audience and the ratio of CD sales to audience members must have been close to 100%. As Mr Punch would say ‘That’s the way to do it’!
Steve H.

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