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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

TRIO HLK + TAUPE @ The Bridge Hotel – March 13

TRIO HLK: Richard Harrold (keyboards); Ant Law (guitar); Richard Kass (drums)
TAUPE Jamie Stockbridge (alto sax); Mike Parr-Burman (guitar); Adam Stapleford (drums)
(Review by Steve H/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew.)
This was a welcome change, normally those on the bandstand are 2 generations younger than those in the auditorium, however, at The Bridge on Sunday night for this JNE/Splinter gig, the majority of the audience were young enough not to remember when Newcastle United last won a trophy but old enough to remember when it was the Toon who were at the top of the Premiership and Leicester City at the bottom.
Scotland’s Trio HLK play not only their own material but also tunes from the likes of Miles Davis, Chick Corea  and Jerome Kern (incidentally respectively). Such is the level of their improvisation, prizes were offered for guessing the names of the tunes covered. No one got the Miles number (Blue in Green)  but someone behind recognised Spain and the person sitting next to me (Sandra) spotted The Way You Look Tonight. It is hard to pigeonhole the style of music as it contained a mix of everything. The band describe it as “deviant jazz” and I see no reason to disagree. Needless to say, all musicians were highly accomplished and the collective sound they ‘cooked up’ was always interesting and enjoyable.
The evening began with a crash as Taupe’s drummer Adam Stapleford simply smashed his way into the band’s opening number. This set the tone for the rest of the trio’s set. The band, formed whilst their members were studying at Newcastle University, like to describe themselves as a ‘power jazz commando team’. The music was certainly powerful and extremely energetic - a heavy metal, free jazz tour de force although surprisingly there were some excellent subtle quiet bits amongst the mayhem.
A great evening then both the youthful and more mature audience seem to really appreciate the high octane performances although I was made aware that at least one of the members of the latter group lamented their missing earplugs.  
Steve H.  

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