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12,535 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 254 of them this year alone and, so far, 105 this month (Feb. 24).

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Swing Manouche @ Gala Theatre, Durham. June 17.

Mick Shoulder, guitar, Giles Strong, guitar, Neil Harland, bass and Paul Edis, clarinet.
(Review/photos courtesy of Jerry)
When, after the opening bars of All of Me, the musicians went up a gear and applied manouche swing to the Marks/Simon standard, the 100 strong audience at the Gala began a rhythmical journey enabling them, for an hour at least, to escape from referenda, grey skies, and relentlessly bad news.
The nicely melodic Veish A No Drom followed, then the slow, gentle rhythms of Cigano Bolero, a Mick Shoulder original (the first of five) featuring a twangy guitar solo from Giles Strong for whom it was written. I’ll See You in My Dreams had feet stomping again but even it failed to match the kamikaze pace of Lulu Reinhardt’s Noto Swing which followed soon after. 51 Swing, the second Shoulder original of the set, swung more gently with a fine clarinet solo and even Melancholic Mick’s Nuits Solitaires was infectiously rhythmical.
Valse a Gonzo, Shoulder’s improvised pacifier for Giles Strong’s Alsatian (Gonzo) soothed the audience likewise. In Bossa for Zoe (a new tune to me) our composer made amends to Strong’s wife for having written songs for Giles and the dog but not for her. I hope she liked it as much as we did! Coquette was suitably skittish and quirky and was followed by “a traditional gypsy finish” – Minor Swing.
Accessible, uplifting music, brilliantly performed by four top musicians. Truly an hour well spent.
There are five more Gala concerts lined up this year – well worth keeping an eye out for.
Jerry.
Photos.

2 comments :

Alison Duncan said...

Thanks to Brian, we made it to see Mick Shoulder's Swing Manouche. It was a great hour of music! Thoroughly enjoyed their music and hope they will return soon.

Steven T. said...

Anyone who hasn't read my full Alice Grace review (available free on this very site), only one thing to add: fourth instrument! fourth instrument! The senior Edis is a little more forthright in praising his little pianist when there isn't a pen or keyboard around to implicate him, and he forgets I'm a BSH spy.

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