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Monday, February 13, 2017

Madwort Sax Quartet + Noize Choir @ The Bridge, Newcastle February 12

Madwort Sax Quartet Tom Ward (alto sax); Chris Williams (alto & soprano saxes); Mark Hanslip (tenor sax); Cath Roberts (baritone sax) 
(Review by By Steve H/Photos courtesy of Ken Drew). 
Saxophone quartets don’t come round very often so it was no surprise to see a large audience assembled at The Bridge on Sunday night. The structure allows the interplay between the ranges of saxophone – baritone, tenor, alto and soprano to provide a fascinating rhythmic and harmonic canvas. 
All the compositions played on Sunday were written by bandleader Tom Ward although my favourite of the evening After Joshua  was actually based on a Joshua Redmond tune. The band tended to play solos over the top of a backing rhythm provided in the main by the fabulous Kath Roberts on the baritone. Every so often a solo would rise out of the general maelstrom to illuminate the auditorium. Chris Williams, a frequent visitor to Tyneside, excelled on both soprano and alto in this respect. Mark Hanslip, depping for Madwort regular Andrew Woolf, did a sterling job on the tenor.  
My only reservation about this very well received performance was that with 4 great saxophonists on stage I would have hoped for some serious pyrotechnics which never seemed to materialise, having said one of the more tender numbers  On the opening of a dwarf sunflower was also one of the most enjoyable.
Earlier in the evening local group The Noize Choir performed a highly entertaining set. The group use a full range of vocal effects including breathing, coughing, wailing and humming in conjunction with microphones to produce a series of evocative percussive pieces. They literally performed the coolest piece of live music I had ever seen – this took the form of each choir member consuming an ice lolly and transmitting the effects through their microphones. The last member to finish off their popsicle gargled a magnificent solo to complete the number. This memorable performance seemed to be thoroughly enjoyed by all present – eat your heart out Gareth Malone.  
Steve H.


4 comments :

Lance said...

And there was me, sitting at home listening to Stan Getz - sometimes you can win ' em all!

Diane J said...

Really terrific evening - loved both halves. Steve you forgot to mention the Noize Choir's surprising sounds of 11 (home-made by Lindsay) ice lollies being simultaneously sucked and chomped.

stevebfc said...

I did but it seemed to have got lost in the edit!
'They literally performed the coolest piece of live music I had ever seen – this took the form of each choir member consuming an ice lolly and transmitting the effects through their microphones. The last member to finish off their popsicle gargled a magnificent solo to complete the number.'

Lance said...

Sorry Diane/Steve. Not sure what happened but it is now corrected and thank you both for drawing my attention to it.

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