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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Mark Williams Trio @ The Empty Shop, Durham - October 19

Mark Williams (guitar), Paul Susans (bass guitar), Russ Morgan (drums).
(Review by Steve T)
No doubt, to the disappointment of our fearless editor, my visit to Empty Shop was accompanied by a severe bout of freshers/man flu (which kept me away the previous night), so my review is slight, but I didn't want the occasion to go unmarked.
No doubt he'll be thrilled that I've still found a few words to target a couple of things currently causing such enormous harm to music.
A slow start by Empty Shop standards but by the interval the chairs were pretty much occupied with almost thirty, including a large group of newbies (no doubt responsible for my ailment), who didn't know the protocol of clapping for each and every solo, and no bad thing either.
Taken entirely from his two albums, and mostly from his most recent, a mix of jazz, rock, sounds, some loops, and I really need a new metaphor for all the pedals, beyond our editor’s second favourite pastime. It was mostly all in splendid extended form, with convincing segues between pieces.
Last time I saw Mark I apologised for missing the album launch at the Caff because of a Soul Night in Crook (watch this space), but he cordially conceded that I'm well familiar with his playing.
Nevertheless, whatever the setting, he's always a riveting listen and tonight I noticed for the first time, some overt references to Black Sabbath which Francis attributed to Megadeth, which for anyone who knows their heavy metal, and I know Mark does, makes total sense. 
Incidentally, the reader should not mistake Dave Mustaine for some heavy metal fool; he's always tried to equip his band with accomplished jazz musicians.
And of course, Marks' rhythm section are fairly sh!t h0t too.
So, to the gripe. During the set he announced he had CDs for sale if we are to keep this thing called music going. I know another oldie bought both but I don't think any of the youngsters did. No doubt they'll either download/stream/whatever their 'favourite songs', or the record companies and media, none of whom have any interest in music, will convince them to spend twice as much (actually up to eleven times as much) on an old pop record which was never intended as a complete work (as the two main songwriters admitted), but is simply two or three singles with a load of fillers which, if you play them often enough with enough goodwill, will make as much sense as the hits. Meanwhile, real albums don't get a 180gm reissue and the CDs disappear into oblivion.
Steve T.

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