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Monday, April 22, 2019

Swing Manouche @ Blaydon Jazz Club - Easter Day (April 21)

Mick Shoulder (guitar); Giles Strong (guitar); Paul Grainger (double bass); Gavin Lee (clarinet)
(Review by Russell)

Easter Day, Blaydon on Tyne basking in near heatwave conditions, it's always like this on the Costa del Tyneside...not! Go to the gig or to stay in the pub beer garden, that was the dilemma facing  Blaydon Jazz Club's faithful. 

It seems the beer garden - and the weather - won. That said, those who made the effort to get along to the Black Bull were rewarded with an evening of top quality music courtesy of Mick Shoulder's Swing Manouche. Mick and Giles Strong played as if in WWII Paris, their guitars leading the cultural resistance alongside the advancing Allied Forces. Bassist Paul Grainger stood defiant, shoulder to (Mick) shoulder with his comrades. And then there was County Durham's answer to Hubert Rostaing, the suave, the sophisticated, the one and only Monsieur Gavin Lee.   
With Stéphane exiled in Blackout London - 'Ere don't you know there's a war on? - Swing Manouche carried the torch opening the concert with Anniversary Song. Throughout the evening Mick, Giles, Gavin and Paul took it in turn to solo, the whole thing looking effortless, a sure sign of a cracking outfit. All of MeTroublant Bolero (troubled times), Anouman, the brilliant Douce Ambiance, the era-defining Nuages - très bon, Monsieur Lee! - this was Swing Manouche at their best.

Blaydon Jazz Club continues to defy the odds, standing resolute in these straightened times. Together, Djangologists, jazz fans everywhere, we will never surrender. Vive la jazz!  
Russell.

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