When was the last concert you went in 2017

First Night at the Proms

Listening to this at home via my nDAC. The TV is feed by the Humax FreeSat Box with a £40 AQ  Forrest HDMI cable to the Panasonic TV which is connected to the nDAC via an AQ Forrest toslink costing £60. Despite the probable cheap circuitry in the TV the sound has always been PDG. I bought the nDAC for the TV and play the CDX2 though it as well with a Chord Clearway Digital BNC to BNC (no phono adaptor).

We went to a concert at the RAH on 20 June which I reported on. This concert, the John Adam's Harmonium work in particular, had much of SQ of the live performance with the comforts of my own armchair.

Phil

I had a nice surprise this morning. Was buying some books for my sisters in law birthday. At the place where I bought the books Hannes Minnaar had a concert with some other musicians. The bookshop is in a church so it was a pretty nice experience. So a kind of unexpected gift....

For the second time in my life I just returned from seeing Yann Tiersen one evening, and Arcade Fire the following night. The first was in Marseille in around 2014, and this time was at the Monforte Jazz Festival in the heart of Barolo in Piemonte, and Milan respectively. Both brilliant concerts, very different, solo versus (large) band. Intimate versus blockbusting.

Despite having sold out the Albert Hall, Tiersen enjoys this small amphitheatre venue so much it is the third time he has played there, to around 500 people. The bar is in a deconsecrated church and the wine is actual Barolo, for €4 for a plastic cup-ful!

This, on the other hand, was €7 for a beer after about fourteen queues for various security and ticket checks. About 4000 people and half a billion mosquitoes. But we loved every minute of it.

Went to Fleet Foxes in Iveagh Gardens last Thursday, and, as usual, had the ears beaten off me, while everyone cheered. How the engineeers can stand over this travesty baffles me. I have 3 Fleet Foxes Albums ( all 24 bit) and if any of them sounded like this concert, I would never listen to them. I left early and went home to remind myself what these guys really sound like.

This week it's Belle and Sebastian, and I fear we're in for more of the same. If that happens, I'll throw my hat at it!

 

 

Went to see and hear Branford Marsalis and Kurt Elling at the Barbican on Sunday 16th. It's difficult to capture such a concert in simple terms, but essentially a night of musical virtuosity from the quartet (Branford, Joey Calderazzo (pianist), Justin Faulkner (percussion) and Eric Revis (bass)) which combined with Kurt's vocal partnership, made for memorable and lyrical interpretations which at times were both taxing and harmonious. As I've heard said before, Kurt doesn’t just interpret a song, he inhabits it.

The memorable songs were (personally) the most melodic; There’s a Boat That’s Leaving Soon for New York (Porgy and Bess), Blue Gardenia, the Chris Whitley poem From One Island to Another, Stings Practical Arrangement and I’m a Fool to Want You which held the audience spellbound until the final breath of the final note was played.

An interesting encore featured the pianist Julian Joseph (due to play with the Liverpool Philharmonic in the autumn) and vocalist Cleveland Watkiss. Their rendition of St James Infirmary was a fitting end to a musical feast. 

 

25th May - a benefit for a very good cause - the Save Central Hill Community fund and Lambeth Green Party at the Gipsy Hill Tavern in South London. Ese & The Vooduu People headlining. A good, if slightly sparsely-attended, show. Still, we raised a few quid.

17th June - to the Old Dispensary, a great pub-cum-music vennue on the borders of Denmark Hill and Camberwell, South-east London. Ese & The Vooduu People played a blinding set to a lively Saturday night crowd. Made a lot of new friends and picked up some new fans who've become regulars at gigs.

We were delighted to be invited along to the Portobello Gold in Notting Hill on 18th June, for the penultimate gig at this great venue shortly before it closed. It was a rather sombre night, and not hugely well attended, as there was a benefit for the Grenfell Tower victims being held just down the road. But it was a good night - here's a video of Ese & The vooduu People performing one of her originals, "Where Did I Go Wrong", segueing into a fab version of Sly & The Family Stone's "Family Affair":

22nd June: Off to the Albert Hall to see Kraftwerk in 3D. It may sound churlish, but they'd barely changed - technology of the presentation aside - since I last saw them 13 years ago. Substituting the skittish rhythms of "Computer Love", "Radioactivity" and "Airwaves" for a rather moronic techno beat was a mistake. There was a sag for 20 minutes when they did a lot of TDF Soundtracks stuff where it was quite boring.

That said, "Home Computer/It's More Fun To Compute", "Man Machine", "TEE" and "Sacelab" with their retro-futurist graphics were superb. We were in a box on our own so our evening wasn't too spoiled by oafs filming on their mobiles, or by other people's inane chatter.

 

 

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