Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Mysterious Traveller in a Stolen Caravan

Another one of those special big little gigs last night the 29th January down at the Carlton Club as part of the EXR jazz nights series. A last minute word of mouth text alerted me to what promised to be a good one with the Cinematic Orchestra's Luke Flowers on drums, ex-Cinematics John Ellis on piano and the Oedipal Jon Thorne on double bass. It was the first time I've managed to make it down to the Carlton Club and I was immediately taken with it's somewhat jaded boho vibe.

I presume due to the last minuteness it turned out to be a small affair. This made for an intensely personal and intimate gig in ours and a small quota of the MCR jazz community's honour (Whackabas' Jonas Backman and Gavin Barras joined us at the front table). Everyone was very quiet and one could almost hear the shuffling of Luke's denim in time with his kick drum swagger. I was recently enlightened to Luke's alternative monicker of 'Mr Tickle' which I have to say does seem very suitable given his lithe style and extensive reach.

The set opened with a classic sounding untitled song for a mysterious person by John Ellis. Jon Thorne announced a song he'd written for Mr Flowers called 'Cool Hand Luke' that fittingly featured some graceful and potent playing from the said man. John Ellis gave a great blues stomper rendition of 'Nobody's Fault But Mine' with some mighty singing from himself. Just before the end of the first set Jon Thorne shared with us that his main means of transport, a VW caravan had been stolen at 11.20pm the night before, adding an ironic twist to a forceful and fast version of 'Caravan'. The second set ended with a touchingly vulnerable rendition of Richard Iles' 'Old Friends' also sung by John with really quite moving words from guitarist Mike Walker.

This was kind of what it's all about really. Memorable.

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