fri 24/05/2019

Get The Blessing, Hare & Hounds, Birmingham review – West Country cats lay down some jazzy sounds | reviews, news & interviews

Get The Blessing, Hare & Hounds, Birmingham review – West Country cats lay down some jazzy sounds

Get The Blessing, Hare & Hounds, Birmingham review – West Country cats lay down some jazzy sounds

Bristol’s post-jazzers ease Birmingham into the Bank Holiday weekend

Get The Blessing: cool and laidback (Photo by Asya Draganova)

Get The Blessing are a band whose music never fails to conjure up images of someone like Steve McQueen driving along a coastal Californian road, looking cool as you like in very dark shades, sat in an open-top sports car from a seriously stylish cops and robbers film from the mid-Sixties. This is despite the fact that their first album was only released in 2008 and they hail from Bristol.

Born from the rhythm section of Portishead’s touring band, Get The Blessing play cool jazz that has hints of Hard Bop, lush cinematic soundtracks and even post-rock textures. While it’s a sound that is unlikely to find modern mainstream acceptance, it is one that has picked up a keen but small following in recent years. Something that was particularly evident in Birmingham this week, where local jazz fanatics Leftfoot and THSH’s Jazzlines crew pulled in an audience of 50 or so jazzers, aging beatniks and the musically curious, who found themselves spellbound by a set that drew from the pretty much all of the band’s career. From debut album All Is Yes (under The Blessing moniker – until the threat of legal action encouraged them to extend their name) to last year’s Bristopia disc, Get the Blessing had all-comers enthralled.

Wandering onto the low stage, dressed in slim-fit black suits and white open-neck shirts but not the strange masks that often hide their faces in publicity photos, Jack McMurchie, Pete Judge, Jim Barr and Clive Deamer presented the image of cool cats from the jazz scene’s 1950s style-setting years. Launching into “Adagio in Wot Minor” from 2012’s magnificent OCDC album, things got off to a cool and laidback start with the rhythm section flanked by trumpeter Pete Judge and sax man Jake McMurchie. This was followed by “Not With Standing”, introduced by bassman Jim Barr as “This one’s about loneliness”, but there was nothing dour about McMurchie’s groovy sax solo and Pete Judge’s effects-heavy trumpet playing.

“Cococloud” was introduced by Clive Deamer beating his drum kit with his bare hands until things rapidly burst into life with Barr’s funky bass and McMurchie and Judge’s Dadaist brass. It soon had many from the audience rocking backwards and forwards in their seats until Deamer ended things with a fiery drum solo. The double barrel thump of “Bristopia” and “OCDC” hit on a driving, powerful groove but, not ones to get too carried away, the band remained static throughout while a lone punter started to throw some lively shapes down by the speakers.

The set finished with a lively, hip-swinging “If It Can It Will” from Bristopia, with McMurchie wailing away on a baritone sax and Pete Judge blowing up a storm on his effects-heavy trumpet. However, that wasn’t enough for Birmingham and the band was soon dragged back from their places behind the merchandise stand, to where they’d hastily retreated, for a rip-roaring take on “That Ain’t It”.

The band remained static while a lone punter started to throw some lively shapes down by the speakers

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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