Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sax and the City

We dropped into one of the many London Word Festival events last Friday - Avant Noir 'A night of criminal fiction, comic art and music of a darker hue'. An evening that saw four contemporary crime writers reading extracts from their late night tales to a live music soundtrack from contemporary jazzers.

Ray Banks was a new-to-me author, now fast-tracked to my 'must read' list. While opening the show was Cathi Unsworth delivering a chilling piece from the excellent Bad Penny Blues accompanied by the sharp suited four piece - Get The Blessing.

Almost hidden amongst the listings, Get The Blessing were an unexpected treat. Featuring the Portishead rhythm section of Jim Barr and Clive Deamer (bass and drums) who lock and load with business end of the beats, while Pete Judge and Jake McMurchie (trumpet and sax) handle all the huffing 'n' puffing - occasionally relaying and delaying it through effects pedals for enhanced other-worldiness.

Get The Blessing are almost Bernard Hermann scoring Beastie Boys instrumentals, gear-shifting between cop-show soundtracks and Zappa instrumentals or using Acid Jazz's sprightly style offset against John Bonham's heavyweight wallop.

A special mention must go to drummer, Clive Deamer, who, during the end-of-evening, double-whammy jazz-off with Led Bib used hands, maracas and both head and handle ends of his padded drumsticks to devastating effect during a stunning, free-piece finale.

Get The Blessing - Music Style Product

Also featured: the excellent artwork of Huzzah Noir - which, can be found here...


John Medd said...

Sounds like a cool night; John Harvey (local lad and fellow Notts County fan) does something similar with poetry & readings from his Resnick novels and a sax player. I'm always looking for new authors so will give them a blast.

Mondo said...

Don't know John Harvey but will check out John.

Ray Banks's reading was darkly hilarious. Check out his Saturday Boy Website for a flavour of his work, and Cathi is ex Melody Maker and Sounds so there's usually a musical motif running through her books.

You'll also find links to both author's sites in me blog-bit

lil said...

Sounds like a fascinating Friday evening Mondo,
I like “Get The Blessing” - Good aren’t they?
Ps Very clever Artwork too; I’m very impressed!

Piley said...

Blimey, you're getting out and about a bit lately Mondo??!

Sounds like an interesting bash, but if it's poets that float your boat, I know a certain beret wearing one that I think you'll love.... ;-)


Mondo said...

Get The Blessing blew the house down Lil - both albums sound scorching. Watch for more on them, when I've got my mitts on both albums. Huzzah now is top stuff, if you check in at the website you can follow the stories as they're updated online.

There's always a night now and again P, I just thought it may make a change to record some in the blog. Although I never got round to blogging:
Air at The Roundhouse, a Biba Evening and Cathi Unsworth at a Plectrum Live Edition

Furtheron said...

will have to check out more Get The Blessing based on this...

ally. said...

blimey mond that's a fine piece even by your high standards. writing I think is what it's called. top class. I shall be digging deeper to and yet again trying to make a bit more of an effort to get my lazy arse out more

Mondo said...

You can test drive some more Blessing bits here at their youtube HQ F-Ron. I'm hoping to catch a full set when they play The Pigalle Club in April..

Bless you Ally x

spud said...

Hi there.

I'm usually up for a skronky jazz hybrid but hadn't really felt it with the couple of Get The Blessing tunes that I'd heard previously.

But I rate these! Especially 'Music Style Product. Isn't it great when snaky jazz and thrashy rock run into each other like that? Because something like Arthur Blythe's 'Lenox Avenue Breakdown' is terrific, and so are the riffs in Led Zep's 'Black Dog', but it's even more fun when you hear a band who sound like they like both of them.

Heard any Stonephace? Jim Barr turns up in them too alongside Adrian Utley and Larry Stabbins. If you like that middle section in 'Einstein Action Figure' you'd probably get into them. Trippy psychedelic jazz, with some obvious influences from Soft Machine and Pharoah Sanders, but with the psychedelic bits updated with hints of dub mixing and laptop soundbending.

Like the idea of a poetry and jazz revival - proper beatnik biz!

Mondo said...

Welcome aboard Spud- just checked Stonephace's myspace and loving the free-flutin' tunes I'm hearing.

Thanks for the tip off

Mondo said...

Welcome aboard Spud- just checked Stonephace's myspace and loving the free-flutin' tunes I'm hearing.

Thanks for the tip off

Mondo said...

Welcome aboard Spud- just checked Stonephace's myspace and loving the free-flutin' tunes I'm hearing.

Thanks for the tip off