Sunday, May 12, 2019

The Troubles at Rogue and Vagabond

The Troubles at Rogue and Vagabond

John Rae (d) Hannah Fraser (v) Megan Ward (vi) Charley Davenport (c) Patrick Bleakley (b) Jake Baxendale (ts) Eilish Wilson (as) Bridgette Kelly (ts/cl)

9.30pm kick-off meant it was long day on Thursday, but I wanted to catch The Troubles as I may not be able to hear them during the jazz festival (I still need to sit down and work out what I can actually get to).
New Zealand Jazz

Two of my pet peeves didn't put me in the best mood. First; starting late for no apparent reason other than being late. After working all day, then travel well over an hour to listen to a gig, and they start over 20 minutes late.....this pisses you off somewhat. I guess no one gives a shit because the bar is busy, so what difference does it make? Second; practicing on the band stand. Okay... so things are running late, but does that mean you need to practice music on the bandstand while set up continues (in fairness to those noodling around... at least they were ready to play on time... which may have led to the noodling!). 

There was a different crowd than the Sunday arvo gigs I’ve attended at Rogue and Vagabond. Not as many musicians and bit more of a party vibe than the more laid-back Sunday feel. The crowd really dug the energy of the group. When was the last time you had people dancing at a jazz gig in a bar? There may have been some planning involved as all the tables that usually crowd the front of the stage were conveniently absent. In addition to his fine drumming (I like his hook up with Bleakley), John's an entertainer too. And the show-biz elements appeal to many too.

This edition of The Troubles seems to have it's strength in the ensemble playing rather than really powerful soloists. Often the solos dragged on a bit, although Jake blew strong and Bridgette’s clarinet feature was enjoyable. But it was the ensemble sound that really drove things throughout the night. But from memory, that’s the impression I had of The Troubles' self-titled album too (only Davenport, Rae and Bleakley remain from the 2012 recording – which I'll get to at some stage).

An expanded verion, The Big Troubles, are playing at the Arthur Street Loft Orchestra night at Third Eye on Monday. I'm hoping to get along. Will there be dancing?

No comments: