Surprises in Swindon for Interplay
Baker Street in Swindon is hosting some fine names in British Jazz these days and it was a treat to find ourselves being well looked-after by the house team as well as the jazz night organisers. After a longish drive and set up it was also good to see all the tables filled well before the start.
I was therefore disconcerted – putting it mildly – when my double bass pick-up proceeded to ‘die’ half-way through the second number! Hasty action with the screw-driver produced no results of note (or notes) and so I faced the reality of doing the rest of the gig on electric bass. I had been warned that some of the audience at least preferred jazz standards to the mixture of originals and global rhythms we were about to play. I wondered whether abandoning the upright bass for bass guitar would be a step too far for them.
Happily it seemed to go the other way. We got into our stride after the interruption and the crowd came with us! We had selected a global programme in honour of International Jazz Day and managed to ‘visit’ Cuba, Jamaica, India and South Africa as well as playing North American and British Jazz. A very good floor singer called Harry joined us for My Funny Valentine and adapted his delivery to our Lovers’ Rock treatment to acclaim. Even our ‘hairier’ 0riginals got a cheer. With a couple of encores we were done.
I was really pleased because I always prefer to give an audience the benefit of the doubt where new music is concerned. Let them hear it and respond, rather than presuming they won’t or don’t like it. As it turned out people in Swindon did like it, and we look forward to being back there as soon as schedules allow.