05 June 2008

Alpha to Omega

Alpha is for the soft and lyrical ballads, played with acoustic tones and cut times. Omega is for the breaks into frequent cacophonies and occasional free jazz which were often such vivid developments on the alpha themes. Three omegas is for the three amigos, mates, that got together to play this music that was such a unique mix of bitter and sweet.

To me, the Three omegas played a deceptive set: unexpected and unusual in its approach and intent. David plays with a sharp, tangy, unadorned overtone-rich sound on his semiacoustic. We expect sweet, Django, and we get some lovely ballads played with lyrical interpretations, and with a level of soloistic shape which a guitarist friend was raving about. Similarly with the others. Mike is also clear and sharp in his tone, and can be melodic in his bass playing, and James had a tonality that I loved on a large snare and a deep floor tom that sounded as if he fell into the skin. There were some pure melodic solos from David and Mike, but, then, gradually, all this melody devolved into cacophony; growing, growling, held at a level of extreme tension for some minutes. I didn’t time it, but this was not restrained! This was full descent into abyss stuff. Bass and guitar strumming, with form delivered from tripletted drums which may have been solo, may have been structured, or may have just been there. But it gave some stability until the band gradually returned to order, to better understood vistas. This was the first time, but the night continued thus. Pretty melodies, sweet tunes, devilish cacophonies, occasional free play, tunes again... And other than one standard (Django’s “Castles of my dreams”), these tunes were compositions by the band. Not surprising.

It was an interesting conception: an unusual one and very engrossing. Sets moving over extremes of tension: alternatively sweet or tense, always protracted. Here pure, sweet melodies; there descents to madness and excess. The show had this changing shape of one to the other, almost unnoticed until it was on you. Nice one.

The Three omegas are David deVries (guitar), Mike Majkowski (bass) and James 'pug' Waples (drums).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great review. I was there and thought it a great gig but did not express it so eloquently.