9 May 2010
Back to the Belgian
The Belgian Beer Café has been under the hammer recently for restoration. I couldn’t see the difference, but at least now it’s open and Dave, Bill and Ed have returned. This time, with James sitting in for a set. The DBE trio concentrates on playing the standards, and they play them with real love and conviction. The tunes deserve it. They are standards for a reason: because they are great songs. I caught four tunes: Beatrice, Stella, You don’t know what love is and Solar. Solar was sprightly as a modern up-tempo number; You don’t know… was beautifully gentle as a ballad. Beatrice and Stella were played as medium tempo. Easy but demanding solos all round, including by bass and drums. A thoroughly comfortable but imaginative set. The beers are interesting (and appropriately priced) but there’s no cover charge. If you haven’t caught this gig, get down there (Sundays, 3-6pm, Kingston). It's wonderful, committed playing at a high level. Dave Rodriguez (guitar) plays regularly with Bill Williams (bass) and Ed Rodrigues (drums) and James Le Fevre (tenor) sat in for the first set. I was caught without my camera, so my mobile had to do the honours: just to explain the very modest quality.