14 July 2013


When he played at the Gods, Steve Barry described the three concerts in Canberra over the last week or so as a residency. The Gods was his first “residency” gig and I wrote that up. I missed the second when they played with David Jackson at the Loft. I got to the third, and thought it would be relaxing: no need to write this one up. But just a few notes.

It was a small audience, so intimate, and it showed. The trio played with an abandonment and self-satisfying purpose that was special. From the first notes, this was tight and hard playing and obviously well-practised from the tour. It felt different for this but even more for the instrumentation. The Loft has a Yamaha grand piano and that’s what Steve played. It’s stronger, more defined, less wishy-washy than a Rhodes, and I felt it made for more explicit solos and more immediate playing all round. Steve’s solos and comping were probably similar to that at the Gods. Certainly the repertoire was almost the same. Admittedly I was close, but I heard his contortions, sax-like solos, passing dissonances and substitutions with sudden clarity. I can understand his awards. Tom and Tim remained in character. Such well-formed, muscular notes and accurate and quick interval jumps from Tom. And snappy, dynamic, syncopated drums from Tim. I was amused to see his kit from head on and to realise there’s not a touch of movement, of stands, snare, almost not even of those three big cymbals. Just Tim moving over this rock-steady kit, all busy feet and snappy hands. It’s virtually all original material that they have toured, so I was just a little surprised by a beautiful Stairways to the stars to end. How incongruous. I think Tom felt that, too. Great gig.

No comments: