28 May 2015

The past to hear now

There was nothing new to this gig, of course, other than that we'd never visited the Swiss Ambassador's residence before. But I enjoyed it immensely. Partly because the music was the standards, old and last century but timeless. It was set up like a concert, with rows of seats and the band out front, under lights which were dimmed for a much better atmosphere. It's a formal layout even if the atmosphere was fairly relaxed. I was interested that a string of people were tapping feet even if staring concert-like at the band. There were others who didn't move a jot and I wondered if this was all before their time or outside their experience. I dreaded there was maybe an age-component to the foot tapping. The band did a great job: relaxed, playing carefully, tastefully and nicely cool. Rachel's voice was not-unexpectedly controlled and rich in interpretation and subtle play. Lachlan was on guitar (I usually see him playing bass these days) and this was expressive with clear melody and limited flourish. Simon's bass was great, especially some nicely spelled solos, and Chris was a welcome return (I haven't heard him for some time) with careful detail and light touch. And those tunes! Some obvious but also some lesser known and some delightfully playful: Doodlin' and Centerpiece are clever and twisted in performance and humour; Honeysuckle Rose is just delightful; Just squeeze me and Love for sale and Do nothing till you hear from me are intentionally mischievous historical gems; The nearness of you is a favourite ballad of mine; there were a few others. These guys do the standards with the touch of the period, serious and well played but with the musical smile they deserve. Lovely.

The Here and Now comprised Rachael Thoms (vocals), Lachlan Coventry (guitar), Simon Milman (bass) and Chris Thwaite (drums). They played a gig at the Swiss Ambassador's residence. Thanks to Ambassador HE Mr Marcel Stutz.

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