29 September 2015

Music to watch tulips by

Lovely day for it. In Full Swing was playing at Floriade, Canberra's annual festival of flowers, more specifically, tulips. The band was on the big stage; the swing dancers were off to one side having a ball, looking all the world like the fifties; I recognised a few mates were on stage (I learnt later than had played with IFS but were filling in for this gig). The songs were standards and big numbers and some newer names (Shirley Bassey, Bette Middler, Natalie Cole) and a Sam Nestico chart and funk and shuffle and my favourite was Bacharach's brooding Look of love and the final Zoot suit riot was a blast. This is fun music and the band is big and strident. I drool over the ensemble sounds of big bands but less so for the solos, even from the best players (I think it's something to do with the short windows on offer) but I was blown out by Mitch Preston's urgent fours. Beth Way led the band as conductor and musical director. Singer Jace (?) sang firm and powerful with deep vibrato, perfectly fitting Big spender and the like. The enjoyment and energy was infectious, even at 10am on a bright spring day. What a satisfying band! Enjoyed it lots.

In Full Swing played on Stage 88 for Floriade under Beth Way (conductor, musical director).

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