24 December 2015


Musicians coming home to visit the family. Old ANU bands getting together to play their greatest hits. Some great jazz from musos that we hear developing further year by year, in Canberra or elsewhere. Same Hippo. Such a pleasure to be part of all this at this time. The latest was Reuben Lewis & the Snake Charmers. Reuben was back from Melbourne. Aidan for a second recent concert in recent days, was back from Berlin. Both dropping in for Christmas cheers. Both with old sparing partners, Simon and Matt, in a format they have all played frequently. Tunes by the band, Reuben and Simon, with occasional covers. Bjork Hyperballad for one. Otherwise, I recognised old favourites through the set: a groove in 3 with just 2 chords, tom-heavy drums and fingerpicking guitar accompaniment and simple but gorgeously effective melody; a rock groove with four falling chords over 16 bars; a reggae; a rural theme that reminded me of horse-riding, lazy, with A and B sections; a medium -up latin. All so nicely played. Simon holding exemplary, simple bass lines that just work. Great guitar solos from Matt and unaffected variations from Aidan and clarity of melodic purpose from Reuben. Such a pleasure. Original tunes; modern yet firmly planted in a sweep of musical history; relaxed but complex and satisfying. At Hippo for the 23rd day of Advent.

Reuben Lewis (trumpet) led the Snake Charmers at Hippo. The Snake Charmers were Matt Lustri (guitar), Simon Milman (bass) and Aidan Lowe (drums).

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