So many things to blog about recently, but I’m writing about this one particularly – I’ll come back to the rest soon!
I’m pretty sure it was Steve Lawson who first introduced us to the idea of house concerts. Either way, it was definitely Steve who first came to play in our home, and there’s been no looking back since. In one of those “it’s a small world” moments, I was chatting with Iain Martin, who was involved in Steve’s early career, at our house on Friday. We were talking about how the music industry has (and is evolving) and the challenges for those who love live music.
Creating a Space for Music
In a setting where everyone is there especially to listen, live music is wonderful to behold. I’m clearly not talking about the band tucked away in the corner of the pub, drowned out by the noise of people yelling to their mates, taking phone calls and shouting at the TV at the far end of the bar, but music in a setting where it can be heard, and the talent of the performer appreciated.
The joy of house concerts is that they create an intimate setting where the performance can really be appreciated, and an extra space for people to appreciate live music. There are, of course, some great music venues around, but it’s an experience that’s far too rare in the UK, at least in our corner of it. It does require confidence and talent to be able to perform that way, which brings me back to Iain, and the reason that he was in our home: his ability to bring great talent and venues together.
Jazz on a Friday…
This weekend we had the amazing pleasure of playing host to Jazz Morley, together with a couple of dozen friends, packed into our lounge. One mic, one piano, two speakers and one very talented lady. From her first breath she had everyone captivated; laughter, tears, chuckles and knowing nods – Jazz conjured them all from her audience. What sort of music does Jazz write and perform? I don’t think words can do it justice, but Music Week said:
“Haunting vocals, oozing with the pain of heartache and beautifully humble production make Jazz’s records an enthralling listen. A storming live presence leaves no excuse to miss the experience of seeing her live.”
Here’s a 30 second clip, from my camera, of her performance of ‘Stories’ in our lounge on Friday:
If you weren’t there, I’m pretty sure you’ll want to go and see her for yourself, and if you were, I’m pretty sure you’ll want to send some friends! The comments on her performance were positively glowing – Jazz creates magical moments with her music that absolutely have to be experienced live.
Friday’s performance kicked off her Spring tour (I hope we gave her a good start!). Almost regardless of where you are in the UK, there’s a gig near you, so there’s no excuse to miss out: February: Tue 26 – Cluny 2, Newcastle, Wed 27 – The Basement, York, Thu 28 – The Mad Ferret, Preston, March: Fri 1 – Night & Day Cafe, Fri 8 – The Dairymans Daughter, Aretton IOW, Sat 9 – The Bargeman’s Rest, Newport IOW, Sun 10 – The Steamer Inn, Shanklin IOW, Tue 12 – Hare & Hounds, Birmingham, Wed 13 – The Half Moon, Putney, Fri 15 – The Star, Guildford, Sat 16 – The Barnfield Theatre, Exeter, Sun 17 – Gylly Beach Cafe, Falmouth, Fri 22 – The Jericho Tavern, Oxford, Sat 23 – The Croft, Bristol, Sun 24 – 10 Feet Tall, Cardiff, Sat 30 – The Star, Guildford w/Ezio, … and more dates listed on her site, where you can check details and book tickets.
I had the added bonus of Jazz and friends singing happy birthday to me, which was very special! I can’t promise you that if you go to see her, but I can promise you an evening of incredible music that you will remember and treasure for a very, very long while…