Sunday, March 16, 2008

Friday night at the Brisbane Jazz Club

A last minute decision saw us spending Friday night at the Brisbane Jazz Club last week. If you've never been there, and like anything along the lines of jazz, blues, soul, funk, latin, swing, and a lot more, I can definetly recommend a night out there. It's located right next to the Holman Street Ferry Terminal at Kangaroo Point, and the way the stage is setup, you get a lovely view of the river and Riverside/Eagle Street Pier as the backdrop to the performers. There is also an area outside on the river that you can go down to, to take in more of the city as you listen to the music.

In the past, they've had some problems with noise complaints, similar to those that the Valley has had to deal with in the last 10 years. Once again, it was a case of people wanting to move to the area, presumably to be close to the "action", but not wanting to put up with the by-products of the scene, eg, the extra noise. As a result, the club has had to survive on a limited liquor licence combined with forced accoustic sets or shutting up the venue entirely while acts perform. However, with the help of fundraising last year, they have since installed air conditioning, which has allowed the acts to play later into the evening, and makes it much more pleasant inside (especially during the summer months).

The bill for Friday night was Pseudo Playdoh, supported by the Paul Young Trio. Paul Young is the drummer of this piano/bass/drums trio, and a very talented one at that. Their set consisted of a number of standard jazz tunes along with a few originals. I remember thinking that their renditions of Bye Bye Blackbird and Nutville (at least I think that was the song - don't quote me on it though!) had a nice touch added to them while staying true to the originals.

Pseudo Playdoh (great name for a band!) started the set by handing out small tubs of Playdoh to the audience, presumably to keep our hands busy while their music kept our ears busy! It's the best gimmick I've seen at a gig for a long time and it certainly added to the fun factor of the night.

The band describe their style as experimental jazz & funk, which is pretty spot on. Their sets consisted of a number of arranged original pieces as well as a few forays into improvisation. It's been a long time since I've had the opportunity to engage in experimental improvisation, and seeing the way the band members worked off each other, communicating only through body language and their instruments, it reminded me of how much I used to like doing it. They're obviously either good at it or were working from a few known structures, because what came out of it was pretty good!

I can't comment on much of the rest of the two sets (as we were a bit distracted by wine and using the Playdoh to sculpt the band members with their instruments) except to say that it was a very enjoyable evening.

Both bands had their sets recorded tonight, so I'm looking forward to hopefully getting my hands on some of their music in the near future.


David Brennan said...

I can just imagine you and Kate, half-cut, trying to fashion a saxophone out of Playdoh. That place sounds amazing, I'll have to check it out when I'm next in town (whenever that might be). Looking forward to reading more, keep it up

- Dusty

Kristian Domagala said...

Luckily we only had to manage a piano, guitar, bass & drums (although the latter was a bit of a challenge!)