#39 CJC - The Oblivious 8, Backbeat

9 May 2018


Got here early, time enough to get a seat near the back which hopefully won't be too annoying for the people around me as I write my latest epistle. I was told off at the Angus and Julia Stone gig at the Civic for blogging during the concert by someone behind me who said she found it very distracting. So I obliged by stopping and as a consequence found it hard to recall much detail a few hours later. I've been a little bit conscious of this ever since. But at the same time, getting the experience largely written before I'm stepping out of the Uber gives me a warm (albeit slightly embarrassing to admit) glow of satisfaction.

These guys may be messing around with their quartet of eight, but they're performing with serious intent tonight. It's very far from your laid back classic jazz, this is the aficionado's night out. One where a riff from the Threepenny Opera was worked in and what do you mean you didn't recognise it?

But they're bloody good, and they're working hard for their art. It's as if Jimi Hendrix has switched to sax, the keyboard player has a road map but is open to any foray into the jungle, and the drummer is working on something so complex he just may crack the Enigma code. Meanwhile, Eamon on bass is working so hard that his glasses slip off and aren't seen until the second set.

Jeff Henderson with his masterful soliloquys on sax are the centre of attention, but I'm equally captivated by Steve Cournane on drums who works the kit like a beat poet on overdrive. Eamon Edmundson-Wells on bass is both solid and spectacular, and the bandages on his fingers show the extent he's willing to go for the good of the band. Jonathan Crayford on keyboard brings a 70s funk to complete a unique sound. A hell of a lot of damn good stuff went into tonight's sets.