PICTORIAL UPDATE: Sunday 1 June, 2014
Ausjazz visits two very different Melbourne International Jazz gigs that attracted large audiences:
How different can two concerts be? Hardly more so, it seemed, than The Greek Project at Melbourne’s town hall and Chris Dave with The Drumhedz at Bennetts Lane Jazz Club.
I had the chance to go to both. This is not a review (that’s for later), but a reflection on how it can work to leap from music melding the traditions of Greece with compositions of seeker and dreamer Charles Lloyd to the eclectic adventures of drum virtuoso Chris Dave and members of the rotating line-up in The Drumhedz. I had my doubts, but it worked.
It seemed most of Melbourne’s Greek community came out to hear Lloyd with “the voice of resistance”, revered singer Maria Farantouri. They left buzzing about the event.
I was given a ride to Bennetts Lane (thanks Debra), wondering — if truth be known — whether I was going to be a fish out of water at this fourth sold-out gig by Chris Dave and band over two nights. People were being turned away at the door as I entered.
Well, what a blast this turned out to be. I’ll say more in a festival review later, but this gig taught me two worthwhile lessons: don’t accept all the advice you are given about what will be good, don’t use YouTube clips as a guide to a live set of music.
Chris Dave and The Drumhedz played til late — so late the trains had run out when the music faded. There was an encore that, for me at the end of a busy day, went on a bit long. But this outing was definitely not dull.
I tried to get a decent snap of the crowded house at Bennetts, but pretty much failed. The image below does have people in it if you look closely.
I would like to hear the opinions of anyone who was at either of these two concerts on Sunday evening. Leave a comment. Especially I’d like to know what the many drummers and other musicians in the crowd thought about The Drumhedz.