FROM CROWD TO CROWD

Crowds stream up the stairs at Melbourne Town Hall to hear The Greek Project.

Crowds climb the stairs at Melbourne Town Hall to hear The Greek Project.

PICTORIAL UPDATE: Sunday 1 June, 2014

Ausjazz visits two very different Melbourne International Jazz gigs that attracted large audiences:

Crowds about to take their seats for The Greek Project.

Crowds about to take their seats for The Greek Project.

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.

The Greek Project musicians on stage at Melbourne Town Hall.

The Greek Project musicians on stage at Melbourne Town Hall.

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.

Jeremy introduces Chris Dave and Drumhedz to a packed house at Bennetts Lane.

Jeremy introduces Chris Dave and Drumhedz to a packed house at Bennetts Lane.

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

Chris Dave

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.

Isaiah Sharkey on guitar and Marcus Strickland on sax.

Isaiah Sharkey on guitar and Marcus Strickland on sax.

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.

ROGER MITCHELL

Around midnight and Bennetts Lane is jam-packed for the fourth Drumhedz gig.

Around midnight and Bennetts Lane is jam-packed for the fourth Drumhedz gig.

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One response to “FROM CROWD TO CROWD

  1. Ken Griffiths

    I ‘accidently’ saw the Drumhedz set at Fed Square on Saturday afternoon. Certainly an ear opener. There is one well filmed Youtube clip

    Very musical. Very interesting.. I heard Wes Montgomery in the Sharkey sound. It repays repeated listening. Superb.

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