Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Upstairs at Ronnie Scott’s

Hottest day of the summer yet, and I find myself in Soho and heading upstairs at Ronnie Scott’s – a name that sets the expectations high.

From TV Nights @ Ronnie Scott’s
While it was still light outside and the skylights in the venue providing perfect lighting Bec Sandridge kicked off the evening with a solo antependia folk set – wearing a red jumper wouldn’t have been appropriate for the evening but made a great melody… Those yet to arrive missed a treat to kick the evening off.
Next up was Emily and the Woods - seated and encouraging the growing crowd to move forward... With the support of a band the sound was fuller - but struggled at times to over come what was becoming a "dinner jazz" audience - seemingly more intent on talking than listening to the music. Emily professed to the night being more intimate than would have been the case had she had her full band including drummer with her – and it certainly was – would love to hear the “rocked out versions” – but won’t be in the west country for that – those attending the Knee Deep Festival are in for a treat
By the third act the venue was operating a one out, one in policy, Emma Topolski was clearly, and deservedly, one of the main draws of the evening - and the earlier "jazz dinners" where now paying attention to the music.

Her multilingual sound filled a club that has seen many greats perform, she had the audience – admittedly most of them there specifically there for her set – eating out of her hand. Even with two new band members, not total familiar with the set, Emma’s voice and melodies would have filled the main room at Ronnie Scott’s, and not been out of place – a great modern, mature Jazz/Pop sound that we’ll surely be hearing more of in the future.
Following Emma was Natalie McCool - rapidly moving to become an established musician with radio play for her latest track Black Sun – which sounded great performed stripped down with minimal percussion and two guitars.

After the upbeat sound of Ms Topolski, Natalie’s darker lyrics and quieter sound cooled a venue that had become over heated due to the summer heat being packed out.
The fifth act of the night was Twin Falls - they filled the stage with lots of instruments and people, but with the other bands setting such a high standard their sound wasn't as polished as those that had preceded them - it seamed to lack the cohesion that others had shown.
The night was brought to a rousing close by Halflight - is that "Hal Flight" or "Half Light"? - either way the vocal and other musical talents of Chris Cookson and a very enthusiastic audience raised the temperature of an already over heating upstairs at Ronnie Scott's by another notch, if that was possible. Chris’s voice and the maturity of the sound the band produced rounded off a great evening
Any three of the act together would have made an evening worth much more than the £6 admission fee - I'll be back for more TV nights upstairs at Ronnie Scott's. My only request of upstairs at Ronnie Scott's is to upgrade the air-conditioning or get some opening windows - can't imagine what the atmosphere would have been like as a Jazz club prior to the indoor smoking ban at a similar gig years ago....
Post a Comment