Thursday, 19 July 2012

Another public appearance

Andy and I will be standing in for our friend Hugh at Pinocchio's in Norwich on Monday evening (23rd July 2012).  Unplugged and completely acoustic.  Our unique blend of jazz and klezmer kicks off at 7.30pm.

This is a foodie gig so you may like to book a table by calling the restaurant: 01603 613318.  Their website is

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Graduation Day

So Tuesday was Graduation Day at Norwich University College of the Arts.  After each ceremony (there were three in all) Eastern Straynotes were on hand to play acoustic jazz for the champagne reception.  Electrically amplified music is forbidden in Blackfriars Hall so Andy Kirkham (centre of picture) was able to demonstrate his powers of vocal projection.

Personally I love playing acoustically, finding a natural balance between the instruments and tailoring that to the demands of the space and the occasion. It can be challenging, certainly, but it is music making at its most refined and satisfying.

This is the band's fourth year playing for this event so I can only assume we must be doing something right.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

The vagaries of the weather

June can deliver so much in terms of weather.  Last Sunday we were performing in a soggy marquee in Aylsham, North Norfolk, and I ended up playing in my hand warmers.  The sky threw buckets of rain along with thunder and lightning. The latter caused a power cut all across the town and we played one number, Summertime (I think everyone was aware of the irony) acoustically.  By necessity, this brought us closer to our audience.  Fortunately the outage was shortlived and Andy, not relishing emulating the Jazz 'belters' of the 1920s, was able to resume a more varied vocal style.

After we played we stuck around for a very pleasant lunch, courtesy of Aylsham Manor, a photo opportunity and to hear the first couple of numbers by the Aylsham Band (pictured) before heading off to other engagements.

The following Thursday, in contrast, was perhaps the warmest day yet this year in East Anglia.  I don't remember seeing a cloud in the sky during our drive down to Woodbridge in Suffolk.  And it stayed warm all evening.

Andy and I even got out for a brief stroll in the break.  Our name wasn't exactly in lights - probably because of the long June evenings, but someone had obviously gone to some trouble making this sign.

Meanwhile, Cesar stayed inside to work on the finer details of his bass sound.