The Jazz Café, hosted by the Lumsden Club in Sandy’s Bar, as part of the On the Rocks Festival, was a night of both intimate acoustic music and brash, fabulous, big band standards. The packed bar chatted spiritedly throughout, as the venue as a café and not a concert greatly added to the relaxed feel of the evening.
The Blender was a step away from any other Refreshers or RAG Week event. The elegance of the newly-reonvated Byre theatre set the ambience for an event of truly polished young musical talent, put together by Jazz Scotland and Fife Jazz week. Artists from all over Scotland – including St Andrews – gathered for a musical collaboration like no other. It was wonderful to have such incredible music brought here, rather than traveling to a city centre.
Last night, Jazzworks presented an evening of Strangeness and Charm, both in name and in nature. This is the only event to be put on by Jazzworks this On The Rocks, and I can only say what a true shame that is. Although Venue 2 lacks the intimacy of a smoky bar and the charm of, well, any charm, Jazzworks inspired woops and cheers from the crowd with their evening of relaxed jazz.
As one of my friends observed on our last trip, New Orleans is where “young people go to retire”. It’s a laid back, young city that offers both an ongoing party and a slow pace to its visitors. While being able to drink legally on the streets is something to be celebrating, exploring beyond the daiquiris reveals the city’s unique ability to offer something to every one of its visitors: a diverse tradition of live music, a burgeoning independent restaurant and bar scene and (especially important to us winter-weary St Andreans) beautiful weather all year round.
Electro-swing would not usually be my music of choice. However, after getting involved in this year’s Masquerade and having to sift through mix after electro-swing mix to find the music that fits the event, I’ve encountered some pretty cool stuff. Sound Assembly is a perfect example. This three-piece from Lancaster manage to create a unique sultry-swing sound in their mixes and bring incredible energy to their live performances. Having performed all over Europe, as well as frequently supporting The Masquerade’s headline act, The Correspondents, Sound Assembly are a force to be reckoned with in the world of electro-swing. We had a quick catch up with them to see what they’ve been up to…