Sunday, May 17, 2009

Grabowsky / Washington

Oooh she's a slip of a girl that Megan Washington in her little black dress and a cardie, and she sings with her whole body. Elbows out and in again, tension shaken gripped and then shaken out through finger tips, bent over as if in agony, curled up in a little ball, rocking ... but everything's okay. It's just singing. Megan Washington style.

The gig started with a quiet one. 'Write me a song' with just Megan and Paul (Grabowsky). She semi, self-effacingly says that she had planned to start with a rocky number. But that came soon enough!

The band is Jamie Oehlers (tenor sax), Stephen Magnusson (guitar), Shannon Barnett (trombone) Sam Anning (bass) and Niko Schauble (drums)

The rocking happened in 'The End', which came next and featured a great solo by Jamie. Then the cardie came off. Energy abounded. 'The opposite of love', then 'Take What You Need' during which Megan and Shannon mysteriously left the stage for a while then returned. Megan did say that Shannon was wearing her (Megan's) boots. Maybe they had to have a boot discussion.

'Are you on my side?' and Steve Magnusson's solo had me enthralled. I checked with him about it later and the effect (of echo / shadow and strange movement) comes out of his use of a looping effect.

Next up, a Washington song inspired by a few months of reading too much Edgar Allen Poe called 'The Custom of the Sea' about eating the cabin boy. Solo by Sam Anning, beautiful.

'Curios and Cutaways' featured Shannon Barnett. I found myself watching Shannon, fascinated... I love the way she plays the trombone with her wrist so loose. She makes the slide look like a piece of string. The band sounded particularly great for this song... holding together tightly, really together. A fierce solo by Niko and Megan's voice at the end, doing this great ho ho ho ho ho ho ho thing, like a musical instrument... and Niko going tik tik tik takkety tik on the drums behind her.

Other highlights, in the second set were Megan and Paul playing the piano together - not how you might think. Paul had the keyboard and the strings. Megan leaning over the piano's side to pluck strings. And through it all, Sam Anning messing about beautifully on the bass.

For 'Poetry', I've noted in my little book that Paul "...stands up then sits down and starts the plinking plinking ... like a frenzied muppet ... sounds great! Never a muppet sounded like this!" Sorry Paul. I was tired. I was happy. It was an excellent gig. It's in the notebook. What can I do?

'Fisherman's Daughter' and the encore 'Telepathy' finished the night. Thanks all!

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