Monday, 13 February 2017

Tad Sargent and Loïc Bléjean – Fire and Fervour

Tad Sargent
Tad Sargent and Loïc Bléjean

Date - 8th February 2017
Venue - Irish Cultural Centre, Hammersmith, London, UK
Current album  - Tad Sargent and Loïc Bléjean (Market Square, 2017)

Future Performance
21/02/2017: Concert à l’Eglise, St Laurent/Oust, 8:30pm –
22/02/2017: Brittany Winter Shool, Arzon, 9pm –

A night of shadows and sparks from two Celtic firebrands in the newly reopened Irish Cultural Centre in Hammersmith, UK. The high ceilinged performance room could have given the air an empty chill but the audience filled out the hollow space and the warmth from the musicians brought colour to the cheeks on this bitter winter evening. The bald headed Bléjean is the smouldering coal in the fire pit, he glowed in the red light, still and pulsating. In contrast Sargent is the spitting spark that erupts from this combustible collaboration, always on his toes, twisting and flickering in the night.

Loïc Bléjean
Tad and Loïc share the same musical passions for the Irish tradition, for innovation, for style and flair and for ‘getting it right’. They met formally, if you like, at a session in Flynn’s Bar in Ealing, west London, in late 2013 and immediately hit it off. Loïc called Tad a few months later, as he was keen on putting a duo together for the festival he runs in his beloved Brittany. There followed stays and rehearsals at Tad’s fabled flat in Barnes, then gigs in France and England, all leading to the two of them opening the show for “The Taming of the Shrew”, the widely and wildly acclaimed 2016 production at Shakespeare’s Globe in London.

And meanwhile, they were making this album…. Recorded at Sylvain Barou’s studio in Brittany, it has Sylvain himself guesting on flute, Jean-Baptist Boclé on keyboards and Ben Somers on double bass and backing vocals, each one highly regarded in his own right. Well, class attracts class!
The album has nine tracks, six sets of tunes in what has become their trademark manner – percussive, driven, with a complexity of rhythm from Tad underscoring the precision and beauty of Loïc’s melodic lines. There is sensitivity too; it is not all fire and fervour and when the tune merits a light and gentle touch, that it receives! Tad adds three songs, “Missing You” (J. MacCarthy), “Dunnes Stores Girl” (J. Spillane) and “Beeswing” (R. Thompson), each with a fitting new arrangement and delivered with his fine vocals.

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