Monday 24 March 2014

Get The Blessing - Antimatters

Jim Barr - Bass
Black suited, white shirts, focussed demeanours, they meant business in their own oblique kind of way. Get The Blessing launched their fourth album 'Lope and Antilope' at the Jazz Café earlier this month (05/03/2014). The healthy throb of the audience was as black (attired) and thick (in numbers) as Jim Barr's lush beard. Darkened even further by the gothic wonder of EYOT who had played moments before in support.

Clive Deamer
It was a long list of 14 tunes that ebbed and flowed throughout the night, the fluidity of the performance being it's strongest theme. Amongst me there were a few who were disappointed that they entered without flame coloured cellophane masks. This malaise was quickly dispelled by a disorientating journey through unpredictable compositions and pulsing beats.

Jake McMurchie -
The Bass spoke loudest on the opening exchanges, the second 'Antilope' let us descend into the depths and Jim Barr was a dominant figure despite alternating in and out of the shadows. He is every inch a villainous looking figure, the most gangsterish of the quartet, if he was to add a few inches to the waistband and wear a scarlet cummerbund he would be legendary Albert Spica of Thief, Cook, Wife, Lover fame. Although I imagine he does not thrust forks into women's faces or his enemies into dog faeces.

Pete Judge - Trumpet
The third tune heralded a theme like a Spy Thriller and the saxophone of Jake McMurchie caught the imagination as though he had pushed Lalo Shifrin down a set of steep stairs. Whodunnit? It was McMurchie, and again on 'Quiet' and impressively during a buzzing 'Low Earth Orbit' with it's pulsating roll against an exotic landscape.

Clive Deamer was straight and powerful throughout and was hard to capture on paper despite being the fulcrum, rhythmically and physically (on stage) for the music to rise.
Adrian Utley - Guitar
Adrian Utley immediately made an impression when he was introduced for the fourth tune but it was the subsequent 'Luposcope' where he bowed his way into the audiences psyche. The result was a hollowness that was as attractive and compelling as a seaside town out of season. Secrets discovered when alone can sometimes be the most deeply felt. Even though I stood next to jazz-man Steve Marchant and introduced myself to three McMurchie groupies Rachel, Julia and Jacqui it was very much a voyage of introspection and for losing oneself in the folds of Get The Blessing's warping melodies.

John Hegley - Poet/Narration
Before I disappear up my own arse let me cling onto something much more tangible. Past the night's halfway point Get The blessing were joined onstage by poet John Hegley who musically narrated 'Alphabetically Disorder', complete with dance moves that Basil Fawlty must have practiced before the mirror in his youth. The incongruity of Hegley's witty words and the aforementioned choreography against GTB's moody loops was delicious.

Going by Get The Blessing's performance, 'Lope and Antilope' will provide us simply with the space and the process that catches the mind. Not easily digestible in one night and worth more than one sitting, it needs to be heard and to be given the chance to fire the imagination.


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