Acoustic Ladyland, Fulborn Teversham and Luke Barlow Band
Thursday, 22, November
Setting the tone of the evening, the Luke Barlow Band warmed up the Luminaire crowd with their jaunty, post-modern cacophony. Recently playing an explosive set at the Vortex with his other band, Gannets, clarinetist Alex Ward is a busy guy. Also playing guitar in this project he dueled with pianist Barlow, in some challengingly dense counterpoint improvisation. The freer periods of the set were, however, playful and melodious enough to keep the overall sound accessible and fun.
For leading the way and helping to re-invigorate the entire Brit-jazz scene nationwide, the evening could only belong to Seb Rochford and Pete Wareham. In their first incarnation of the evening they took to the stage as recipients of a rapturous applause from a crowd eager with anticipation. Fullborn Taversham was able to straddle many genres; they could be called an indie band, although at times there was a fierce puck element in what they were doing; they also used jazz rooted improvisation whist still managing to lace their compositions with melodious pop throughout. During tunes such as ‘Off Song’ talented vocalist Alice Grant almost spat her lyrics out; full of attitude, this leading lady was irresistible to watch.
By the time that Acoustic Ladyland took to the stage there was a dense cloud of excitement hovering over the sold out club crowd. As ever, Pete Wareham owned the stage, dominating the spotlight throughout. The band played fast and with some serious energy, managing to squeeze a huge number of songs into the set. Blending a punk rock style attitude with the virtuosity of jazz (throwing in a little bit of Slayeresque tub thumping for good measure), Acoustic Ladyland were able to work the crowd up into a frenzy. From the first beat till the last this band was a whirlwind of excitement, and before the gig was over, a large section of the audience was involved in a mosh pit that most decent metal bands would be proud of. Any attendee who had expecting a serene London Jazz Festival gig was badly mistaken.