Tuesday, 23 February 2010
The John Bennett Big Band/The Macbeth, Hoxton
So there I was propped up at the bar wondering how I was going to make my pint of lager last all evening. I'd come to see The John Bennett Big Band, a semi-pro outfit that regularly gigs at a Hoxton boozer called The Macbeth. About ten minutes in to the set its lead trumpeter strolls over and tells me they're a man down, would I like to play? If I'd thought about it I probably would have given a big fat naaaaaah but the request was so sudden I just went for it. In my haste I played the first two numbers with a jet tone mouthpiece which is one of the tools of the trade favoured by lead trumpeters who play really high. It was no wonder I split so many notes on the flugelhorn I'd been handed. I'd forgotten too the speed a big band moves at, notes passing me like an express train. Luckily there was other stuff I knew like Take Me To The River and Sunshine of Your Love, all of which were arranged by John Bennett. Big and juicy they were too, particularly his version of Aretha Franklin's Rock Steady - God that was good. Anyway, loved the evening, I hope Mr Bennett asks me back. As I was leaving he handed me a crumpled piece of paper. It was my £5 admission fee. Nice.