Sunday, November 15, 2009

Jump n' Jazz

It was a wet, windy and generally miserable weekend in London. But there's a certain pathos to the wind-strewn streets, and weather aside, we managed to get in a lot of London love.

The Man's Egyptian cousin was visiting London for the first time and we wanted to show off our city. After pointing out the typical touristy sights, we dragged her off to the theatre - we'd scored a great deal on tickets to Jump from (£10 each!). It had been ages since we'd been to theatre - way back in August - and I was really looking forward to seeing a production that had received rave reviews.

If you like martial arts and slapstick comedy, you'll like Jump. I like neither and while I was pleasantly entertained for the first five minutes, I quickly found myself feeling bored. But The Man and his cousin enjoyed it, so I suffered in (sort of) silence. For me, it was like dim sum: you can eat and eat and just never feel full (fine for dim sum, but not so good for theatre).

But the jazz concert the next night more than made up for any theatrical disappointment. It's the London Jazz Festival this week, and we got some of the last available tickets. We didn't know what to expect from the two bands who'd be performing, but from the description of 'demonic' and 'wailing' instruments it certainly looked interesting.

Trio VD.

Trio VD took to the stage first, ripping into their instruments. If the Devil listens to jazz, I'm sure this is his preferred band. It was painful, it was beautiful, and it was astonishing that three musicians could produce such a glorious cacophony.

The trio was followed by the even more disturbing World Sanguine Report, fronted by gravelly voiced Andrew Plummer. Slightly extreme for my tastes -- especially his on-stage vignette featuring a seagull whose guts spilled all over a Leeds suspension bridge -- but you had to admire the talent.

And all too quickly, the weekend was over, our guest returned to Liverpool, and London readied itself for a whole new week ahead.

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