Review: The Producers and Richard Quain Trio at Swing Unlimited Jazz Club

 

“It’s 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark and we’re wearing sunglasses.”
“Hit it!”

The audience would have been well to take Ellwood’s advice to Jake from the original Blues Brothers movie, as well as perhaps adding, “Don’t forget your mufflers” on Wednesday.  There was more blues than you could shake your tail feather to at Swing Unlimited Jazz Club for a lucky audience of UK jazz and blues fans.

 

The long, loud night kicked off with the incredible Richard Quain trio. Richie is a Bournemouth based (currently) singer/songwriter/guitarist.  A tough act to follow for the headliners, veteren UK blues band, The Producers.  Richard Quain led his sparse but effective band – Ollie Richmond-Jones on drums and Stuart Ross on electric bass - through an all-too-short first set of the evening.  Their sound is rootsy and original.

Richie’s voice is unbelievable: high, pure-toned, pitch perfect and above all packed full of raw feeling.  Actors say that good acting is not about lying as some think, but telling the truth.  This is exactly what Richie does through his amazing singing.  His guitar playing channels Jimi Hendrix, through self-penned songs like ‘I’m Goin’ Down’ and the rollicking ‘Rein Your Fire In’ - songs which tells stories as the best songs always do – to a gorgeous Nina Simone-esque ‘Let’s Get Loaded’, Ollie creating the ambiance with smooth percussive brush-work.  A standing ovation and encore demanded and given with a Freddie Gibbs number.  It was a downbeat finish, but maybe just as well as they had truly blown the audience away.

Charisma is an overused label, but oh boy! Richard Quain has it.  Comparisons with Amy Winehouse won’t do his career any harm.   A career that should take him from Swing Unlimited Jazz Club to Chicago Blues.  He, and his future audiences, deserve no less.

Tomorrow night - Blues Special with award-winning The Producers (with Harry Skinner and Ray Drury) supported by the Richard Quain Trio - world-class blues celebrating the birth of jazz at Bournemouth's premier jazz club!<br /><br /><br />
Doors 7.30, food from 8, only £7.00 entry
I’ve had my own ‘tough acts to follow’.  Usually, sexy, young, talented performers with a good in-house following.  So it was for the headliners, The Producers.  Led by Harry Skinner on guitar and vocals, bass player Dave Saunders, drummer Biff Smith and on Korg/Yamaha keys Ray Drury.  This gig was part of their comeback tour. Some twelve years after earlier successes touring and recording such albums as Into the Blues, now they’re back, with a new album (cd and vinyl) London Blues.  The song-list over two hour-long sets were mostly original material, with notable exceptions like the country style Muddy Waters tune ‘I Can’t Be Satisfied’ necessitaing a guitar change for Harry.  Which brings me back to the Blues Brothers movie for another quote:

 

Ellwood: “What kind of music do you usually have here, bartender?”

 

“Oh, we got both kinds, country AND western!”

 

The Producers sound is foot-tappin’ jumpin’ blues, with a few down-tempo numbers like the thoughtful ‘Some People Say…’ thrown in to vary the pace occasionally.  Their songs, from the superb ‘The Preservation Blues’ to ‘Don’t Go Out on a Sunday Night’ are generic blues from musicians who have done the circuit and are back to do it again.   And The Producers have quite a back-story to bring back onto the scene.  I love the matter of fact way that bassist Dave gently dropped the name of Mick Jagger’s brother Chris into our chat between sets.   All done in perfectly good taste, of course, as only seasoned pros can!

 

Eclectic really does describe the line up of fantastic live music at Swing Unlimited week after week, from world blues and jazz, contemporary to standards, New York jazz cafe to New Orleans jazz dive.  This week old school blues, The Producers, met youthful pretender to the throne, the incredible Richard Quain and his Trio.

© 2017 Scott Free – the Pink Sinatra. Built by 79nights.