Apologies for the lack of posts. I have made quite a few nice compilations over the last few months that I’ll post soon. I’ve also slowly started buying a few records again, although not many. Now I’m far away from Academy Records, I buy hardly any CDs!

Here’s a gig report, half way through my summer schedule:

Jorge Ben played at the Barbican with Trio Mocoto supporting. Trio Mocoto were fun, although most of their songs are very simple. Jorge had an accelerated romp through his hits, mostly played in a beaty and slightly smooth 80s rock style. Perhaps this might have worked for me in a smaller venue, but sat at the back of the Barbican concert hall, it wasn’t so appealing. The reggae version of ‘Oba, la vem ela’ was inventive and quite interesting. Unfortunately I remember the rest of the gig for being just too in-your-face; the subtlety of my favorite Jorge Ben recordings was nowhere to be found.

By contrast, last night’s Marcos Valle show was quite outstanding. Playing in a tiny cellar venue in a smart west-end restaurant, Marcos played a mixture of classics and tracks from his recent albums. Both came across well, although I was glad there was slightly more of an emphasis on the older tracks. His band were excellent, consisting of a drummer, bassist, sax/flautist, percussionist, and an extra female vocalist who joined him for some tracks towards the end. Marcos himself played electric piano and some guitar. The whole band was outstanding, and I must say I can hardly remember being so excited to be at a show. Even the recent tracks that are slightly too ‘acid jazz’ for my taste seemed to come over well. I had a brief opportunity to meet Marcos and thank him in advance before the show, and delicado reader Calle from Sweden (who flew over especially for the show) even got to have his photograph taken! A great evening. Brian Wilson is tonight; Lee Hazlewood is next week.

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