Photos taken from a concert at Pizza Express Jazz Club March 2016 in London. A very photogenic crew in my humble opinion. Enjoy please.
Lucinda Belle is an artist who has produced an album and played numerous concerts over the last few years but who has been a little quiet this last 12 months.
This week March 2016 she played two nights at Pizza Express Jazz Club in Dean street London and was simply amazing. Her new music sounds fresh and interesting and she is one the artists that genuinely sound better live than on recordings.
Her performance was inspirational and the music excellent. The only critiscism was that I could have listened to another few hours of music.
The Pizza Expresss venue is in my opinion the worst place to photgraph in the whole world and I will devote a separate blog to that in due course, but maybe one of the best to hear live music. Her band are also superb and I have had the pleasure of hearing Sheldon Conrich and Philipp Groyssboeck play many times in the LBO.
Enjoy some of these shots from the other night.
Right upfront I will admit my bias that I have been listening to and watching LBO for around 2 years now and have seen them play in decent size auditoria and in smaller venues. On this occasion it was a tiny venue a Pizza Express Music Club in the King’s Road. This venue is maybe even although intimate a little too small. Having said that the acoustics were fine and the concert was great. LBO have it seems been in the studio a lot of late creating a second album which will be due out later this year and it will be a little different from the first but nothing to detract affictionados from buying it. The album production is being funded by a system of pledges for either buying the album, even singing on the album, or more realistically wathcing the band in the studio. It must be working as 74% of the money has already been pledged. To learn more try here
Lets be brief and summarise, great concert, two hours went quick, great guitar work from Sheldon Conrich ( who co-writes and vocals on a few songs), the new music is superb. My only complaints? Minor ones, that a few of my favourite tracks did not get played including SlideShow.
Anyway take a look at some photos here. The lighting was miserable ( as it should be of course), so working without flash was nigh on impossible even at high ISO speeds ( dont like going much over 5000, even though the camera goes to 24,000), such that a little post-production magic was needed. So enjoy these and if you search on my blog you will find 2-3 other photographic sets too.
I can make no apologies for re-visiting how wonderful this venue is to listen to music, although I struggle to consider the Lucinda Belle Orchestra as jazz, but maybe that is my jazz knowledge limitation. A few photographs to go with the many I posted last week really just to demonstrate how close to the music one is. There is also something that I disagreed with all of my party over. For me the pianist is an almost exact copy of Matt Smith AKA Dr who. Enjoy.
Occasionally one gets lucky with music. About a year ago my eldest daughter told me ( as she usually does) to listen to a CD by a band that I had not heard of. The drive home was about an hour and I listened, and listened and have not really stopped listening. Her presence on the social media front has been sporadic and the occcasional tweet sometimes informed that a gig was imminent. A month ago we were lucky to see her at the TurnerSims concert hall at Southampton university and there we learned that she was playing a 3-night residency at Jazz Club Pizza Express in Soho. Last night for a mere 15£ we went along. Just to be clear that this is the downstairs of a Pizza Express that has a club that unsurprisingly sells pizzas. The furthest table away is maybe 15 metres and the nearest literally less than a few inches. Acoustics are great, atmosphere is buzzy and prices not at all exhorbitant, bottlw of wine 17£ ( central london prices are often far more).
The music. Magical. She played a lot of songs from her album and a couple from her new EP, and a few new songs as the band are currently hovering in a studio somewhere and after the concert Lucinda told us that towards the end of this year we can expect more gigs. This girl is not just good but special. Her music is original and enchanting and varies sometimes to the pop end and then back down to what she called something like ” gypsy rock”. I am not sure why we have not heard more of her. She is 38years. Are her concerts and albums well marketed? In my humble opinion, no. When I compare the plethora of tweets from artistes like Tim Minchin and Kyla La Grange, who flog their concerts easily and then of course get the online social media feedback, her presence is minimal, but can be corrected.
All I can say is go and buy her album and follow this band online. Although Lucinda Belle fronts the band, and plays harp on most songs, she does relax and do vocals only on a few. Her band line up does seem to change but last night they totalled 7 members including Bass, guitar, keyboards ( a Matt Smith look alike), drummer etc.
Photos all taken without flash using ISO speeds of 12500-25000 so grainy shots as you expect.
I first heard the music from the Lucinda Belle Orchestra about a year ago and was impressed. During this last year I had never seen any concerts advertised and very little in the media generally about LBO. The very occasional tweet but that was it. The album is fairly unique featuring harp music that can best be described as replacing the guitar. So when about a month ago I was told that they were playing at Southampton the chance to get tickets was an easy one to agree to.
The venue is the theatre TurnerSims that is part of the main campus at Southampton University, this means easy parking and a nice venue. The band were amazing. Lucinda Belle held the stage for the whole set with comfort and the only criticism might be that the set was not long enough. She mostly sang and ” harped” but for a few songs took to the microphone to sing. Her outfit was interesting. Striped tights that caught the eye and heels that placed her 6 inches off the floor. The band also were good to watch and listen to. A Serbian double-bass player was making his debut and looked like he would take off with excitement at times. The hall sadly was not anywhere near full and I may be imagining it but was Lucinda Belle a little glum? She deserved that place to be full. Afterwards the band members came out and they were selling CDs etc, which in a funny sort of way seemed a little desperate. For me people should be queueing to buy the CDs.
The band are in the studio for the next few months working on their next album but they are playing some gigs at Pizza Express in London. If you go onto the website you can download a free couple of tracks. This band is good and it will be a shame if they eventually call it a day.