Interesting past 24 hours for me at the 606. On Tuesday night, as part of the London Jazz Festival, we hosted Gwilym Simcock’s SGS Group Inc. This amazing trio of his has, to my knowledge, only released one CD so far. The interplay between Simcock, Asaf Sirkis on drums and Yuri Goloubev on bass, was sublime. Simcock’s subtle, intelligent voicings were a lesson in pianism. Vibraphonist Anthony Kerr was in the audience and he testified to the fact Simcock is a joy to solo over. It truly was wonderful to see such artistic beauty performed at the club. After a couple of numbers they were joined by one of the true modern greats, saxophonist Iain Ballamy. His fluid, reflective style was a perfect match for the trio. What an amazing album this quartet would make.
There was one guy standing in the bar area who spoiled it for a brief period for some of the members. A drunk, arrogant arse who felt the need to spew his feelings even during Goloubev’s bass solos. “What a fucking rip-off!” “They’re taking the piss!” All loud and proud. I heard one member say under her breath, “please, just shut-up!” Anyway, it turns out he was guest listed in from the BBC, including free entrance and treated as a member. What a charmer.
So, you’ve had The Good and The Bad so far. The Ugly? A researcher from Talkback Thames called today. The X Factor wants a Gospel choir to MIME for FREE behind a pre-recorded backing-track for one of the acts. Could we arrange this? No. All of the millions that programme makes and they say there isn’t a budget to pay the mimers. The best they could do is a thank you credit at the end and maybe a link on their site to the clubs. What the fuck?! The X Factor, a music programme, is anti-musician. First I find out they pre-record the American instrumental backing-tracks in the UK (bastardised versions of classic pop tunes with wedged in key changes for that Westlife ‘stand-up’ moment), then they purposely hire student musicians to avoid paying Musician Union members and now this. Proletariat shite. Simon Cowell, Syco, Sony, Talkback Thames and all the other associated bottom dwellers are nothing but musical stock-brokers. A quick buck out of music that dates overnight. Or another simile could be musical McDonalds. Shipped out fast, goes cold quickly, and it makes you feel like shit.