Gig @ Lichfield

Friday, 10th November 2006


The Deirdre Cartwright group made a welcome return to Lichfield when their latest tour stopped of in the city. The four piece group played a selection from their own music and some well chosen cover versions.

Deirdre Cartwright is widely regarded as one of the best live jazz guitarists playing on the circuit, and her group of bass and drums allows her to use the full range of colours within her palette. The three piece started of with two new pieces from their latest album, with able support from double and fretless bassist Alison Rayner and drummer Buster Birch adding weighty support to the subtle guitar playing of the ensembles leader.

Singer and lyricist Sarah P was invited to play to songs with the group, the highlights of which were the haunting ballad ?Dust? which included atmospheric chords and bowed double bass, and the as yet unrecorded track ?In the Bag? which closed the show.

As well as Jazz, the band also played elements of rock. The first set closer was ?Smells like Jazz? which included quotes from Nirvana?s ?Smells like Teen Spirit? and the type of virtuoso electric guitar playing more often associated with such stars as Jeff Beck and Jimi Hendrix, with the full tilt rhythm section at times sounding a lot like Cream, Taste, and other power trios.

The second set was opened with a jazz reading of Kate Bush?s ?Wuthering Heights? which was started by a double bass refrain, before the familiar vocal refrain entered. Other songs played include the Deidre Cartwright?s gently swinging and lyrical ?Precious Things? and Alison Rayner?s ?String Theory? which gave soloing opportunities to all of the musicians.

The band played no encore, and eighty minutes of music would have left an audience feeling short-changed, if the group were not as good as this one.