Monday, 19 October 2015

Gypsy Jazz at St Faith's

Brian came by on Friday afternoon - he'd just been offered two tickets to a concert, as the couple who bought the tickets decided they didn't want to go after all.
So at 7pm, he picked me up and we drove to Dorstone. We parked in the little car park opposite the Pandy, next to the Dorstone Living Room (the community room and shop in the middle of the village), and walked down the hill to the church.
The performers were a bit late (well, Dorstone isn't that easy to find if you don't know the area), which gave us the opportunity to browse the paperbacks at the back of the church, buy a glass of wine (for me) and orange juice (Brian never drinks and drives), and look around the church.
When they did arrive, they set up and swept into the first piece - Tea For Two - with impressive speed.
The performers were Tim Kliphuis, from Holland, and his trio, Roy Percy on double bass and Nigel Clark on guitar, and they were performing pieces made famous by Stephane Grappelli, as well as an arrangement of Aaron Copeland music called Hoe Down For the Common Man, and some classical pieces - the encore was by Strauss.
What amazing musicians they all were! I've never been much of a fan of jazz, but I've always liked listening to Stephane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt - I remember Stephane Grappelli performing on TV in the 1970s. And I could recognise Stephane Grappelli's unique sound from the first moments of the first tune. Tim Kliphuis said that he had actually met Stephane Grappelli, when he was starting out with his "tribute band".
They're doing a tour right around the country at the moment, heading north to Scotland, where the bass player comes from, and the concert at St Faith's was organised by Arts Alive. The lady giving the announcements mentioned that Arts Alive were having their budget cut severely by both Herefordshire and Shropshire County councils, so who knows how long they will be able to bring such excellent musicians off the beaten track?
I was one of the youngest there I think, apart from the little girl who drew the raffle tickets and a girl who may have been her teenage sister - but the audience filled the church, and was very appreciative. I saw several people I knew from Hay, and one Dorstone lady chatted to us and showed us the Dorstone calendar which was also on sale in the church, full of lovely photos of the area. And I won a handbag in the raffle!
I also bought a couple of CDs after the show - the "Double Dutch deal" of two for £20, rather than £12 each. So I can now enjoy the Grappelli Album and the Hilversum Sessions (where they are playing as a sextet with three classical musicians).
The couple who decided they didn't want to go missed a great night!

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