Wednesday, 22 November 2006

NDR Big Band

NDR big band

manchester november 22nd 2006

Towards the end of Frank Zappa's momentous life & career his touring band began to resemble the 'big band' format. So it was no stretch of the imagination in predicting what format tonights even would take.

So when a middle aged jazz warbling warbler began a warbling, I was a little warbled myself, but not in a good way. These were not Zappa tunes being big banded into warbleville, but contempary pop tunes. Was this the right room, had I paid for 5 minutes or the full half hour.

This big band strangeness ended with a warbleful of Sting's 'Moon over bourbon street' and the reign of the warble queen was over, long live the king.

This prompted a brief intermission, thus giving us time to ponder what had transgressed & what was to be.

Fortunately the second half was to be warble free, and was to be as advertised, Zappa, Zappa and more Zappa. Some might say this is yet another tribute band, but this is so much more. Interpretation & imagination seperate this from your standard soundalike tribute band. This is tribute with a diamond encrusted T, and extra gold stars for effort.

And so it began, from 'peaches' to 'black napkins', 'lets make the water turn black' to 'g spot tornado', all exhibiting such proficiency, even passing cyclists would qualify. If tonight was a long playing record, you would have no need for a hungarian phrasebook to tell you of its condition, pristine scratch free, and willing to hold it against your body.

Nods of appreciation from fellow band members follow solo musical excellence, followed in turn by the slapping sound of paired fleshy extremities. This is pure Zappa, and hurrah.