Sunday 16th September 2018
When Hoochie’s head honcho Warren says that Polly Gibbons is in the top ten acts he’s heard since he opened the Pilgrim St. venue x years ago it means something considering that amongst that roster is Gregory Porter, Chaka Khan, Mica Paris, Lonnie Smith, Roy Ayers, Joe Stilgoe, Hailey Tuck as well as several hundred others!
Yes, Ms. Gibbons is the real deal.
Two stomping sets that combined jazz and soul, and a few things in between, had the joint jumping and the swing dancers swing dancing.
No holds barred singing.
Let the Good Times Roll: I heard this hoary old R’n’B classic a couple of weeks back sung by Georgie Fame and Zoot Money at Ronnie’s and this version lost nothing by comparision.
And this was just the beginning! Can’t Buy me Love; Too Darn Hot; Don’t be on the Outside; a Basin Street Blues to end all Basin Street Blues; a Gibbons’ original – Everything Must Change and an amazing Love For Sale. Arranged by Michael Lamb it shaded the famous Buddy Rich version and brought the headliner’s first set to a close.
The BSH team, apart from attempting to empty the shelves of London Pride, snapped Polly with trumpet players Pete Tanton (left) and MD Michael Lamb (right). Both players had good solos over the course of the evening.
Back on stage, Thomas Dolby’s arrangement of Ability to Swing got the good times rolling once more and the song title couldn’t have been more apt for both singer and band.
I’m Just a Lucky So and So; Oh What a Beautiful Morning à la Ray Charles and Count Basie; another couple of originals – Midnight Prayer and You Can’t Just; a tribute to Aretha with Dr. Feelgood and, finally, I Let a Song Go Out of my Heart.
Quite a night that had begun with an opening set featuring Alice Grace and the band. I doubt there will be many opportunities to hear two such fantastic singers in the one evening and Alice did the home team proud – her version of Lost in the Memory absolutely stunning. Why have I never heard this song before?
All the usual suspects soloed and, as always, impressed. The quasi Dixieland finish to Dylan’s Don’t Think Twice was more than alright.
Way back in the day, at the end of Prologue, Stan Kenton bombastically proclaimed “This is an Orchestra!”
Michael Lamb would be justified in doing the same! – Lance Liddle, Be Bop Spoken Here