Arlet in Broadstairs
The Chapel, Broadstairs
Set 1: Summertimes > Medway Services; Big Red Sun; The Bowerhouse; Skid Jigs; The Boy Who Dreams of Flying in a Magical Pirate Ship; Mattematix
Set 2: Big Ship; Swiss Gourmet; Deep Space 9; V12; The Smuggles; Like a Lost Dog Looking For Home; Song for Someone; Edinburgh Fringe; Chasing Tales
Two 45 minutes sets played by the full Arlet sextet to a small but enthusiastic audience in the converted chapel/bookshop, with some interesting new arrangements and the usual top-notch playing. Aidan's got a huge new Victoria accordion with a vast range of sounds and voicings, including piccolo and weird bass notes — at times I couldn't quite tell who was playing what. The "Summertimes" > "Medway Services" transition had a bit of a Steve Reich feel to it. "Deep Space 9" is a provisional title for a new tune which Rosie thought brought interstellar travel to mind — although it doesn't sound like anything he'd write, there's a definite spaciness about it and I expect it would have received the Sun Ra seal of approval. There was some very nimble soloing from Aidan in "Edinburgh Fringe" and from both Aidan and Owen in "Chasing Tales". Lucy's percussion was absolutely spot-on, as always. The sound's a bit dead in The Chapel, so I know the band didn't enjoy it as much as some gigs, but I certainly did. They're off to the Purbeck Folk Festival next, then I hope to catch them at Smugglers Festival on Thursday.
Their second album Big Red Sun is pretty much ready to release — just some minor technical problems with mastering one track.