Energy like this can’t be conveyed through a speaker.
The performance began with the first two tracks from the new album, ‘Folk Song’ and ‘Fellow Creatures’, the latter of which opened enthusiastically with the track’s particularly strong bass line played by Høiby and Barry. Following this, we were treated Høiby’s commentary, which included an amusing anecdote about the fire drills at the venue and a scathing, if humorous, criticism of the current political climate in Britain following the ‘Brexit’ vote and the subsequent appointment of Theresa May as prime minister. This frustration with the state of the world provided a little context for piece that followed, ‘World of Contradictions’.
Perhaps my favourite moments of the afternoon occurred just before, and during, the band’s performance of ‘Song for the Bees’. I almost laughed aloud when, in order to signal to the band that this song was to be played next, Høiby stuck his hands out to his sides and fluttered them up and down in imitation of a bee. The song itself (my favourite from the new album) featured some particularly impressive bass playing from Høiby as well as beautiful back-and-forth improvisation between Jurd and Lockheart.
After the show concluded, I had the chance to briefly meet Jasper Høiby. They say you should never meet your heroes, but I’m not so sure. Jasper Høiby is not only a brilliant composer and performer, he’s also very nice in person. This album launch concert was excellent. The band exuded a seemingly unending amount of energy and enthusiasm from start to finish, and beautifully showcased Høiby’s brilliant, folk tinged jazz compositions. A must see if ever you have the opportunity.