July 19th, 2002


making a joyful noise

this one go plunk

writing about music is, as they say, like dancing about architecture. This one started with a music box a long way away and ran up and down the stairs like a dancing elephant; this one was smokey dark waves of sax. So what can I say about tonight's concert(s)? Bill Bruford's Earthworks are what I think of as classic jazz but I guess that's classic modern jazz - sax, drums, double bass, piano - and they rock. The sax player stayed on for the second set of Stuart Copeland's music; some pieces named after his children (Eve, Grace), some from films and TV. Did you know what a fabulous piece of music the theme from The Equalizer is? At least when it's played by a mad drummer, sax, an ensemble with flute, clarinet, french horn, violins, viola and more, and at the back Ensemble Bash - four guys playing umpteen xylophone synths, assorted percussion and a huge Japanese Kyoto-temple style drum they had to beat almost in slow motion. Music from Rumblefish was glorious too.

And then there was the competitive duet drum solo when Bill Bruford came back on stage; Bruford started it, really, keeping up a drum roll for longer than humanly possible, so Copeland replies with I can play more quietly than you even on cymbals, Bruford comes back with I've got a cow-horn so Copeland throws one of his sticks in the air as he's playing. Then he throws another and another and another; a stream of drumstick flying in a perfect curve over his shoulder and into the darkness.

And Copeland is another happy musician, bounding on the the stage raring to go, waving and grinning. All in white, head to toe - even white hi-tops. Usually he untangled himself from the drum kit to walk to the microphone and name the songs, but sometimes he just shouted and waved from the drum kit. And no, they couldn't play Roxanne as the encore...
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