Saturday, 3 April 2010

Acer Maple at The Jazz Cafe

Another works outing yesterday evening, to The Jazz Cafe to see a band called Acer Maple for whom our Phil was playing drums. You may or may not recall that Phil engineered their EP 'Early' (which is currently available at iTunes). Acer Maple is basically two guitarists, Danny Fisher and Dave Austin, who write songs and recruit various people on an ad hoc basis to play them live. I still don't know why they named themselves after a tree but there you go.
For this gig, they used a full band with backing vocals and Phil got the job of drummer as their first choice tub-thumper was otherwise engaged. Completing the line up was Olly somebody on double bass, with Danny Fisher doubling on piano, and three women singing whose names, I think, were Sharlene, Donna and Charlie. Sharlene was the lead vocalist - she appears on the EP. Any road up, an excellent gig of laid back folk/jazz/soul very expertly performed. The songs are all pretty good, and they sounded better live than on record. (But most bands do if they are actual musicians.) Moreover, they were clearly enjoying themselves. Only two criticisms: they need to include a couple of up-tempo songs in the set and they should break it up a bit more with some solos - Danny and Dave were a bit shy.
The venue itself is quite snazzy, although the toilets are a bit inaccessible way down in the basement, and basic. Full marks though for providing real coffee in a cafetiere at a reasonable price. Avoid the cocktails - £7.20 a throw.

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