Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Ambulance music

Not Jazz



Just got back from the Copenhagen Jazz Festival. The politeness of the Danes teeters on the brink of criminality. If you scratch your head on the street ten of them will jump on you and ask if you want any help.

It didn’t stop them from flashing their mobile screens during the big gig at the Royal Theatre, though. Or the woman behind me sticking her bare feet up next to my head. Her toenails were lacerating my earlobes. But these were almost welcome distractions from what was happening onstage.

The support act were what you’d call ambient. This means they sounded like a whale in labour bumping into an iceberg. I guess they passed for jazz because they had a couple of saxes and introduced each other after every number. They all had the same floppy-on-one-side-of the-head haircut and were about 26 (that’s the total age, not the average). Their idea of improvisation was to play the same turgid three-note riff at slightly varying speeds. Needless to say, the audience whooped, roared and clapped. Their age was about 460 (again, a total, not including us).

You know you’re in trouble when a band’s name is more creative than their music. This lot were called Morons on Mogadon.  Well, they should have been.

Anyone under 30 should have to pass a test before being allowed to be in charge of a concert seat. Before that your musical tastes are still at the “Mummy I want a Curly Wurly bar” stage. Well, mine were. I remember going to hear The Crazy World of Arthur Brown in 1968 and thinking it was the greatest gig ever because he set his hair alight.

The main act in the Copenhagen Royal Theatre was guitar maestro John Schofield. Proper music. Nothing to do with ambience, nu jazz, fusion sounds or folky-hip hop grooves with a touch of acid house and a hint of baby vomit. But he was held up at the airport and we took  refunds. Typical.

On the way back to the hotel we popped into a bar and sang along to a cheesy covers singer doing “American Pie.” Compared to M on M - musical ecstasy.

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