Rightly or (more likely) wrongly, I’ve always thought of Marlena Shaw as being pretty much a soul singer. She’s often described as soul-jazz or suchlike terms, though. It’s not important beyond the fact that appending “jazz” to the description of a gig will generally ensure that some of the punters you get will be folks who are extremely keen to loudly make sure everyone else standing at the bar knows that they’re very middle class indeed. They’re annoying, but what can you do? What can you do that won’t get you arrested, I should say.
Marlena, then, at The Hare & Hounds in Kings Heath on the 19th of March. I liked her, she was fun. She had the air about her of someone’s dotty but fun and friendly elder aunty, and that’s a good air to have. California Soul (shame we couldn’t have had proper strings,, which are the best thing about it and one of the best things about anything ever, but there you go) and all the rest of it. Band a teensy bit fussy/overly-musicianly at times but not anywhere near even a fraction of as bad as they might have been, grooving a-plenty working up a fair bit of energy at times.
I know this is pretty much a pointless post, but I’m trying to make sure I get back into the habit of making sure I write about gigs. This is a gig I enjoyed but don’t have a lot to say about.