Are we spoilt here in Bath or what? I had been aware that the Festival was on for some time now but quite by accident we discovered that the opening night consisted of a city-wide party on Friday night during which dozens of venues including clubs, pubs, cafes and more obvious spaces like Chapel Arts hosted numerous free music events covering the whole gamut of musical genres. Lucky for us we noticed that Burdall’s Yard, at which we have already seen a student drama production, was offering four different performances by performing arts students from Bath Spa university.
This was particularly fortunate as Steve and Heather were staying overnight at the Chapel, our first ever overnight guests and guinea pigs for the new aerobed, so this made for a great evening out. The venue was pleasantly busy but still afforded plenty of elbow room and somewhere to sit and put a glass of beer. As Steve said afterwards we actually “mattered” as part of the audience.
The evening began with a terrific Big Band that really swung, followed by a large a cappella choir performing a variety of works and featuring some very lovely female voices. Next came a Chamber Winds Ensemble that, although quite competent, unfortunately attempted a difficult piece by Poulenc for trombone, trumpet and French horn as part of their set that was a bit off-key. The rest, however, was fine. And bear in mind that this was all free so no complaints.
Topping of the evening we were treated to a very tight performance indeed from a student jazz/funk band, “George and the Dragons”. Actually George was on drums and his “dragons” played bass, guitar, trumpet and saxophone. They played an assortment of covers with a different take and original compositions. We even had a chat to the bassist/vocalist afterwards.
For once I had forgotten to bring my all purpose mobile communications and recording device so I had to rely on Kate to capture some of the sounds. Here is my latest YouTube joint from her efforts.