Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Irma Thomas & Soul Rebels Brass band

Saw a wonderful gig at the Barbican on Sunday. First on were the truly infectious grooves of the New Orleans brass combo 'Soul rebels Brass Band' [link], I've never heard a funky tuba before !! It was impossible not to move to their playing & by the end of their set the whole room was on their feet. Then the legendary singer Irma Thomas, a contemporary of Aretha Franklin & Etta James she is known as the Queen of New Orleans Soul. It was so exciting, she has no set list ! She invites the audience to shout out requests from a career that spans over 50 years & if she can't remember the words she looks them up in a huge tome of all her songs & if the band don't know the requested songs she sings them a cappella ! And what a voice, even though she is 70, it's still thrilling and in fine health. In fact, it actually sounds richer live than than on some of her recordings. I mean this in the best sense, because her band is a little raggedy & not over polished & because I'm not that familiar with her material watching her performance that night was like stumbling upon a great bar, where you discover the most soulful singer with a raucous band & feel more alive for it, lotsoflove tt