Odette Mercy and her Soul Atomics 16th April 2011

Gig Details

Band: Odette Mercy and Her Soul Atomics

Date: Saturday 16th April 2011

Time: 8:30 – 11:30pm

Venue: Ocean One Bar, Scarborough, Western Australia

At 8pm on the 16th of April 2011 Odette Mercy and Her Soul Atomics returned to Ocean One Bar in Scarborough Western Australia for an evening of original live soul music.

Over the past few weeks we have been doing a lot of rehearsing and preparation for our debut AA 7” vinyl release “Wait in Vain” featuring trombonist Fred Wesley at Devilles Pad on the 29th of April and this gig was to be our last hit out of the new arrangements and transitions between our songs that we hoped to use on the night.

Our regular trumpeter, Jimmy “the lips” Murphy original couldn’t join us on this gig because he had previously been booked by another one of the bands that he plays in so instead we had lined up a horn section of myself on alto saxophone and Al McEvoy on tenor saxophone. Al has done many gigs with us whenever either Jimmy or myself have been unavailable and has joined the band for our album launch where we have expanded the horn section to three horns. A few hours before the show Jimmy found out he could do the gig, this proved ideal for us as it gave us a chance to play the full arrangements of the songs that we were going to use in a fortnight’s time. A big thanks needs to go out to Jon Fernandes who managed to organise for me a baritone saxophone at short notice for me to be able to double on with my alto for the three part horn arrangements (this fill in horn was needed as I got the call that this change was happening after I already had left home without my baritone and there was no way I was going to be able to get back there prior to the time we were starting the gig).

Our sets on this particular night also had the addition of traditional Brazilian dancers right before the beginning of our sets. This was an interesting addition which was enjoyed by some of the crowd.

The first set we performed had a great energy and atmosphere to it, the new set order and fresh arrangements definitely seemed to breathe a fresh life into the tunes which was appreciated by the crowd as can be attested to by the number of people who were dancing on the dance floor. Miss Odette Mercy, as always, kept the audience captivated with her sassy comments and penetrating wit in between songs and her soulful voice during her songs. Another highlight of the first set was the addition of Al McEvoy to the horn section. Whilst the space on the stage at Ocean One is quite restrictive the discomfort of not enough space was worth the presence the three part horn arrangement brought.

After a short break we returned for the second set of the evening. This set contained a lot of the new transitions that we had been working on perfecting including from the song “You’ve Got Soul” into “You Won’t Find Me” with the first four bars of the “You Won’t Find Me” intro being raised a tone before dropping down to the original key. The shortened version of this mellow blues song worked as a great interlude and breather for the audience enjoying the dance floor before guitarist Jamie “ Chopper” Searle broke into the up tempo “Box Me In”. The solos throughout the entire set were of a great standard, the audience enjoyed the funky sounds of the baritone saxophone on “Three Hip Cats” and “Tell It Like It Is”. Al McEvoy’s tenor solos took n a whole new meaning to the word funky with the use of an effects pedal where he manipulated his tenor sound by the inclusion of a harmoniser, distortion, wha pedal and hammond organ sound on various solos.

Towards the end of the second set the fun atmosphere was dampened by a small proportion of the patrons starting a fight. This is the first time in all of the shows I have played at this establishment where I have seen any of this antisocial behavior which is a credit to both the owners of Ocean One and their security. A big thank you needs to go to the security who stepped in and handled a precarious situation very well, removing the perpetrators and protecting the safety of the other patrons of the bar. There have been many shows that I have played in various venues where this unfortunate sort of behavior occurs, regardless of many times I see it I just cannot understand it or get my head around why people end up resorting to this sort of aggressive behavior. The end result is that people get hurt and everybody has a miserable time. Even if one “wins” the fight they ultimately still “lose”. Sure alcohol can affect people’s judgements but an adult always needs to take responsibility for their own actions.

Miss Odette and Her Soul Atomics managed to save the fun party like atmosphere by continuing with their set and finishing with the iconic “Soul Atomics Theme”.

Thanks must go to Chris at Ocean One Bar for continuing to ask us to play there, it is one of the venues we always love to play at due to the overall great atmosphere and receptiveness of the patrons week after week. If ever in Scarborough beach make sure you pop in to Ocean One and enjoy something from their menu or even a quiet drink. Its location right on the beach front makes it an ideal place in a relaxed atmosphere to watch the sunset and have a laugh with friends or someone special.

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