Odette Mercy and her Soul Atomics Saturday 28th May 2011

Gig Details:

Band: Odette Mercy and Her Soul Atomics

Date: Saturday 28th May.

Time: 8:30 – 10:00pm

Venue: Private Residence in Sorrento, Western Australia

Odette Mercy and her Soul Atomics performed as the feature band at a private birthday party on the 29th of May 2011. This show was a little different to many of our previous shows with the party requesting we perform a ‘super’ set of 90 minutes straight from 8:30 – 10:00pm. Whilst this proved to be a fantastic opportunity to work on all of our transitions between songs and really keep the energy and atmosphere at a high level throughout the set it logistically proved to be physically challenging, especially to myself and Jimmy ‘the lips’ on trumpet with concerns about our lips being able to get through such an intense blow. This feeling about it being an intense blow was magnified knowing all of the tunes would be extended in length and that it would be expected that all of my solos would be extended in their length (not that I was complaining about this fact).

We were joined for this set by John Brown (drums) and Karl Hiller (guitars) as our usual drummer and guitarist, Zen Fusion and Jamie Searle, being unavailable due to giggin commitments with other bands. The set commenced in our usual manner with us performing the full version of the Soul Atomics theme song. The rhythm section kicked off with a great level of energy and were really sitting in the pocket, this made for a great platform for us to be able to launch into the solo section. Miss Odette Mercy joined the band at the conclusion of theme as we launched into ‘Up To You’ this song featured an extended solo by Karl Hiller on guitar. Karl was also featured on the next song ‘You’ve Got Soul’.

At the conclusion of ‘You’ve Got Soul’ we went straight into the revamped version of ‘You Wont Find Me’. For this show although starting up a key (the same key as You’ve Got Soul) and then resolving down a tone to the original key we performed the full length version. The song also featured Jon Fernandes on bass guitar, his extended solo sat in the groove and was a great addition to the song. From this song we went into the song ‘When You Say My Name’ this tune featuring the vocals of Odette Mercy and a flugel horn solo by Jimmy Murphy was extended for this show with the addition of a saxophone solo over the bridge of the tune. The chord changes of this tune (especially the bridge) are great fun to blow over with it being possible to really wail in a soulful and passionate manner which I feel really adds to the song (yes I know I am biased in this being the soloist).

‘The Reverend’ John Brown brought the drums into the groove for ‘Wait in Vain’ which marked the start of the combination of this great dance tune and the soulful ‘Baby’. In all of the gigs that we have done I have never experienced these songs not getting the crowd up and dancing. This night was no exception, after Miss Odette invited the crowd up to dance they remained up for the entire two songs and also into the next song, “Booby Trap”.

“Booby Trap”  an instrumental number that began with the guitar riff played by Karl Hiller. Usually thid dong features a horn section soli (Jim and I rade 8s then 4s then 2s before both soloing simulatneously) tonight, however, due to the need of an extended set I took the entire solo to help Jim’s lips a bit of break.

At the conclusion of Booby Trap we moved in a direction we never have as a band before. We were asked if we could do a song that people would know. I found this concept quite humorous as we are an original soul band, meaning that we don’t do covers in our set (we know plenty but its not the band’s thing). Never the less we did a version of the classic tunes by Gershwin “Summertime”. From the end of this tune we continued back into our set of original music.

The soulful and funky “Gold Digger” was played next and we had a few technical difficulties with this one as Karl broke one of his guitar strings which he needed to fix. To cover this we made the sax solo extra long and developed it away from the standard form into a 12 bar blues.

We have worked hard as a band on our transitions between songs and the remainder of our songs we like to run together. At the end of “Gold Digger” the drums transitions into the next tune “Tell it Liie it is”. Unfortunately on this gig something didn’t quite line up with it and so our usual tight transition didnt quite work as well. These next few songs all featuedr myself as main soloist. This “Tell it” led flawlessly into”Fear of the Feeling”, another high energy number that keeps the crod pumping (usually) unfortunately by this stage the dance florr was pretty empty and we seemed to be playing to an empty room. Our final two songs, “What’ll I Have to Do?” and “How Many Times” went off perfectly with the rhythm section seeting up a great groove very much in the style of the James Brown band.

The overall show was fantastic from a musical point of view. I felt we overcame many difficulties including having a couple of deps filling in and needing to play such a long set of music. It was a bit unfortunate that the guests of the party seemed to be excited about the lived music for the firts part of the evening but then it was almost as if the novelty of having a live band wore off as the evening continued, but hey, that can go with the territory of private functions at people’s houses. People seemed to be having a good time and enjoying themselves so we can complain too much at all.

The Soul atomics next gig booked in at  the moment isn’t until the 26th of June as a part of RTRs Winter Music Festival in Fremantle. We are playing at the Swan Basement as a part of a great nights entertainment. Presale tickets are $20 and its advisable you get a hold of one of those as tickets on the door will be liited and more expensive as well.  If you are free we hope to see you there!


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