The Pimps of Sound 19th July 2012

Gig Details:

Band : The Pimps of Sound

Date : Thursday 19th July 2012

Time : 11:00pm

Venue : The Rosemount Hotel, North Perth.

On the 19th of July 2012 The Pimps of Sound, featuring Marnie Kent, performed as the closing act of “The Birth” the official launch of drum and bass music. This event was held at the Rosemount Hotel in North Perth, Western Australia. The evening was well supported with many Drum and Bass fans coming out to support the two live bands and various DJs and MCs performing on the evening including Freqshow, an 8 piece live Drum and Bass band and The Pimps of Sound who finished off the evening with a set of their liquid groove drum and bass styles.

This show was the second show that singer Marnie Kent has done with The Pimps of Sound with the first being earlier in the evening at the Leederville Hotel. Her strong and powerful vocals and commanding stage presence were an welcomed addition to tight outift of The Pimps, being Rob Ferari on bass and Zen Fusion on electric drums, and myself, Simon Montgomery on the Tenor Saxophone with effects and featuring Defyre MCing on two of the tunes.

The set featrued a number of the songs that have become well known around Perth by those who follow The Pimps of Sound including “Cubious”, “Undone”, “Sarvo” and “Ain’t No Sunshine” although all of these had a new flavour with the inclusion of Marnie’s interpretation of the vocals giving all songs a fresh new perspective and feel. MC Defyre joined the Pimps for the songs “Undone”, “Sarvo” and “Discipline” adding some edge and attitude to a well oiled performance.

A huge thanks to The Pimps of Sound for another opportunity to play with them, the attitude and vibe as well as level of musicianship for these original Drum and Bass songs always makes it a fun and exciting experience. A huge thanks also to the crowd who came and supported the event and the organiser Adam Germano for his generosity in inviting The Pimps of Sound to be a part of a great evening.

The Pimps of Sound next gig will be at The William Street Bird. No date has been set for this yet, stay tuned for more updates which can be found easily via both The Pimps of Sound facebook page and Simon Montgomery facebook page.

The Pimps of Sound 19th July 2012 – Leederville Hotel

Gig Details:

Band : The Pimps of Sound

Date : Thursday 19th July 2012

Time : 7:15pm

Venue : The Leederville Hotel.

On Thursday the 19th of July The Pimps of Sound the Pimps of sound performed their first of to shows for the evening as the opening act at the Leederville Hotel’s Leederville Loungeroom, an evening dedicated to promoting and supporting the best of Perth’s original local bands, comedians and open Micers of al description with a set running from 7:15 – 8:00pm.

This show is the first since the Massive Music Explosion promoted and organised by The Pimps of Sound at the Norfolk Basement on the 22nd of June and was also the first show which featured the powerful vocals of Marnie Kent. The Pimps, consisting of Rob Ferrari on bass and Zen Fusion on electric drums and loops and samples, have worked hard to create a powerful and memorable set of original music which is having an impact through the local drum and bass scene in Perth. These well known songs were given a fresh approach for these shows due to the direction vocalist Marnie Kent decided to take the songs with her interpretation of a new set of lyrics to any that had been previously been used at other Pimps gigs.

I personally feel that one of the exciting elements of the Pimps of Sound is the featuring of various vocalists and the integration of their lyrical approach into the fluid and smooth style that has become synonymous with The Pimps of Sound style.

The evening began with Cubious and continued with the songs UndoneAin’t No Sunshine, Discipline, Sarvo and the debut performance of the song Abandon. The evening also featured the MC skills of Defyre on the tracks Sarvo, Dicsipline and Undone as well as saxophone solos throughout the evening provided by me, Simon Montgomery.

A huge thanks to Rob and Zen with The Pimps of Sound for giving me the opportunity to play with them again. It is always a pleasure to play with amazing and talented musicians. Thanks also Marnie Kent and Defyre, two more incredible local Perth people with an enormous amount of talent. Finally thank you to the Leederville Hotel for the opportunity to be a part of The Leederville Lounge Room, I hope that we get the opportunity to play as a part of the evening again in the future. If you are in Leederville on a Thursday night or have nothing planned I would recommend getting along and supporting some of the local music talent that makes up the Perth music scene. It really is alive and well.

To be kept up to date with The Pimps of Sound’s upcoming events “like” their Facebook page. To be kept up to date with future events I am playing both with The Pimps of Sound and other bands please visit and “like” my Facebook page. I will look forward to seeing you at one of my gigs in the near future.

Odette Mercy and her Soul Atomics – Saturday Night Divas

Gig Details:

Band: Odette Mercy and her Soul Atomics

Date: Sunday 19th February 2012.

Time: 12:20am – 1:00am.

Venue: Grey Door Gallery – Claremont Hotel.

On Saturday the 19th of February Odette Mercy and her soul Atomics played at the Grey Door Gallery as a part of the fundraiser “Saturday Night Divas” organised to support RTR radio station. The evening featured many of the top female performers in Perth including BOOM BAP POW, Rhanda Khamis in a solo / DJ set, the Afro-Creole sounds of Grace Barbe and Perth’s Lady of Soul Odette Mercy and her Soul Atomics to conclude the evening’s performances.

Our set, the closing one for the evening, was running from 12:20am to the closing at 1:00am of the Sunday morning. We arrived to find a crowd that was a little smaller than the organisers had expected for the night, although the receptivity and enthusiasm of those in attendance made up for the smaller number in quantity…the quality of audience was excellent.

We started our set a little after 12:30am as the event was running behind, this was our first show since Odette Mercy’s Heart Break Dance at the Perth Fringe World Festival a fortnight ago in the treasury cabaret room. We were featuring our new tunes for the first time in one of our standard set, with the limited time we were planning on having a high energy set to entertain the enthusiastic crowd that had gathered.

The set began with the started with the sounds of the “Soul Atomics Theme” which lead straight into familiar sounds of the snare drum introduction to “Wait in Vain”. Tonight’s set had an energy and enthusiasm about it from the Soul Atomics that was contagious and got the crowd moving on the dance floor. With the limited amount of time for this set the band kept all the solos to their smallest length to allow Miss Odette to get the most number of songs in. After a short blistering alto saxophone solo from Simon Montgomery and the chorus being sung again the band moved into the 12/8 number “Up To You” which featured the ever soulful and tasteful Jamie Searle on guitar. At the conclusion of this song the band moved into “Box Me In” which featured Simon Montgomery on tenor saxophone. at the conclusion of the solo section Odette Mercy slowed down the feel to a half time groove for the crowd that she then free improvised over before bringing in the third and final verse.

At this point int he show we launched into our new songs “Ain’t Nothing You Can Do” and then “Heart Break” which both debut as a part of The Heart Break Dance held a fortnight before as a part of the Fringe World Festival. The tunes have breathed a fresh breath of life into the set of the group and were received warmly by the audience. Odette Mercy entertained the crowd and managed to bring an element of crowd participation with the song “Heart Break” with her actions for the chorus asking the audience to “slow it down and put on the heart break”.

By the end of this song the band had run out of time for the rest of the set and headed into the final song for the evening “How Many Times”. The tune featured Zen Fusion and his ability to listen to the wants of women during his featured drum solo and interaction with Odette Mercy.

A huge thanks to everyone who came down for the show, make sure you stay tuned for more upcoming shows from Odette Mercy and her Soul Atomics. My next show booked at this stage is happening on the 1st of March with the Pimps of Sound down at Clancy’s Fish Pub in Fremantle. I hope to see you along for a great evening with some great bands and a fantastic atmosphere.

Funk Club House Band PIAF Monday 13th February 2012

Gig Details:

Band: The Funk Club House Band

Date: Monday 13th February 2012.

Time: 7:00pm – 8:30pm

Venue: Perth International Arts Festival – Festival Gardens.

On Monday the 13th of February I did a fill in gig with The Funk Club House Band at the Festival Gardens stage at the Perth International Arts Festival. I was given a call from Jimmy Murphy on the Saturday night (the 11th Febraury) asking if i’d be available to do the show as they had been asked at the last minute due to the scheduled band pulling out and the regular sax player in the band not being able to do the show due to another commitment they already had on the Monday night. I did need to do some rearranging of other music commitments that I had already booked before committing to the show, but in the next hour I had everything sorted and confirmed that I would be able to do it.

This show is the first one that I have done with the House Band for almost a year now, I was looking forward to playing with a great bunch of musicians on a series of Funk and Groove tracks that you normally don’t get to play around Perth.

We arrived for sound check on the Monday at around 5:30pm, we had to be all done and off stage by 6:00pm as the doors would be opening. This was the first evening of the Festival Gardens and we were booked to be the entertainment that preceded the featured movie for the evening, the plan was that we would perform from 7:30 – 8:20pm with the set starting after the end of the formal speeches.

At 7:20pm we were collected from the back stage green room that had been setup for us to relax and refresh between the sound check and the performance. The back stage staff were fantastic and the facilities that were provided for us definitely made the whole experience enjoyable and created a great atmosphere for us to be able to get fully prepared for the show. The formalities for the evening that were on before our set included a number speeches from various dignitaries, these ran over time and ate into our scheduled playing time so we ended up rearranging the set.

At 7:45pm we started our set, we did need to be finished by 8:20pm so that the stage crew could reset the stage for the movie to be shown. The set started with a Funk Club House Band favourite, Dap Walk, this fun loving instrumental featured a guitar solo by Karl Hiller as well as a trumpet solo by Jimmy Murphy. Odette Mercy was guesting with the band and took the stage at the end of Dap Walk for a number of soul loving high energy tunes including Cleanup Woman featuring Karl Hiller on guitar, Hip Drop, Reasons, which both featured myself on the alto saxophone. The House Band also performed an instrumental “Soul Power” a Maceo Parker tune that featured an extended alto saxophone solo by me. The set finished with Odette Mercy singing “Why Don’t We Stoip Paying Taxes” a tune made famous by Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings.

The set went really well, with the band down the regular saxophone and more importantly their musical director, Jon Fernandes, there had been some apprehension before the gig as to how well it would go. The band performed a tight and professional set with a high level of energy and enthusiasm that kept the crowd entertained throughout the entire performance.

A huge thanks to Jimmy Murphy and The Funk Club House Band for the opportunity to again grace the same stage as them, it is always an experience that I enjoy and I hope that I will be able to do it again soon. Thanks also to the wonderful staff back stage at the Festival Gardens and all the people involved with PIAF, it’s always a great experience to be a part of the Perth International Arts Festival.

My next booked gig at this point in time is on saturday the 19th of February with Odette Mercy and her Soul Atomics as a part of Saturday Night Divas, a fundraising event for RTR FM being held at the Grey Door Gallery in Claremont. Any shows that come up between now and then will appear in the events calendar and on my facebook page so make sure you check it regularly to stay in formed. I’ll look forward to seeing you at a gig soon.

Odette Mercy’s Heart Beak Dance – Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th of February 2012

Gig Details:

Band: Odette Mercy and her Soul Atomics

Date: Saturday 4th & Sunday 5th of February 2012.

Time: 8:00pm – 9:00pm

Venue: Fringe World Festival – Treasury Cabaret Room.

On the 4th and 5th of February 2012 Odette Mercy debuted her new cabaret show “Odette Mercy’s Heart Break Dance” as a part of the Fringe World Festival held in Perth, Western Australia. This cabaret show was designed to “heal the broken hearted”, “melt the hearts of the heartbreakers” and, in Odette’s own words, “take the money of those who are just plain heartless” with a unique blend of soul music from the Soul Atomics and guests artists including Clare Nina Norelli, Chris Callam (The Witches), Donovan de Sousa (The Accumulated Gestures) and Owen Hopwood. The night also featured guests appearances from a number of talented artists of the spoken word who shared some of their experiences as a heart breaker or heart broken person including from Bonnie Davies, Tom Mathieson and David Smith.

The Saturday evening show got started a little late due to some unforeseen circumstances, when it got under way the crowd were introduced to the host of the evening Miss Odette Mercy as her Soul Atomics played their theme music. After an introduction explaining the importance of love and how love has been destroyed by an uncaring and heartless world Odette lead the audience in a new song “Heart Brake” where she encouraged the audience to slow it down and put on the heart brake over the next hour to be revitalised and ready to love again if heart broken, to show the gathered heart breakers the damage their heart breaking ways could cause and and the heartless…well maybe they could grow a heart? The song was completed with a series of actions to help build a relationship between Odette Mercy and the audience during the chorus of the song.

The evening continued with the lyrical contemplations of Owen Hopwood and his song “Waiting” where he melted the hearts of people and made them wonder how any woman would possible keep this man waiting.

Tien Tran, a local Perth comedian, took to the stage and shared a comical account of his love life and the misfortunes that have happened to him. He shared especially about a relationship he had which was so intense and he became the heart breaker and really hurt someone that was quite special very badly. His honesty and sincerity left the audience speechless.

This sharing lead perfectly into the next musical item for the evening, Clare Nina Norelli, who sand a heart wrenching and moving version of En Vogue’s hit from 1996, “Don’t Let Go”.

Odette Mercy wanted to provide some release for people gathered and some heart healing powers. She invited a female member of the audience forward who had been heart broken to be swooned by the MC rappings of three of Perth’s finest MCs. DVS, Rae and Kid Deus were instructed to put into rap how they would swoon the lovely lady and treat her right if she picked them to escort her back to her seat. With promises ranging from KFC to diamonds and walks on the beach it was the big voice and heart of Rae that won the honour of escorting the lovely lady back to her seat.

The evening continued with a poem from local hip hop artist Mathas whose use of words explored the darker feelings of depression that comes with a messy breakup. This was followed by another local story teller, Lawrence Ashford, who shared a story about his first love as an adult and the loss of her when he made the decision to move to London. He was talking about his first car.

Chris Callam was the final guest artist for the evening with a rendition of a version of one of his band’s, “The Witches”, original works.

The evening concluded with a final song from Odette Mercy written specifically for the Heart Break Dance. “Ain’t Nothing You Can Do” a hard grooving tune featured Simon Montgomery on tenor saxophone.

A huge thanks to everyone who came along to The Heart Break Dance, the entire evening was a huge success with Odette Mercy being nominated for the best overall act category at the Fringe World Festival. Odette Mercy and her Soul Atomics next booked show is on the 19th of February 2012 at the Grey Door Gallery in Claremont as a part of the Saturday Night Divas, a fundraiser for RTR FM. We hope to see you there.

Misty de Haan and Tye Chatfield Wedding Ceremony

Event Details

Band: Ceremony Duo – Vocalist Steph Ryan and Classical Guitarist Karl Hiller.

Date: Friday 28th October, 3:00pm

Venue: Ceremony Gardens, The Novotel Vines Resort, Swan Valley.

Misty de Haan and Tye Chatfield celebrated their wedding ceremony and reception at the Novotel Vines Resort in the Swan Valley in western Australia on Friday the 28th of October in the beautiful setting of the ceremony gardens. This intimate outdoor wedding setting was complimented by the vocal talents of Steph Ryan accompanied by Karl Hiller on classical guitar, this music was organised through Simon Montgomery and my team at the Wedding Music Planner.

Misty contacted The Wedding Music Planner back in early March to enquire into possibilities for their wedding ceremony, wanting something that would be affordable and compliment the intimate and personal atmosphere of the venue. Misty was referred to the Wedding Music Planner through the Wedding Music Planner facebook page and a recommendation from a friend who used the services of Simon Montgomery as a piano accompanist at a previous wedding ceremony. Other requirements that Misty was wanting for their ceremony included the musicians learning a specific processional song and instrumental music being available for the guests for the period of approximately half an hour at the conclusion of the ceremony.

I suggested a number of options for small groups ensembles for this wedding ceremony including vocal and guitar plus vocal and piano options, the one that I thought would work best was in booking Steph Ryan, one of the contemporary vocalists available for bookings. Steph has performed a number of wedding ceremonies around Perth through the Wedding Music Planner as well as with organist Michael Peters and with The Catholic Guy Ministry. I felt that her relaxed and outgoing nature plus attitude to work hard would be perfect for this show. I suggested to Misty the possibility of booking Steph with a piano accompanist, which was more than likely going to be myself, to provide the music for the ceremony with solo piano happening after the ceremony to continue to entertain the guests. Misty was interested in this option and asked if she could hear the duo perform her processional song “Can’t Wait to Marry You” which she had found on YouTube. We organised a time for Steph duo to go out and meet with Misty and Tye and perform the processional song for them. About a month prior to the meeting Misty got in contact with me asking if it was possible to change the piano accompaniment to a classical guitarist instead. I let her know that this would be no problem for the ceremony however for the meeting at her place it would not be possible to have the guitarist was not available, she was happy with this arrangement so the meeting went ahead with Steph singing and me accompanying on keys.

On Sunday 26th of June Steph and I headed out to Misty and Tye’s house in Forrestfield to meet with them, audition the processional song and also go through the details of their wedding ceremony. We arrived at around 2pm and were greeted by Misty who was very appreciative of us making the effort to drive out to meet with them. After brief introductions we headed out onto their back pergola area and setup out equipment and performed their processional song, Steph sang it brilliantly and Misty was very happy to confirm the booking straight away. Misty wasn’t sure what she wanted for her recessional hymn at this point in time, they were thinking of “Signed Sealed Delivered”, we let her know that if she just get that information to us that would be fantastic. As a wedding planner I am loving meeting with clients and hearing about their story and the plans they have for their wedding day, every wedding is always unique and a reflection of the couple’s relationship.

In the coming weeks Misty had paid the deposit for the wedding music and sent me through the details of the wedding co-ordinator from the Vine, Jessica Terranova, for me to get in contact with and arrange a time to view the ceremony gardens. Upon contacting Jessica I made a time to view the area and get a good understanding of all the logistics of the day including setup, positioning of the band and the size of the area for PA purposes. Happy with all of this, I drew up diagrams for Steph and Karl to be able to follow and sent them via email to both of them. I have to thank Jessica and her team at the Vines Resort, they were really helpful and supportive of everything that we needed to make the wedding music a success, I found her organisation skills and abilities to be fantastic.

On the day of the wedding ceremony I spent an hour in the morning testing the PA system to ensure that everything was going to work smoothly and properly for their day. Steph Ryan came by in the middle of the day and collected the sound system plus the additional information that I had prepared for her and Karl outlining the various elements of the ceremony and gave her some business cards to be distributed if guests were interested in booking them. One of these elements included outlining exactly where they needed to setup as there were tow options available depending on where Misty and Tye had decided to have the main proceedings occur. Misty and Tye opted to have the main fountain as the centre piece with the formal proceedings occurring in front of this. To accommodate this Steph and Karl setup the music equipment off to the right hand side of the fountain in shade of a pergola.

Upon arriving at the ceremony location Steph and Karl met with the celebrant and the on duty co-ordinator at the Vines to run through any last minute details, both the celebrant and the co-ordinator were easy to work which made the entire ceremony a much easier experience.

The wedding celebration was a beautiful intimate for Misty and Tye and their close family and friends. Entering to the song “Can’t Wait to Marry You” Misty and her bridesmaids looked absolutely stunning and stole the show. The music provided was the perfect accompaniment and added to the atmosphere of the ceremony very well, Karl’s classical acoustic guitar was beautiful and elegant in its sound and timbre. The ceremony concluded with Misty and Tye leaving to the Stevie Wonder classic “Signed Sealed and Delivered” which was received very well by the guests gathered. For the next half an hour after the ceremony Karl continued to entertain the guests int he ceremony gardens with a range of songs from his diverse classical repertoire, this provided a pleasant atmosphere with a touch of class that people could appreciate whilst carrying on their conversation at a great ease. Karl performed at the perfect level of volume.

A huge thanks to Steph and Karl for doing a fantastic job with providing the music for this wedding, their professionalism and skill really added to the event and I am already excited at the prospect of them doing some more shows through the Wedding Music Planner in the near future. Thank you and congratulation also to Misty and Tye for the opportunity to organise and plan their wedding ceremony music, we wish you every success and happiness in the coming years as you embark on your life together as husband and wife.

The Wedding Music Planner is Simon Montgomery’s music management booking service that specialises in the provision of music for wedding ceremonies and receptions as well as other private and corporate functions. He prides himself in providing excellent professional musicianship at a reasonable cost. For more information or to book music for your next event contact the Wedding Music Planner.

The Pimps of Sound Thursday 27th October 2011

Gig Details:

Band : The Pimps of Sound

Date : Thursday 27th October 2011

Time : 11:00pm

Venue : The Shed, Northbridge.

The Pimps of Sound performed as a part of an evening of original music held at the Shed in Northbridge on Thursday the 27th of October 2011. The evening, consisted of three local groups and covered a wide spectrum of music genres with the soulful grooves of the Amani Consort first up, followed by the high energy Dilip and the Davs with the Pimps of Sound concluding the evening. The Pimps of Sound, a project run by drummer Zen Fusion and bass player Rob Ferrari, contacted me to play saxophone and also enlisted the help of MC Aysha Amani to perform with them for this show.

The first act for the evening was Aysha Amani’s new outfit, the Amani Consort. This four piece started their set just after 9:00pm and set up a great groove that the growing audience really appreciated. The professionalism of this group, quality of their original compositions and their arrangements as well as the flow of songs throughout the entire set managed to get the audience up on the dance floor and dancing along.

Dilip and the Davs, the second band for the evening, brought their usual high energy and fun vibe to the stage. The intensity that this local band from Freo perform at every time always ensures that the crowd get an entertaining and enjoyable experience. It was great to see that the large following this band has in Fremantle came up to Northbridge to support the show, the dance floor being packed from their first to last song is a testament to the excellence in entertainment that is produced from Dilip and his sidemen.

The evening was finished with the performance from the Pimps of Sound. There were a few technical delays at the start of the set, the full electronic kit being used by Zen Fusion was being temperamental and there were problems with the amount of signal that was being sent to the front of house mix. This show was an important one for the Pimps as it was being recorded and video for a live demo to produced to use as promotional work for the group.

After overcoming the technical issues the band started with the song “Cubious” written by Zen Fusion. This tune featured a saxophone solo at the beginning of the tune over the synthesiser looped chords before the drums and bass came in with the groove. I was using an effects pedal throughout the evening, having a number of effects including distortion, harmonisers and various reverbs all programmed in. For this first song I was using a heavy and rather wet reverb with delay to really give the floating sound over the top of the grooves being laid down by the Pimps. In the bridge of this tune I would change to my harmoniser effect to give a fuller / horn section sound.

This song was finished with a saxophone solo in which I needed to modulate into the key of the next song “The Concept of Love”. Making sure that Zen Fusion could see me I cued the chords for the next tune and the sample pad in when I was ready and in the right key. Unfortunately there still seemed to be problems with the levels of the various pads with on stage everything feeling and sounding extremely loud. A highlight of this song for me was listening to MC Amani step up to the mic and MC her way through the various sections. Her skill with the ability to rhyme and play with the sense of time really provided great tension and release for the song. It was also an enjoyable one for the two of us to feed off each other ideas wise from an improvisation point of view.

A huge thanks must go to the Audio Engineer on the evening for the work they did to get everything up and running with the electronic music of the Pimps of Sound. Thanks also to the Pimps for the opportunity to perform with them, it’s always a fun experience for me, to Rob Ferarri for all of his work in organising the evening and to the Amani Consort and Dilip and the Davs for their entertaining sets. Finally I’d like to extend a huge thanks to Aysha Amani, it proved to be a pleasure for me again to be able to play a gig with her and hopefully we will get another chance to do it again in the near future.

The next show I have booked in at this point in time isn’t until the 10th of November when I will be playing down at Mojos in North Fremantle with Odette Mercy and her Soul Atomics in support of Randa and the Soul Kingdom’s upcoming album launch. If you are in Fremantle on that night I hope to see you there!

St Thomas Big Band – Saturday 8th October 2011

Gig Details

Band : St Thomas Big Band

Date : Saturday 8th October 2011

Time : 11:00am – 1:00pm

Venue : The Perth Royal Show

The St Thomas Big Band had their debut performance at the Perth Royal Show on saturday the 8th of October 2011 from 11:00am to 1:00pm on the Carter Lawn Band Stand. The band entertained the crowd with an hour and half worth of big band music from across many genres including swing, latin, funk, ballads and jazz standards and featured solos from many of the members of the band.

At 11:50am the band launched into their set with the well known funk tune “Chameleon” written and recorded originally by Herbie Hancock on the Head Hunters album. The start was a little later than we had anticipated with there being a mixup in communication from the Royal Agricultural Society’s but this didn’t dampen either the band’s or the audiences spirits. The tune featured solos by Patrick van der Moezel on tenor saxophone, David Tran on alto saxophone, Michael Evans on trumpet and Gavin Nicklette on piano.

The conclusion of this song musical genres with a move back into the traditional Big Band style made famous by Count Basie with the tune “Splanky”. This hard swinging 12 bar blues saw the band demonstrate their diversity in performing a wide range of jazz tunes and genres and utilised the full diversity of instrumentalist. The initial melody presented by muted trumpets and Mason Tores on flute before the saxophone section joined the trumpets in the second chorus of the melody in a call and response style. Patrick van der Moezel launched into a tenor saxophone solo which was tasteful and showed an understanding of the Basie sound and style. At the conclusion of this solo the band, driven by Steve Connaughton on drums, launched into the band shout chorus that provided a great contrast in dynamic to the intimate sound that had been previously communicated throughout the song. This chorus lead into a piano solo performed by the band’s other pianist, Daryl Pranata.

The band moved from Basie to the other name synonymous with big band music for their next tune with a rendition of the ballad “In a Sentimental Mood”. This tune featured tenor saxophonist Patrick van der Moezel in a rubato style first 8 bars of the melody accompanied by Daryl Pranata on piano before the band joined to accompany him with some tasteful backing lines. The solo began in usual time before changing to a double time feel in the ninth bar of the solo to add some contrast to the piece. The melody was presented by the trumpet section with a counter melody in the saxes when the solo reached the bridge, throughout this Patrick continued to improvise with a great deal of sensitivity over the top of the band. At the end of the song the trumpets brought back in the melody in the original time before Patrick took over the melody for the final section of the song. The crowd were really appreciative of Patrick’s performance of this song with a large applause being given to him.

Steve Connaughton launched into the beginning of the band’s next tune, “Sing, Sing, Sing”, this high energy number featured Steve’s solo abilities with the drums having numerous solos between each section of the song and included an open solo before the band presented the last melody of the song. Some highlights of this tune included the sizzling trumpet lead lines that stretched the trumpet section’s chops. Andrew Boyes, a current student from Aquinas College, was performing the fourth trumpet part for this gig in his first appearance with the big band and was a big addition to the sound required for this tune to be a success.

To finish what would have been the end of the first set the band performed the tune “Superstition” a well known funk tune by Stevie Wonder. This arrangement has a couple of challenging parts that provide great tension and release for the listener by changing the time signature into a 3/4 cross rhythm figure. This chart featured solos by Michael Evans on trumpet and David Tran on the alto saxophone. The rhythms section lay down a great groove throughout this tune which was built upon by the sharp and tight lines by all of the horns, a special mention should go to Gavin Nicklette on the electric clavinova who really is the main driving force throughout the tune.

The “second set” got underway straight away with the band performing the next two tunes back to back in “Summertime” and “Shiny Stockings”. The arrangement of the well known Gershwin tune “Summertime” featured the various sections of the band including the trumpet section for the melody with Michael Evans having the lead solo and solo in the middle of the song, a lively saxophone soli section and then a band shout chorus before the melody was revisited by Michael Evans. The Basie standard written by tenor saxophonist Frank Foster “Shiny Stockings” heavily featured the saxophone section with a soli in the introduction as well as a full chorus soli later in the song. The main melody featured the brass section of the ensemble and demonstrated the band’s ability to layback on the beat to really make the tune swing over the jazz 2 feel being laid down by the rhythm section. In traditional Basie writing the highlights of this song would have to have been the use of dynamics in the full band soli. The sparseness of the rhythm section and tasteful drum fills by Steve Connaughton all added to the intensity of the tune and made it enjoyable for all who had stopped to listen.

Alto Saxophonist David Tran, was featured in the next song that the St Thomas Big Band performed – “Body and Soul”. This jazz standard made famous by tenor saxophonist Coleman Hawkins, featured luscious backing lines and chordal figures from the horn section throughout the “A” section of the piece before the saxophone section performed the first part of the bridge with David taking back over the melody for the final part of the tune. The solo was directed to move into a double-time feel with David’s improvisation soaring over the top of  various swinging band figures and section solis. Arguably the climax of the song came when the trumpet section brought the melody of the tune back in at the original tempo and time feel at the conclusion of the solo before David restated the last part of the melody and finished with a memorable solo cadenza.

The band was now getting towards the end of its time performing and the audience continued to grow in size as Tim Fiori playing the bass part started the funk song “King Strutt”. This funky twelve bar blues builds in its intensity right from the beginning with the addition of each section starting with drums and then followed by the remaining rhythm section, lower brass, saxes and finally trumpets. This catchy tune has a melody presented by the trumpets and saxophones at various stages with short band breaks to add diversity and interest to the entire song. The open solo section featured Patrick van der Moezel and David Tran on alto saxophone with the band providing backing stabs over the 12 bar blues on each soloist’s final chorus.

“O Lady Be Good” another well known George Gershwin tune was the second last tune for the St Thomas set. The band provided a great deal of energy in the introduction between the chordal hits in the brass and rhythm section to accompany the smooth flowing arpeggiated lines of the saxophones, the sound being reminiscent of the introduction to a musical from the 1920s and 1930s, before the melody was presented by the David Charlesworth on trumpet, David Tran on alto saxophone and Mason Tores on flute. This arrangement featured a solo by trumpeter David Charlesworth over the first half of the song form before David Tran took over the solo at the bridge on alto saxophone. The band’s introduction figured was re-introduced to which provided a dramatic build into a spirited saxophone soli that was performed with great energy and enthusiasm. At the conclusion of the saxophone solo Tim Fiori’s bass solo lead into a pyramid build throughout the band starting with the lower brass and trumpets before the addition of the saxophones into a key change and revisiting of the last part of the melody by the entire band. This key change provided the perfect climax and conclusion to a great chart and was quickly followed by a generous round of applause from an appreciative audience.

After a short break the St Thomas Big Band launched into their final song of the set “The Chicken” by Jaco Pastorius. This song, one of the band’s favourites, starts with the traditional soul introduction which featured tenor saxophonist Patrick van der Moezel and bass player Tim Fiori as well as drum fills by Steve Connaughton prior to the familiar bass riff commencing. The band’s energy lifted throughout this song with the trumpets reaching for the high stabs and playing parts of the melody up the octave. Soloists for this song included Patrick van der Moezel on tenor saxophone, Ermerson Brophy on baritone saxophone, Gavin Nicklette on Piano and Simon Montgomery on soprano saxophone. The band brought back in the melody at the conclusion of the solo section and finished with the tight ending with the rhythm section locking in on the last melodic phrase to provide a professional and slick end to a great set.

This show at the Perth Royal Show for the St Thomas Big Band was a very enjoyable one and only managed to occur due to the hard work and commitment of many members of the band. Thanks has to go to the band members for their tireless efforts and commitment, the Royal Agricultural Society for the opportunity and a special thanks to Chris McMillan, director of culture at Aquinas College, for his help in organising the new look band shirts and uniform that was worn for the first time for this event.

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Odette Mercy and her Soul Atomics – Sunday 16th October 2011

Gig Details

Band : Odette Mercy and her Soul Atomics

Date : Sunday 16th October 2011

Time : 2:00pm – 4:00pm

Venue : The Fremantle Arts Centre

On Sunday the 16th of October Odette Mercy and her Soul Atomics took to the stage setup in the Fremantle Arts Centre Courtyard to entertain a gathering crowd for the Courtyard Music Series, a free concert series supported by the Fremantle Arts Centre and 720ABC featuring some of the best local Western Australian music talent.

The day was a really warm one with the temperature reaching over 35 degrees for the first time since the previous summer season, all the crowd enjoyed an afternoon in the sun having a beer or wine whilst the Soul Atomics entertained in their stylish black suits. This show was booked at as a two set show meaning that it would use up the majority of the current Soul Atomics repertoire, some of which it had been a while since we had performed live due to a lot of the recent shows being one set “super sets”. Another exciting aspect of this show is that it is the first show we had done in a while where all the members of the band were present with Jamie Searle being back on guitar for the first show since returning from being on tour with the Grace Barbe band.

Our first set commenced just after 2:00pm with the shortened version of the “Soul Atomics Theme” which is performed at the beginning and ending of every set of music. The first part of the set contained all the standard segues and smooth transitions between songs that have become expected from the Soul Atomics with the tunes “Up to You”, “You’ve Got Soul”, “You Won’t Find Me” and “Box Me In” all performed to start off the set and set a high energy and soul moving atmosphere which saw members of the crowd get up and start dancing at the front of the stage.

The Soul Atomics moved into the instrumental “New Orleans” at the conclusion of “Box Me In”. This fun loving piece was the perfect fit for a day that felt like the middle of summer with its light and happy summer vibes and grooves. The song featured solos from Simon Montgomery on tenor saxophone and Jimmy Murphy on trumpet and was received with great appreciation from a crowd that continued to build in size.

The set continued with Odette Mercy singing the soul ballad “When You Say My Name” which featured a trumpet solo from Jimmy Murphy. At the conclusion of this song the Soul Atomics continued with another instrumental, “Ogg’s Groove” written in honour of drummer Jason Ogg and featuring his favourite drum groove. This hard moving funky tunes featured solos by both horns with the first part of each solo taking part over a minor tonic chord vamp before the chorus chords are brought in to finish the solo.

The Soul Atomics finished the set with “What Do I Have to Do?” a song that has become a crowd favourite due to Miss Odette Mercy’s interaction with the crowd. In asking members of the audience what she should do to get her man back after treating him poorly Odette Mercy was given a very unique answer at this show – “Give him steak and guinness pie” one male member of the audience called out. Another gentleman suggested that she “Give Him Money”apparently, to him at least, money can buy you love.

The band finished the first set with the “Soul Atomics Theme” before taking a well earned set break for the next 20 minutes.

The second set commenced with the performance of the full “Soul Atomics Theme” this song is only performed in its entirety at shows where we play more than one set of music, with today’s show it featured a tenor saxophone solo by Simon Montgomery before Zen Fusion laid out some funky hits on the drum it. The conclusion of this song saw Jamie Searle commence the catchy guitar hook at the start of the instrumental tune “Booby Trap”. This song features the horn players trading in the solo section starting with 8 bars before moving to 4s then 2s in the bridge before both improvising simultaneously over the last ‘A’ section of the song. There was some good interaction between the horns on this show and they managed to build an atmosphere of excitement especially throughout the bridge section of the song leading back into the final ‘A’ section.

Zen Fusion moved straight into the familiar crotchet snare rhythm of “Wait in Vain” at the conclusion of “Booby Trap” being joined by the guitar before both horns and bass entered after 8 bars of rest. This high energy soul number got the crowd up dancing for the first time since the set break which set the perfect mood into the slower and more soulful “Baby”. Keeping the “romantic” vibe the band continued after “Baby” with the ballad “Call on Me” which featured Jimmy Murphy on trumpet for a solo over the “A” sections of the song.

The band started the concluding sequence of tunes with “Gold Digger” followed by “Tell it Like it is”, “Fear of the Feeling” and “How Many Times”. These songs, all high energy numbers kept the crowd up and dancing on their feet for the next 20 minutes with Odette Mercy’s powerful commanding the attention and respect of every listener in the audience and Simon Montgomery’s saxophone solos providing an energy that complemented the heavy grooves being set down by the rhythm section.

The set concluded with the “Soul Atomics Theme” which was met with applause and calls for an encore from an appreciative audience.

Thanks to the Fremantle Arts Centre for the opportunity to perform as a part of the Courtyard Music Series as well as to the many people who came along and supported us. The Soul Atomics next gig is not until the 10th of November when we will be at Mojos in North Fremantle supporting Randa and the Soul Kingdom in their album launch being held on that night. My next show booked is on the 27th of October at the Shed in Northbridge with drum and bass group “The Pimps of Sound”. I hope to see you at one of my upcoming gigs soon.

Odette Mercy and her Soul Atomics Saturday 8th October 2011

Gig Details

Band : Odette Mercy and her Soul Atomics

Date : Saturday 8th October 2011

Time : 10:30pm – 11:30pm

Venue : The William Street Bird

I returned to the William Street Bird with Odette Mercy and her Soul Atomics on Saturday the 8th of October for an evening celebrating a diversity in original music. We were sharing the bill on this night with The Love Junkies, an original dirty blues grunge act that is having an impact on the Perth original scene at the moment.

The show started for us at 3:00pm in the afternoon with the sound check n at the venue. we were really happy and excited to get the opportunity to do a sound check as the Bird had a new sound operator in there who we had never worked with before. This check served two purposes for us, firstly to get to meet the new sound operator Chris who is a great guy and really easy to work with, and secondly a chance to have our dep. drummer, Wade Saunders, have a last run through of all the transitions between songs. This sound check went really well and we all left feeling good about the set we’d be playing that evening and with the levels we had in our fold backs.

The doors open at the William Street Bird quite early and they have DJ entertainment happening in the early parts of the evening. I arrived there at around 8:30pm and after dropping my things off headed off to grab something to eat and chill out a little before the gig. At 9:30pm I heard The Love Junkies start their set from where I was having dinner down the road, they produced a high energy set of original music that really got the crowd involved and interested. The only down side to the set was probably the overall volume which, unless you had earplugs, was probably a little on the louder side. The quality of their original tunes and the tightness of the group was absolutely phenomenal and are definitely a group that if you get a chance you should go and see them in the future.

At 10:20pm The Love Junkies finished their set and the Soul Atomics took to the the stage. We began our set just after 10:30pm with the familiar sounds of the “Soul Atomics Theme”. Our band looked a little different tonight than the usual lineup with both our drummer, Zen Fusion, trumpeter, Jimmy Murphy, and guitarist, Jamie Searle all being unavailable due to other prior commitments. Filling in for them on this evening were Wade Saunders, Al McEvoy and Karl Hiller, our horn section comprised of two saxes for this show with myself on alto saxophone and Al McEvoy on tenor.

The band launched from “Theme into Up to You” with Wade Saunders not missing a beat between the two songs which have totally different feels. All of the solos for this gig were kept short as we did have specific time restrictions placed on us that we had keep to at all costs. Despite this shortened solo format Karl Hiller launched into a killer guitar solo which got the crowd grooving, the backing horns provided from half way through the solo added that increased level of intensity before Odette Mercy brought the melody back in.

The band continued on their opening sequence of of songs with the hard grooving soul tune “You’ve Got Soul” this guitar driven number took the atmosphere in the room to a whole new level of soul defying goodness. Odette Mercy charmed the crowd throughout the song with her conversation with the the crowd and encouragement of the band to push harder into the groove. The groove was continually laid down by a strong foundation from Wade Saunders and Jon Fernandes with Karl Hiller’s guitar solo being the icing on the cake. The band pushed right through the tune and into “You Won’t Find Me” with the melody presented up a tone in the horns for the first 4 bars before dropping to the original key and the catchy guitar riff taking over control of the song. At the conclusion of this shortened version of this hard grooving soulful tune Karl Hiller led the band into “Box ME In” a tune that featured the tenor saxophone of Alistair McEvoy. The intro of this tune, driven largely by guitar with hits coming from the bass and drums kicks into a high energy groove after 8 bars with the horns presenting a catchy melodic riff that is repeated throughout the tune. Alistair McEvoy carved it up on the tenor saxophone with a powerful solo that got the crowd involved and dancing hard at the front of the dance floor.

The end of the song lead straight into “What’ll I Have To Do?” a tune that has become a favourite with both the band and the crowd. In this song Miss Odette Mercy is singing about what does she have to do to get her man back after she has treated him badly…the answers we get on some nights are quite interesting (sometimes they are very lame at he same time). Tonight’s gig had a great vibe and so we were hoping for some good answers from the crowd…the answers weren’t overly entertaining this night but the body gestures that went with them sure were. The final one of three I remember very vividly of a lady informing Odette that she need to “work it” and well let’s just say I will leave the rest to your imagination on what went with that.

Wade Saunders lead the band into the song “Wait in Vain” one of the tunes we recorded earlier in the year with trombonist Fred Wesley. This tune is driven largely by the snare of the drums as well as distinct guitar riff. The conclusion of this song leads straight into the hard hitting “Baby” which features a horn soli introduction and some great harmonised horn stabs in the breakdown before the bridge of the song.

The Soul Atomics then took the insensity of the set down for a tune with “When You Say My Name” a ballad that I love playing. The lyrics in this song I believe are so heartfelt and that when combined with the sensitivity of the guitar riffs and the light horns really create a beautiful atmosphere for couples to grow that little bit closer.

The set continued to build in its intensity from here through to the end of the evening with the tune “Gold Digger” which featured Karl Hiller on guitar and Alistair McEvoy on the Tenor Saxophone. The song segues straight away into the beginning of “Tell it Like it is” and normally I have to do a quick saxophone change from tenor to alto at this point. Due to having two saxes on the gig I didn’t have to do a sax change at all – this was very nice for me! Our set continued with segues between “Tell it Like it is” into “Fear of the Feeling” with “How Many Times?” to finish with.

At the end of the set we were greeted with a roaring ovation and the crowd wanting more songs to be played, unfortunately due to time restrictions we weren’t able to indulge them with anymore songs.

A huge thanks must go to the William Street Bird for having us there to play, we really enjoyed ourselves. For those interested our next gig is coming up on Sunday the 16th October down in Fremantle at the Fremantle Arts Centre from 2 – 4pm, it’s a free gig so we hope that you can get down and support us as we do our thing.

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