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.

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.

View a map of the location of the Fremantle Arts Centre

 

 

Odette Mercy and her Soul Atomics Friday 30th September 2011

Gig Details

Band : Odette Mercy and her Soul Atomics

Date : Friday 30th September 2011

Time : 9:30pm – 10:30pm

Venue : Artrage Bakery – Supporting Act – Booker T. Jones.

On Friday the 30th of September I played with Odette Mercy and her Soul Atomics as the supporting act for soul legend, Booker T. Jones at the Bakery, the Artrage venue in Northbridge. We had all been looking forward to this show ever since we discovered we were doing the support a couple of months ago as to be on the same bill as such an iconic legend was such a huge honour. We had to run a few extra rehearsals for this show largely due to our regular guitarist, and fill-ins, all being away. We called on the guitar talents of Dan Carrol from Sneaky Weasel Gang to fill in the void for the show.

We rocked up for our sound check at 7:30pm and set about running all the segues between songs, we had planned to make this the high energy set that we love to use for big events. I found sound check for this show fantastic as both Jimmy and I could hear our horns nice and clearly, something which is unfortunately not always a given. After finishing the soundcheck we had some down time until our set was due to start at 9:30pm, the doors opening at 9:00pm.

We started the set right on 9:30pm with our the usual “Soul Atomics Theme” which has become our standard introduction piece, the high energy horn lines and grooves from the rhythm section I felt really set the mood and intensity for the entire set. From the end of this tune we kicked straight into “Up to You” with Zen Fusion and Jon Fernandes taking the band to a higher level of intensity with the Afro grooves of this tune. The powerful vocals from Odette Mercy set the already growing crowd alive and made those still entering from outside take notice of this Perth band whose reputation around this town just continues to grow in stature. Both this song and the following song, “You’ve Got Soul”, featured our guest performer Dan Carrol who produced some melodic and very soulful solos that suited the mood and created excitement amongst the crowd.

At the end of “You’ve Got Soul” the band moved straight into the Bluesy tune “You Won’t Find Me” the horns presenting the catchy riff up a tone from the original key before modulating down into the standard key after the fourth bar. For this show we shortened this song, it provides some great contrast to the high energy set list that had already been presented and provides a chance for the audience to breathe before the tempo is picked up again with the next tune “Box Me In” which featured me on Tenor Saxophone.

At the conclusion of “Box Me In” Miss Odette Mercy’s warmth in personality and ability to charm the crowd came through as the band setup the Soul ballad “When You Say My Name”. This tune with the catchy guitar driven riffs and tasteful horn backing lines really provides a nice contrast to the rest of the band’s set and got the audience in a peaceful “loving” mood.

From the conclusion of “When You Say My Name” the intensity of the band’s set continues to build through until the final song. The guitar of Dan Carrol launched into the Funky grooves of “Gold Digger” which featured a tenor saxophone solo as well as a vocal break down from the whole band in the bridge of the song. At the conclusion of the tune Zen Fusion set up the segue to flow effortlessly into “Tell it Like it is” one of the tunes that were released earlier in the year as a part of the AA 7″ single. This tune and the next one “Fear of the Feeling” featured alto saxophone solos.

At the conclusion of “Fear of the Feelng’ we had run out of time so headed straight into the “Soul Atomics Theme” to conclude our set.

A huge thanks to everyone for allowing us to play one this night as the supporting act. We had a great time. Our next gig is coming up on Saturday the 8th of October at The William Street Bird in Northbridge. We hope to see you all down there for what will be an awesome night.

Odette Mercy and her Soul Atomics Friday 2nd September 2011

Gig Details

Band : Odette Mercy and her Soul Atomics

Date : Friday 2nd September 2011

Time : 11:00pm – 12:00am

Venue : Devilles Pad – Funk Club First Fridays “Soul Sugar”

Odette Mercy and her Soul Atomics returned to Devilles Pad for the first time since their debut single launch “Wait in Vain” back in april 2011 to be a part of the lineup for the Funk Club’s monthly “Soul Sugar”. The evening gave all signs of going to be a killer evening featuring not only the original tones of the Atomics and Miss Odette but also Junkadelic, DJs Pawel, Charlie Bucket and Jim Pearson as well as a live fire show from Valentino.

The Soul Atomics set was scheduled to start towards the end of the evening at 11:00pm and finishing right on midnight. The hour set that been organised was full of all the well known and loved original songs that the Soul Atomics having been playing around Perth for the past three years including “Wait in Vain”, “Up To You”, “You’ve Got Soul” and “Tell it Like it is”  to name only a few of the tunes. This gig was the first we we had done for a while back the reduced lineup of only two horns (myself on sax and Jimmy “the lips” Murphy on Trumpet) and we also had John Brown filling in on drums for Zen Fusion who was unavailable due to other gig commitments.

Just after 11:00pm the set started with the usual sounds of “The Soul Atomics Theme” setting the high energy and funky attitude that would follow throughout the entire set. To a roaring applause from the fairly full house Miss Odette Mercy took to the stage as the Soul Atomics segued into “Up To You” which featured the guitar skills of Jamie Searle in the solo section. Jamie was also featured on the following tune “You’ve Got Soul”. 

The next two songs, “Box Me In” and “Wait in Vain” featured me as the soloist on Tenor Saxophone and Alto Saxophone respectively. Unlike our previous few gigs all of the solo sections were reduced in length to try and fit as many songs into the one hour set as possible and keeping the focus where it should always remain on Miss Odette Mercy. At the conclusion of these songs the band segued straight into the soulful “Baby” from the first note of the extended horn introduction to the final hits performed by the band this song really sits in a great groove that everyone enjoys to listen to. Odette Mercy’s vocals carry a degree of authenticity and heart in them that I feel is rarely heard amongst singers performing today.

The song “What do I Have to do” came next and included the introduction performed by Jon Fernandes (bazz) and Jamies Searle (guitar) in a different key before modulating to the vocal key 8 bars before the vocals and horns enter. This tune featured an alto saxophone solo but this always plays second fiddle to the inclusion of Odette’s interaction with the crowd asking the age old question of “What do I have to do to get my man back when I treated him wrong?”. This evening provided some interesting answers including dancing for them (at which point two young ladies came forward to dance with each other), sing louder (that same old chestnut we hear every show) and get your “Jimmy Shimmy” on, a dance made up and performed on request by our trumpet Jimmy Murphy.

Jamie Searle launched into iconic riff of “Gold Digger” to start the phat groove of the next song. The horns, in with Odette Mercy, provided great support with tight punchy lines behind her powerful vocals. This song lead straight into the start of “Tell it Like it is” and really signals that the evening’s set is coming to a close with the tunes rounding up with “Fear of the Feeling” and “How Many Times” which featured John Brown on drums.

A huge thanks to the Funk Club, Fun Factory and Devilles for having us as a part of the bill for the night, we had a great time. An even greater thanks to everyone who came along and supported the evening the atmosphere you all created is what made the night the great success it was. The next Soul Atomics gig is booked currently for Friday the 30th of September at the Bakery supporting Booker T. This night will sell out so get your tickets early.

To keep in touch with my upcoming performance dates make sure you become a fan of my facebook page or connect with me via my website.

Odette Mercy and her Soul Atomics Friday 12th August 2011

Gig Details

Band :

Date : Friday 12th August – Saturday 13th August 2011

Time : 11:30pm – 3:00am

Venue : The Ellington Jazz Club

Odette Mercy and her Soul Atomics returned to Perth’s premiere jazz club venue, the Ellington, to entertain the crowds as a part of the “Late Night Groove Sessions” on Friday the 12th of August 2011.

After having had over a month since our last performance (The RTR Winter Music Festival on the 26th of June) we returned to what I personally believe is the best sounding stage in Perth. Whilst the vibe and atmosphere at the Ellington is totally different to any other place in Perth, it is a jazz club and not a pub or night club, I always love the appreciation of the crowds at the Ellington and also playing in an environment where at the end of the night I can leave and still feel like I can hear (it is also a great bonus that throughout the show I can always hear myself and the entire band clearly and not an overpowering level. This is largely due to the house sound engineer, Liam, every time I have played at the Ellington he has been in control of the sound desk and carries the responsibility of the atmosphere of the room and as of yet he hasn’t missed the mark once on any of the shows I have done there.

The evening of the show had some interesting factors right from the outset, Miss Odette Mercy was ill and would have have to push through barely being able to breathe in order for the show to go on plus a large portion of the band were having to get on a coach at 5am the next morning to head off to Kalgoorlie for a gig with the Funk Club House Band. This was also going to be the first time we had gone with a three piece horn section at the Ellington, having proved very successful at the album launches at the end of April, Alistair McEvoy rejoined the band on Tenor Saxophone whilst I (Simon Montgomery) moved to doubling between the Alto and Baritone Saxophones. This role of playing the baritone saxophone is one that I am thoroughly enjoying with this band, hopefully i will be able to continue to pick up more and more work as a baritone saxophone player as well as on the other instruments I play professionally.

The show started with our “Soul Atomics Theme” and straight into “Up To You”  one of the tunes which is featured on our recently released single “Wait in Vain”. Our opening segues moving from “Theme” to “Up to You” and then into “You’ve Got Soul” and “Wait in Vain” are really getting tight and were appreciated by the audience for the energy level was kept at a high throughout the first 20 minutes of the first set. The first four songs of the set feature Jamie Searle on guitar who produced some brilliant solos that really captured the heart of the songs and kept the audience captivated and interested.

The remainder of the first set continued to build the intensity set up by the band in the first 20 minutes. Solos from Alistair McEvoy, myself and Jimmy really kept the crowd sitting on the edge of their seats, with one audience member continually requesting more baritone sax solos throughout the set. Personally I felt the solos in Ogg’s Groove (an instrumental tune) were some of the best of the set with all three horns blowing powerful improvisations which were developed both rhythmically and melodically. Another highlight of the set came in the song “What’ll I Have To Do” when Miss Odette Mercy asks the audience for relational advice on “how to get her man back after treating him wrong”. For the first time in the band’s existence it felt like this segment of the night was going to fail (the crowd had no relational advice at all) until the final relational advice to “give him the best sex he has ever had”. 

The second set commenced with us playing the full Theme of the Soul Atomics, complete with solos from all the horns this tune really set the scene for the entire set. Unfortunately, quite a few people left in the break between the two sets (must’ve been because it was about 1:45am) but soon after we started more people started coming in off the street from other places around the city. The second set continued in the same vain as the first one finished, solo highlights included Al McEvoy on “Booby Trap” and “Gold Digger” as well as Simon Montgomery on the baritone saxophone on the song “Three Hip Cats”. The biggest highlight of the second set was the MC freestyle addition to “Gold Digger” which was appreciated by all of the band as much as all of the listeners.

The set concluded with the tunes “Gold Digger”, “Tell it Like it Is” and “Fear of the Feeling” segued together, over these songs all of the horns were featured soloists with Alistair McEvoy on “Gold Digger”, Simon Montgomery on “Tell it Like it Is” and all horns trading two bar sections on “Fear of the Feeling”. 

A huge thanks to the Ellington for the opportunity to be able to perform as a part of the late night groove sessions and to everyone who came along to support us on the evening. Our next performance is coming up in the next few weeks at Boheme, Perth’s latest club located in the centre of Perth. We hope to see you down there at it.

If you haven’t already checked out Odette Mercy’s New Single, make sure you check it out and buy it via download.

Odette Mercy and her Soul Atomics Saturday 26th June 2011

Gig Details:

Band : Odette Mercy and her Soul Atomics

Date : Saturday 26th June – Sunday 27th June 2011

Time : 11:30pm – 12:50am

Venue : The Swan Basement

Odette Mercy and her Soul Atomics contributed their services to this year’s RTR Winter Music Festival which was held in various venues throughout Fremantle, Western Australia over the weekend of the 26th – 27th of June 2011.

The Soul Atomics were asked to be the final act of the evening of the 26th of June at the Swan Venue, located on Queen Victoria Street, North Fremantle. The Soul Atomics took the stage just before midnight and had an hour to entertain the crowd with their soulful original tunes including the tunes “What in Vain” and “Up To You” which had just recently been released as the EP “Wait in Vain” a month earlier.

By the time the Soul Atomics launched into their first song, Soul Atomics Theme, the crowd had increased in size to be at capacity in this venue. The dance floor was filled to a point where it was difficult for people to do more than stand and watch whilst tapping their toes to these memorable tunes. The atmosphere created by such a large crowd was magnified by the dimensions of the room, being a basement gave the atmosphere of being rather in one of those well known underground clubs where local independent music is supported in New York City or London.

At the start of the second song, “Up to You”, the crowd gave a mighty raw as Miss Odette Mercy tok the stage for her first song of the evening. This song has a catchy 12/8 feel to it which creates a fantastic forward momentum which really helped set the mood and intensity for the remainder of the evening.

Miss Odette Mercy continued to entertain the crowd throughout the entire evening with her soulful and crisp vocals as well as her warm and welcoming personality. Highlights of the evening included her interaction with the crowd int he song “What’ll I have To Do” where she asked audience member for relationship advice to help her get her man back. The set continued to build in its intensity, especially from the start of the tune “Gold Digger” where a series of segues join the remainder of the set including the tunes “Tell it Like it is”, “Fear of the Feeling” and “How Many Times?”.

A huge thanks to RTR and the Sawn Basement for the opportunity to be a part of the Winter Music Festival and being able to show our support for the local music scene. Finally a huge thanks to everyone who came down and supported the show, the atmosphere and attitude of our supporters always makes playing our shows so much more enjoyable.

If you haven’t already checked out Odette Mercy’s New Single, make sure you check it out and buy it via download.

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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