Following their recent appearance at the Northern Electric festival, local electronic jazz act ’Grey Tapes’ find themselves playing a smaller, less ‘mad for it’, perhaps more jazz studious crowd formed out of members of the Gosforth Civic Theatre Jazz Club. Presumably in anticipation of the different audience, the Tapes play an altered set and in a more relaxed, gentler, musical style, still managing to blur the lines between classic jazz (stand up bass and live drums) and modern electro (3 synthetic/drum machine players). The result is the creation of musical soundscapes landing somewhere between the more expansive moments of Underworld and the quieter parts of Roni Size’s Reprazent. Even when changing their style, the Tapes maintain interesting and original ideas and an inclusive live show.
Headliners Kinkajous take to the stage not long after for what is their first visit to the city. Whilst some material comes from their most recent EP (‘All kinds’) the majority of the tonight’s tracks are taken from recently written tracks scheduled to land on a new album. Led brilliantly by Adiren Cau, the bands central point on bass clarinet/sax. Kinkajous create an upbeat acid jazz styled sound full of structure and improvisation. Held tightly by a strong rhythm section, including wonderfully bouncing bass lines provided by Andres Castellanos, Cau goes off in search of answers to deep questions and finds emotive melodies. Tonight’s highlight ‘On hiatus’ steals the show with it’s technical delivery and altering, complex, drum parts, together forming the basis for jazz experimentation within the construct of electronica. Cau’s solo improve is both hypnotic and jaw-dropping. Kinkajous came looking for answers, whether they found them or not only they’ll know, but they certainly helped the audience be intrigued by the questions. Let’s hope they’re back for their second visit soon.