The New Cabal
The New Cabal @ La Bohème
10:00pm 9:30pm, Wed 11 Mar 2015
As I had scurried towards La Bohème, I remember checking my watch: I was just around the corner, with three minutes to go before the scheduled start time of The New Cabal (who have a semi-regular Wednesday-night gig at La B). I eased my scurry into a walk; but, as I turned the corner onto Grote Street, I could hear music spilling out of the club… they’d started early. It’s only later that I discover that the group had decided on a 9:30pm kickoff to maximise their time with their special guests: Kenneth Salters on drums and James Muller (no relation) on guitar.
La Bohème was near capacity, and it was only after the first set finished that I managed to find a comfortable spot to watch the performance. Lyndon Gray still leads the group on double bass, with Chris Martin on keys, and Chris Soole a crowd favourite on sax; far from being the smoky jazz I’ve come to expect from The New Cabal, the first set had a very bluesy feel, mainly due to Muller’s guitar work. Salters was also prominent early, plunging into a fantastic drum solo that
didn’t want to end; he almost seemed resentful when the others played over him. His dominant use of sticks, rather than brushes, also changed the feel of the group a bit.
Barely anyone left whilst the boys took a breather, and the second set kicked off with a familiar sounding Cabal piece (Solar?). As they shifted into longer jazzy pieces, Salters would drop short drum solos into proceedings; the closing number was utterly brilliant, Salters underpinning the entire piece between final solos… before a great blues breakdown teased us before petering out into a soft climax.
I am so glad that I caught this gig; whilst I’ve enjoyed The New Cabal’s work in the past, the addition of the amazing Kenneth Salters on drums was a masterstroke. Whilst that pushed the music more towards blues, rather than jazz, it was still an awesome collection of tunes that had everyone in La Bohème – even those that were uncomfortably standing – tapping their feet and hooting in appreciation.
— Pete Muller (@festivalfreakAU) March 11, 2015