[2013004] The New Cabal

[2013004] The New Cabal [FringeTIX]

The New Cabal @ La Bohème

10:30pm, Wed 13 Feb 2013

After arriving home from back-to-back theatre at Holden Street, I was feeling a bit beside myself: Dad was going into surgery tomorrow, it was to be my last day at work before holidays (necessitating a panicky handover), and… well, I was just feeling awful. Nervy, jumpy, unsettled.

But I knew that The New Cabal were on at La Bohème… so I figured that some jazz and a quiet glass of wine might help me calm down a little.

Off I trotted, arriving to find La B maybe half full. I grabbed a glass of pinot noir (no Alicante behind the bar now!) and sat at the cocktail table at the back of the room, by the door. I collapsed against the wall, sipping my red; this, I thought, is just what I needed.

And when The New Cabal started up, it was pretty much exactly what I was expecting – a standard double bass / drums / sax / keys combo meandering their way through half-a-dozen wandering numbers. Saxophonist Chris Soole wrote a couple of the pieces (and also looked familiar – was he part of Butt School?), Lyndon Gray’s double bass was amazingly quick, Chris Martin’s keys fleshed things out nicely, and Kevin van der Zwaag kept things moving along smoothly on drums.

Whilst my jazz knowledge is admittedly pretty shallow, it seemed like they played a full set of originals – Soole contributing a couple of tracks, and Martin’s contribution (One for the Road?) was a smokey, broody wonder. Sure, I forgot all my previous lessons from attending shows at La Bohème – sitting right at the back of the room, the bass and drums become muddy, overwhelmed by the sharp edges of keys and sax notes. But on the occasions they allow the bass to dominate – both upright and on the keys – it sounds amazing… and the band revels in it.

So I was thankfully chilling out, enjoying some tunes, thinking that this had been a brilliant idea… but the best was yet to come.

During their final piece (a solid bluesy Soole composition), a tattered individual enters La Bohème; his shoes were in his hands, and his white bandana (wrapped around his skull) shone like a beacon. After being instructed by staff to put his shoes on, he body-popped his way into a chair (that he removed and replaced with a flourish) and applied them to his feet; he then body-popped back to a standing position and started very physically grooving, eventually grazing one of the cocktail tables. Staff came over and suggested he leave; he listened intently to their suggestions, then body-popped his way out the door, yelling out “yeah… JAZZ!” as he left the building. But the truly great thing? Every pop, every noise, every movement was perfectly in time with the tune being played.

And that… well, that could be my Favourite Moment of the Fringe. And we’ve barely even started.

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