Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Strictly Smokin' Big Band feat. Anthony Strong - Hoochie Coochie - Review

Strictly Smokin’ Big Band feat. Anthony Strong 
Hoochie Coochie 
Sept 20th 2015 

This was a smooth and sophisticated way to spend an early Sunday evening.  The Hoochie Coochie is not the biggest space to fit a 19 piece band so there was a bit of a Tardis like effect - tucked snugly into the corner  the band sounded bigger than they appeared! This also led to an intimate and friendly musical experience - the audience was close to the band and it felt very inclusive. 
The band played three sets. The first with vocalists Lindsay Hannon who has a suitably smoky sultry voice, and the rather cool F'reeze. The sound is smooth and just a little bit sexy, with all the swing and swagger you’d expect of a big band.
After the first break they were joined by Anthony Strong and the mood changed just slightly...he brought a sense of fun and vitality, talking to the audience and introducing each number with an anecdote. His fingers flew across  the keys producing the most fabulous sound and drawing approving and impressed looks from the trombonists alongside! Anthony played two sets, with a mix of upbeat and slow numbers, the well known favourites, a couple of surprises - Stevie Wonder for the big band sound - and some of his own work, including the very beautiful and rather sad Learning to Unlove You.
All in all a great set that had toes tappin' and heads bobbin'. Excellent music in an excellent setting.

Listen to more of the band at and Anthony Strong at

Denise Sparrowhawk

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