Sunday, 30 November 2008

Oren Marshall & The Charming Transport Band @ The Shed, 29th November 2008

Tonight The Shed welcomes Oren Marshall who I have heard be called, ‘Hendrix of the Tuba’ now this made me wonder what the hell was going to happen? Turns out he was in a dance to my African riddim’s mood rather than a Hendrix freak out, and you know what that’s fine by me.

Oren kicked things off by wandering around the room blowing what only can be described, as Jazzberry’s also know as the Jazz Raspberry along with some more rhythmic low end grunting. He even came at me and made me put my balls in his Tuba, which to be fair I was more than willing to do. After he had freaked out a nice section of the crowd with his testicular jazz march he made his way to the stage and the full band joined him.

This was no ordinary band this was The Transport Band. It featured well let me give you a roll call…

The line-up:
Oren Marshall (UK) – tuba
Afla Sackey (Ghana) - atenteben, vocals, percussion
Yaw Asumadu (Ghana) - djembe, congas
Annor Asamoah (Ghana) - gome drum
Nana Kwesi (Ghana) - keyboards
King David Sobiyi (Nigeria) - guitar
Julian Siegel (UK) - alto sax
Miles James (UK) - guitar.

So that gives you a little bit of a flavour of what was in store. A mish-mash of tuba led jazz and high-life was the call of the night. As always The Shed needs a little bit of a wakeup call, it is a sleepy village hall in rural North Yorkshire after all. This meant the first half was a little bit mellow in the crowd at least. The grooves where subtle, yet had some of the funkiest vibes I have heard for a while.

Jazz was the mainstay of half one, the tuba set the groove as the percussion which featured congas, drums and a gome that is pretty much a plywood box with a dude sat on it, lay down one hell of a rhythmic bed for the jazz improvisation to really get things going.
So as pockets of people got there bop on and other slowly nodded their heads. The kids at the front behaved and got praised from Oren as did we all, Pat’s on the backs all round…

By the time part two kicked of though and the crowd made up of locals and madmen had had some of that special local ale Shed Bitter down them, everyone was ready to move.

And they knew it, so picked up the pace by hitting us with the High-Life. The tempo came up, the grooves got hectic and the funk got rolling. Each track pretty much featured an improvised section from each artist then ended with them playing off each other then back into the groove. Improvised sections even got cheers and claps.

The vocalists brought a heavy African influence to the table along with the percussion this melted together with the jazz so well it was a perfect fit. Things really heated up when they worked the crowd with some work out style double time dance manuva’s. Even if it looked a bit like a mad line dancing class it was great fun and there was smiles all round.

Oren then let us know he was recording the set so as soon as that appears on his site I will link it on here right away just so you can get The Shed flavour from your home.

Some of my favourite moments must be when the two guitarists played off each other in a solid groove, just building the tension in the dance until you couldn’t help but move. Sax man Siegel was on form too when he really took over and let fly to make some hypnotic segments, when him and King David Sobiyi on guitar played off each other it was pretty special. The Gome drum was pretty damn special too, I couldn’t believe some of the beats coming out of that. The whole band was tight as hell and ready to roll. Orem kept it all in check and everyone did their thing.

To finish things off after some hardcore claps and stamps Oren Marshall and The Charming Transport Band picked up the pace even more with some super fast soca style beats. They gave us a warning to get those feet moving fast. This just kept going with improvisation after groove after improvisation until people had to sit down and the bar was drunk dry.

The Shed pull off another quality night.

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