Last night I attended a special concert event at the Wheatsheaf Hotel starring Hidden City. Hidden City comprises of Seb Tomczak and Lauren Sutter, Luke Harrald and Derek Pascoe and the ever-venerable Stephen Whittington. Seb and Lauren controlled an array of electronic devices (including a printer and set of Nintendo bongo drums), Derek's saxophone was chopped up and rearranged by Luke's laptop whilst Stephen sat behind an electric piano, occasionally playing a strange Chinese flute with an enormous gourd and a single stringed zither.
Essentially this was a performance hinging on spontanaity and measure - the forty-five minute set ebbed and flowed with consistency and it was evident that the performers had a relatively good understanding of each others movements throughout the performance. After finding their feet for the first five minutes, everyone settled in as Derek's saxophone noodled, chirped and wheezed over Seb and Lauren's sonic backdrop and occasional motoric Gameboy rhythms. Stephen though for me, stole the show with a good sense of economy, playing a piano fusion of Erik Satie and Thelonious Monk whilst occasionally intergecting with a couple of flute melodies and zither twangs. His facial expressions were also a notable highlight.
Hidden City's performance was followed up by a group led by Adam Page. It was entertaining for the first five minutes or so, but the incessant club rhythms mixed with jazz noodling and backslapping soon began to grate. I decided to call the jazz police and have an early bed.