Fast ‘n Bulbous, the acclaimed Beefheart brass band which includes Gary Lucas on guitar, take the stage at Jazz em Agosto Festival in Lisbon at 21.30 GMT on 13 August 2005. The performance will be broadcast live from Portugal to your computer at Rádio Interna do Instituto Superior Tecnico.
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I MAY BE HUNGRY BUT I SURE AIN’T WEIRD
Saw the concert tonight. It was….huu…nice. An hour or so of light entertainment…. Can’t say that my expectations were high. I wasn’t expecting the Magic Band.
What was announced was a group of musicians and improvisers lead by Gary Lucas.
My expectations were to see improvisation and interesting variations of Beefheart themes. Unfortunately, it didn’t past the usual semi-jazz summer concert routine. Don’t get me wrong… it kept my foot tapping.
It had some high moments. Namely, “Evening Bell”…. Lucas stood alone in the spotlight telling how Van Vliet had taught him the music. Then played it a tremendous display of virtuosity.
Because the amphiteatre is placed in a garden with a pond, you occasionaly hear in the background, gooses chanting along with the music.
“Evening Bell” fitted quite perfectly with the atmosphere.
It was the only “Magic” moment. Lucas soon spoiled it by spilling out some salesman gibberish about his records being sold at the entrance…
Anybody who enters the concert place inevitably notices a big stand with records obviously featuring the people playing. Why pop the bubble?
The rest of the gig was just normal and safe interpretations of Beefheart… What bothered me was that instead of relying on instrumentals and more themes from the Trout Mask era, they played quite normal versions with some occasional improvisation in the middle.
The musicians are good. No doubt. Great trombone player.
The other high point was Suction Prints, something that obviously sounds better played by a semi-jazz combo like theirs.
At the end, I couldn’t help feeling that Lucas is tryin to make a buck out of Van Vliet’s work and name.
I can’t stand revivals of any sort, specially lame ones. Most of the times, the concert was superficial… And that’s something not appliable in the Beefheart context.
You don’t polish diamonds from the mud.
Some things are sacred.
Anyway it wasn’t an horrible gig. It was cute. It didn’t destroy my expectations, they were already lowered. It was just a nice hot summer night…
spent with the gooses.