(Kensington Roof Gardens, October 9th 2010, review by Fran Hardcastle)
The new Jazz FM is back, infiltrating the London club scene with weekly nights at both Kensington Roof Gardens and Mahiki.
At the Roof Gardens, sitting above Derry St with views of the London night sky, the music kicks off at 8.30ish prior to the main club opening at 10pm and tickets booked in advance give you the gig plus entrance to the club after at a fiver off entrance to the club alone – a clever enticement. The very pretty setting, a fairylit winter marquee, makes for a glamorous night for the beautiful people of Kensington. The first night on Saturday played it safe with a nu-soul vibe from fine french singer Leslie Phillips and her band. The opening original song in French, Petite Soeur, caugh the audience’s attention, briefly. However, the relaxed atmosphere meant silent attention to the music was rarely anyone’s first priority. Though pleasant, it retreated into the background.
The second set brought an increasingly full tent as the main club opened. Having had a wander around the quirky and exotic Gardens and main club, the Jazz FM gig seemed to me to work well as an alternative chillout session within the venue. It did seem a shame that the event finished not long after 11pm and didn’t continue into the night.
I suspect that trumpeter Jay Phelps appearing this coming Saturday will be a different experience. He should command more attention and I’m certain the usually pop loving clubbers may rather enjoy their dose of something different. Early days, but this could quickly become a popular – and musically more nourishing – alternative to your standard club night.
JazzFM’s new website launch with improved sound is imminent.