Review/Comment: Cadogan Hall’s Out to Lunch Season

Moscow Drug Club
(Cadogan Hall’s Out to Lunch season. 22 August 2013. Review/Comment by Oliver Weindling)

Moscow Drug Club occupies a fertile cross roads: with a manouche-oriented line-up including guitar, accordion, trumpet and voice it gives the scope to turn east to Klezmer and Berlin cabaret, dwell in the world of chanson, or look west to the world of Leonard Cohen or the Andrews Sisters. Adding the trumpet of Ben Cummings blended well with Katja Gorrie’s voice. The rhythmic drive of Andy Crowdy on bass made the lack of drums a non-issue. 

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A word of praise for this series, now in its fifth year, is definitely in order: it was encouraging to arrive at Cadogan Hall on a wet Thursday in August and find that there was standing room only in the foyer, implying an audience of over 200.

At a time when we are hearing stories about losses of funding and audiences, the ‘Out to Lunchseason over the summer has set out its stall for a new location and time for top quality jazz. Perhaps very few of the concerts are as radical as Eric Dolphy’s album – after which the season is named. Nevertheless the chance to go to free concerts which include the likes of Dave O’Higgins, Gareth Williams and the Ronnie Scott’s House Band is to be welcomed. So all credit to Becky, Romy and the team there for their initiative.

It was great to hear Jacques Brel songs at midday (though there was no real need for the band to apologise for singing his songs at this time of day) and some less well known Bertolt Brecht/Hanns Eisler (“Supply and Demand”). Unsurprisingly, the audience had a great time and they were queuing up to buy their new album (which is now available through their web site).

Cadogan Hall will – according to rumour – be organising an ‘Out to Lunch’ Christmas special as the ‘village hall’ of Sloane Square. Christmas seems such a long long way away –   maybe this  success will encourage the management of the venue  to put on more dates during the period in between.

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