Live reviews

Carl Orr farewell gig at the 606 Club

Carl Orr
(606 Club. 22 August 2023. Live review and images by photographer John McGloin)

Carl Orr (foreground) and Tomasz Bura

Guitarist Carl Orr’s gig at the 606 on 22 August marking his farewell to the UK, had attracted a full house 606 club. The band – with Laurence Cottle (bass), Tomasz Bura (piano and keys), and Francesco Mendolia (drums ) – assembled, and we were greeted by Carl on the microphone, completely deadpan: “Thanks for coming. Another bloody boring Tuesday night,” before launching into a fast and furious “A Familiar Way”.

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L-R: Tomasz Bura, Carl Orr, Laurence Cottle, Francesco Mendolia

There were plenty of changes of pace and mood in the first half: “Katie”, dedicated by Orr to his daughter, was a much slower, introspective and moody piece that featured Orr’s guitar extensively. As the evening progressed we gained a broader picture of the musician we are about to lose – London’s loss is definitely Adelaide’s gain. “Spare Room” was inspired by his kids leaving home for university. “Isaac and Dad” was dedicated to his father and his friendship with a disabled young man who he used to visit.

Laurence Cottle

Orr spoke of this being a huge moment in his life. During the chat, Cottle played a burst of “Spanish Flea” leading to puzzlement and laughter causing Orr to comment: “Mahavishnu Herb Alpert Spanish Flea”. Once you let fusion take hold, it really can take you anywhere.

Tomasz Bura on keys
Tomasz Bura

Cottle and Mendolia proved to be such a dynamic rhythm section. Rock solid behind guitar and keys, they also provided momentum and drive for the faster-paced numbers.

Francesco Mendolia on drums at 606 club
Francesco Mendolia

Chatting briefly to Carl Orr afterwards on what was such a fitting goodbye, it was clear he was going to miss his home in England. Equally, he is looking forward to life in his new home in Adelaide. Australia is very fortunate to have Carl back again. We wish him all the very best for his move to Oz.

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