A special one-off concert from an enormous big band – dancing, sampling and plenty of politics.
Inspired by his second album ‘There’s me, and there’s you’, this was billed as a one-off live show for the London Jazz Festival. The line-up featured his Big Band and a choir from Goldsmith’s College, and powerful voice of Eska Mtungwazi.
Support was from the much hyped Jose James, flown in from the States for this showcase gig. He’s been favourably compared to Gil Scott Heron and certainly looked the part.
Matthew Herbert put on an eclectic, crazy performance of beep, buzzers and bangs, within the Big Band orchestration and huge choir (from Goldsmiths College).
His big bad were enormous: five saxophones, four trumpets, four trombones, piano, bass, drums, lead vocalist, more than 60 backing singers (including choirs from Lewisham and Goldsmiths), a musical director and Matthew on ‘electronics’.
The sampled tearing of that day’s Daily Mail built into symphonic sounds, the choir donned pillow cases, reminiscent of Abu Ghraig and we shed tears as a solo drum machine’s beats represented a fraction of the civilian lives lost in Iraq.
But it wasn’t all political, by the end we were all on our feet, dancing to banging tunes, enthralled by the booming voice of Eska Mtungwazi.