Sunday, 26 August 2007

In Beano Veritas

It was a night of firsts. It was a night of contacts made, things discussed, blog entries edited, big words being used and good music being played.

On the bill at the Coffee Bean was Matthew Gair to open, with Verismo "Lite" to follow.

Despite having met Matthew some months ago, I have not had the pleasure of hearing him play before, and liked his music a lot. Catchy tunes, good guitar work, and deep lyrics combined into a very listenable package with tons of promise. Will catch one of his gigs again soon, and form further opinions.

Verismo followed. The full band was, unfortunately, not in attendance; the Bean's stage is a bit small for all six Verismo members and a drum kit. Frankly, the Bean is a bit small for the full Verismo sound too... but it has the advantage of being cozy. On backup vocals and guitar was Mark and on keyboard was Antonio. Vaughan, on lead vocals, seemed to be missing his trademark saxophone. It seems that he didn't feel up to both playing and singing, due to illness.

The sound was pleasantly minimal, due in part to illness and in part to the incompleteness of the band. It was quite interesting. Usually, the Verismo sound is an overwhelming buffet of sound and spectacle; a rich meal with many courses and interesting tidbits to consentrate on and mull over. The sound the other night was relatively sparse and spartan, but still very professional. If it were a meal, it would be the salad a master chef would toss together at home for himself and a special visitor... it was improvised, honest, and intimate.
Even though the sound was not as rich as their usual, it was still highly enjoyable. Very impressive indeed was the substitution of the regular drum solo in "Love to Love You" with some vocal beatboxing by Vaughan. The word does not do justice to what he did, and I seriously need to borrow a video camera for the next time they play the Bean so I can catch that on video.

It is a part of this band's appeal that they are a highly polished band of technically accomplished musicians, and also charismatic performers one and all. The beatboxing, Mark's ad-libbed lyrics, and some impressive falsetto singing from Vaughan (to fill in for Robin's operatic female vocal bits) make Verismo at the Coffee Bean a totally unique experience which you will not get to see at other, larger venues. It underscores why I have loved this band since the moment I first saw them in the Bean and why I immediately became a total Verismo groupie.

On the subject of firsts, Jonathan Hitchcock had his first Verismo experience on Thursday. It will be interesting to hear what he has to say about them. He was quite obviously entranced by them and made public a desire to attend their next performance, which will be on 28 September at the Good Hope Centre for some charity event.

Fans of Verismo, take heart! Even though their next gig is some time from now, their album should also come out within a month. I shall publish news as and when it becomes available... and might break some news items to the world if there are any news to be broken.

Watch this spot. Links to the performers below.

Mat's Pages:

Verismo's Pages:

PS. My peanut gallery (aka, "the wife") said the title of this post is a bit obscure. If you don't get the pun, you're not in the intended audience for this blog.

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