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John Jorgensen

Hughenden Rugby Club
Wed 26th August

John Jorgensen was billed on the posters as a "gypsy jazz" acoustic guitar legend (indeed, he played Django Reinhardt in a film), and that's what the posters implied the gig would be. It was on the strength of this that a guitarist friend of ours invited us along. As it turned out, whether or not he's a gypsy jazz master, this was an evening of blues-influenced rock and pop with a four piece band! Not what we were expecting, but it was entertaining.

The bassist (who was Glaswegian and looked a bit like Alan Rickman) had three basses and the guitarist had three guitars. I've never quite seen the need for so many instruments myself. One of his guitars was spangly, sparkly silver. He made a joke about always wanting one of those spangly silver speedboats, but couldn't afford it so got his guitar painted instead. This met with resounding silence and puzzlement from the audience - none of us had ever seen a spangly silver speedboat. This must be an American thing. Surely this bit of patter falls flat every time he tells it at a British gig?

Anyway, he was very good at what he did, and some of the numbers were catchy, but personally, I can only take so much messing about with distortion! He looked so pleased with himself when he got lots of distortion out of it *g*. At the end of one number he let the guitar ring on and hung it from its strap in front of the amp to increase the noise *lol*. That is a little bit pretentious, really, you have to admit!

There was lots of name dropping too, but I'm afraid it was mostly lost on me! He wrote a lot of songs with a lot of people over the years, was the gist of it.

The audience were loving it, though, and it was packed - it was good to see such an enthusiastic crowd, and the atmosphere was very good. It helped that it was quite a small venue. We actually left at the break - it had started a little late, and my 5:25am rising time does not allow for late nights! If it had been gypsy jazz we might have stayed, but as it was, it wasn't enough to hold us, as good as he was.

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