“One of us can’t hear each other”
With a sublime and sassy sax from Helleanor Webb, boogie woogie piano from Simon Callow, murky gravel bottom vocals and jangly guitar from Weyfest ‘owner’ Colin Webb and an agreeable hub-a-bub from a motley crowd of other feelgood friends, the band called rather daringly ‘4Play’ introduced the happy & handsome audience at the Weyfest ‘Old Kiln Stage’ to a sweet selection of Dixie swing-time toe tapping jive and ragtime ‘ole country’ blues ‘n jazz. Yep, as worn as that rusty bucket you keep in the backyard – yet you cannot deny that there is still life aplenty left in that clanky old thang.
During an enjoyable and neatly crafted set, we had a gentle nod towards Woodstock’s Grateful Dead and ‘Drift Away’…
Oh, give me the beat, boys, and free my soul
I want to get lost in your rock and roll…
With its cow-town jooky piano hook from Simon to that tinting of rustic guitar from Colin, and with a sinuous saxophone line
from Helleanor, the full effect was to wow the crowd to rapturous applause and to raise expectations for the whole weekend.
Best ‘4Play’ number of all, though, was the Mike Sharpe (Atlanta Rhythm Section) song ‘Spooky’ made almost famous by Dusty Springfield (amongst others) and enchantingly chanted by Helleanor with her best Old Smoky sour-mash splashed tonsils on fine show and very dark textures beautifully produced by the other band-members. Superbly crafted mellow saxophone was curved and sculpted around the main theme as the rhythm was gently and sparingly kept up, right till those last drops of honey were squeezed. This was a real pleasure.
A great set by a group of ne’er do well troubadours (four or more) with an improvised method and an infectious love for those syncopated red light rag and maple leaf blues …. Gorgeous!
Note: It’s only fair to point out that Colin is but one equal part of a team of 5 Weyfest ‘owners’. Don’t want Ali, Rich, Keith and Dave to go uncredited for all their hard work!