Concert Review – Fret and Fiddle

Words by Ben Macnair
Photography by David Jones

The popular five piece Fret and Fiddle played an exciting and varied set of jazz classics, some blues and songs from other genres when they played at Lichfield’s Wade Street Church on Saturday 7th March.
Led by talented violinist and singer Sally Minchin, the ensemble also featured Andy Bole on acoustic electric and slide guitar, bouzouki and banjo, double bassist Martin Cox, drummer Steve Street and keyboard player Richard Hughes.


The songs played ranged from the bluesy Make Me a Pallet on Your Floor and Willie Dixon’s classic I’m Ready, both of which featured some lively slide guitar, whilst Leonard Cohen’s waltz time classic Dance Me To The End Of Love was delivered with a resonant vocal, and some well-timed brush drumming. Duke Ellington’s Caravan lifted the pace a bit, and allowed for some playing and improvisation from all band members, and the closing first half medley of Gershwin’s Classics, Rhapsody in Blue and It Ain’t Necessarily So ended with a lively reading of the jazz standard It Don’t Mean a Thing.


The second half included music from a wider range of genres, with Anne Dudley’s theme tune to Jeeves and Wooster, and Tico Tico both being lively openers. Tom Wait’s Chocolate Jesus was well performed, featuring a somewhat avant-garde slide banjo solo from Andy Bole, and the slow ballads J’Attendrai and Nature Boy both featured some sensitive violin playing and singing. The traditional tune Misserlou, made famous by the rock guitarist Dick Dale featured some superb bouzouki and fiddle playing, whilst the fun train tune Riding the Rails allowed for some lively audience participation.

 

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