Review: Jerry Dammers Spatial AKA Orchestra

Jerry Dammers Spatial AKA Orchestra
Barbican Hall, LJF2011.
Photo credit: Roger Thomas

Jerry Dammers Spatial AKA Orchestra
(Barbican Hall, 18th November 2011. Part of LJF 2011. Review by Roger Thomas)


No complaints about lack of diversity at the London Jazz Festival. There has been something for everybody from classic jazz to wild party. Jerry Dammers that fills the wild party category with his Spatial AKA Orchestra – a tribute to the great Sun Ra, who gave them the mantra 'Space Is The Place'.

Judging by all the gizmos dotted around the Barbican stage, something untypical of a jazz orchestra was about to kick off.

Indeed, the raucous entry through the auditorium of the Spatial AKA’s in their outlandish costumes made a lot of the audience look somewhat over-dressed.

But hey, what else would you expect from Dammers the creative mind behind such things as The Specials, 2-Tone and Free Nelson Mandela.

There is a definite party spirit from the outset and with further encouragement from rapper Anthony Joseph, singers Francine Luce and Johnny Clark, also Dammers making the occasional foray from his synthesizer command pod added to the drama.

Timeless songs like Ghost Town with politicised lyrics coupled with fiery sax solos (courtesy of Nathaniel Facey, Larry Stabbins) and Jerry’s wry banter generated moments of uproar.


However, after a lengthy set and with some party revelers beginning to look worn out the Orchestra left the same way they arrived leaving behind trombonist Harry Brown like a forlorn E.T. who finally rounds off the evening with a sobering rendition of Dvorak’s Going Home.


Did they go home? No! The band took the party to the Barbican foyer where the hard-core revelers continued raise the roof for some time.

Take your energy shots before going to see this Orchestra. And don't wear a suit, unless it's a space suit.
Jerry Dammers Spatial AKA Orchestra
Barbican Hall. LJF2011
Photo credit: Roger Thomas

2 comments:

  1. I loved this gig! But you had one omission: the presence of Edgar Broughton doing his take on Captain Beefheart!

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  2. I hear you Rhythmaning. Also worthy of individual mention are Alcyona Mick, Roger Beaujolais, Shabaka Hutchins, Denys Baptiste et al, but then I would be running the risk of being chased around cyberspace by Big Ed – Sebastian – wielding his digital shears chanting "word count, word count" .

    Anyhow now that you've mentioned it the Broughton/Beefheart character was quite a hoot and certainly drew a few chuckles from myself and others around me.

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