|David PReston, Kevin Glasgoew, Laurie Lowe|
Future Inns Bristol, 21 April 2016; review by Jon Turney
“This one’s meant to make you feel your face is being eaten by rats”, says front man David Preston cheerfully. An unconventional intro, but fitting for a concise piece dedicated to George Orwell and entitled Two Minute Hate. It doesn’t quite do that, but the furiously paced unison between Preston’s Holdsworthian guitar, Kevin Lowe’s six string electric bass, bolstered by Laurie Lowe’s fierce yet supple drumming, raises the gig to a new pitch of intensity.
Quite a feat, as this trio function at high energy. At fast tempos, they deliver the exhilaration-through-precision that marked some of the early high points of jazz-rock – the first edition of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, say (Preston sounds close to John McLaughlin at times) or perhaps Gary Boyle’s Isotope. The beats are different, but even with just three players the feeling is there. The three are out on the road promoting their first CD release – just out on Whirlwind – and they are having a ball.
But they do more than deliver complex music so crisply it looks easy until you consider how many notes are streaming by, and how fast. There are variations in pace and tone that let the air back in – a piece with a chiming intro and Lowe switching to brushes makes engaging use of different guitar sounds. The second set, which is slightly more relaxed, has a long, absorbing unaccompanied bass intro on Within You, though it does eventually lead up to another thunderous, technically involved drum solo.
One might not be in the mood for this every day, but the level of musicianship, commitment, and three-way empathy on display here makes for a thoroughly rewarding evening. I don’t know what the diners in Future Inns’ restaurant above made of the fusillades of notes and insistent rhythms below (they share the same acoustic space), but down in the jazz room we had a great time.
Preston-Glasgow-Lowe are in Cambridge tonight (April 22) and on tour until 4-5 May when they play Ronnie Scott’s. TOUR DATES