Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival 2017 Spiegeltent, George Square.Review  Monday 17th July

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Davina and The Vagabonds are back in Edinburgh for their fourth consecutive year at The Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival, and as always this band Davina Lozier (Vocals)  Zack Lozier (trumpet), Steve Rogness (trombone), Connor McRae Hammergren (drums) and Andrew Foreman (Bass) bring that infectious enthusiasm and fun of the early days of Jazz , New Orleans, and Bourbon Street, the sounds of Fats Waller and Fats Domino, Louis Jordan, the Blues, Etta James and Bessie Smith (no “Sugar In My Bowl” in this set this time) and mix it all in with, at times, the off the wall individuality that  is  Davina herself.

As always, there is a very clear and no nonsense approach to music from Davina and The Vagabonds  with tight brass sections from Zack and Steve, non stop rhythmic beat from Connor and classic Jazz, Blues and Boogie Woogie piano from Davina (with that right hand doing an awful lot of keyboard work), and her always powerful vocals.

If you like the classics sounds of Fats Waller and Fats Domino, then few bands out there cover their music with such an authentic feeling and sound as Davina and the Vagabonds, and tonight’s cover of “Ain’t That A Shame” was no exception to the rule. Also a great version of “Louisiana Fairytale”.   Davina though not only performs these classics, but writes many new songs that somehow capture the essence and the sheer fun and power of the greats of Blues and Jazz, and songs like “Start Runnin” ,”Black Cloud” and “Red Shoes” show not only what a good songwriter Davina is, but also a lady often dancing along the tightrope of life’s darker emotions and a writer who likes short titled songs.

 Davina and the Vagabonds take their music seriously, are one very tight band, but somehow just bring a bundle of fun to the stage with them. This band are simply fun to go and watch and listen to, and a bright light (despite the darkness of some of the song lyrics) in a sometimes dark world.  It’s not I think possible to leave one of their shows without feeling a bit lighter of spirit than when you went in.

 

Review by Tom King

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