A few months ago, I was at Colston Hall in Bristol watching 4 men set fire to the air with fierce gypsy tunes hailing from Django Rheinhardt era; the more familiar modern tunes that have been ‘gypsified’ (my favourite perhaps being a piece I recognised from the Pulp Fiction soundtrack); and even classical pieces played with more speed than thought humanly possible. These musicians form Gypsy Fire and I thorougly recommend you check them out.
I had a quick chat with them over the merch stall at the end of the gig and they recommended if I liked gypsy jazz, then I should come to Gossington Festival (which is run by one of the guys in Gypsy Fire). I adore gypsy jazz, so fast forward a few months and I find myself in Gossington.
The Friday and Saturday comprised of music that was a bit more mainstream folk/gypsy, headlined by Bristol’s own Phantom Limb on Friday and Seth Lakeman the following day. Sunday was for the hardcore gypsy jazz fans. The audience were treated to gypsy jazz royalty including Tchavolo Schmitt who I particularly enjoyed watching – he didn’t bother with a sound check and went straight into the set (with no set list), leaving the bass player and rhythm guitarist to just catch up. It was fab watching random jamming sessions strike up throughout the day as well (the guitar player on the left in the above picture is from a jam).
During the weekend I had a new appreciation for double bass. I mean, look how sexy that double bass neck is:
It’s sexy right!? Those curves are gorgeous!
I had such a great time and really enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere which helped the creative sketching juices. I particularly enjoyed drawing people performing and the instruments they clearly loved.