The Sugar Club, Dublin
Decent quality jazz gigs – in my limited experience – haven’t been commonplace in Ireland since the advent of the Guinness Cork Jazz Festival (2015 headliners included real gone cats The Boomtown Rats and The Coronas, a Travis-lite outfit so bland they make the beer of the same name look like an imperial stout). This is a niche that The Sugar Club is looking to fill with its FutureJazz series whose latest instalment featured the Snarky Puppy ivory-tinkler and three crack sidemen on bass, drums, percussion and additional keyboards.
The set drew from Laurance’s three solo albums, most heavily from the newly-released Aftersun, and while I’m really not that familiar with these records I’d say they lean more towards the melodic end of the experimental spectrum but with bone-rattling low end to accompany lyrical runs that hit the sweet spot between keyboard-led mid-70’s fusion and the more crepuscular end of – sod it! – first gen trip-hop. This wasn’t one for the chin-strokers: the punters stood, clapped, shimmied and roared.
The Venue: Lightly repurposed arthouse cinema from the early 70s with a terrific PA system and nice staff.
Food & Drink: Pizzas if you wanted same at a reasonable cost, though how you’d eat them is another story. Full bar with pints of Guinness at €5 and cocktails at €7.50.
Delightfully diverse with a huge crowd of twentysomething couples, manbuns and a light smattering of old farts, your correspondent primus inter pares in that demographic. The place was mobbed.
It made me think..
There’s a future for this kind of music: Bill Laurance is quite a showman and the quartet is superb. If Snarky Puppy won’t play in Ireland too often, Bill has vowed to return as often as he can.