Wow! Just saw Jan in action at Kendal on Friday 24th February. As a long time fan of Jan's playing I was looking forward to this gig, my first chance to see him play live since Hamburger Concerto many moons ago!
This was worth the wait!
First a word about the Brewery Arts Centre:
Great relaxed atmosphere and my son and I were about six feet away from the stage. Perfect view. Jan and the band appeared relaxed and seemed to enjoy themselves as much as the enthusiastic crowd. This gig saw a great mixture of old and recent material including focus classics (rousing version of Hocus Pocus!) Classic Jan (Tranquillizer, Streetwalker, Piëtons) and material from CU (Kloenk, Between the sheets, Urbanstring and more.)
Jan was on brilliant form and the band were tight and in the groove all night. The CU material worked well. The mixing sample of loops with live music proved very effective. "Between the sheets" started with and Jan's extended rhythmic funk chops before taking up the melody and the drum solo accompanying the sample loop in "Urbanstring" was a real crowd pleaser.
It's rare to see professional musicians gelling so well on stage, laughing and generally having a good time. This transferred to the audience who really enjoyed the show. It was nice to se a range of ages in the audience proving that good music can appeal through generations.
For you guitarists out there, Jan started out on his customised Gibson Les Paul personal before taking to the much lauded Langcaster for the majority of the show. The Marble Jazzah amp seemed to suit Jan's playing giving a nice harmonic "valvey" sound from lead lines. Sound in general from the band was excellent all night.
Lastly, the real highlight of the night was after the music. Jan and the band were happy to hang out with the crowd, sign autographs, have pictures taken, swap guitar picks and so on. 10 out of 10 for being so laid back and taking time out with the fans.
So, a mix of guitar virtuosity, great music, grooving band, good humour and a chance for my son and I to meet a long time hero..all in one night!
Just one question Jan, when can you come back??