29 October 2016
Photo copyright of Lin Wilkinson
Jazz sessions are once again in full flow at the Angel with vocalist Julia Titus whooping it up last Saturday with Gavin Wilkinson on guitar, Brian Throup on bass and Jim Wade at the drums. Bookings for dinner continue but seating has now been provided for those people that want music as the food of love and not an actual meal. Julia Titus has a big, strong and somewhat bluesy voice and she produced a fine version of that old gospel flavoured piece that has long been a television programme introduction tune: I Wish I Knew How It Felt To Be Free. She continued with more standard fare like September In The Rain and The Glory Of Love, her voice intimate and personal in a way that seemed to address each individual listener.
She sang the song forever associated with Billie Holiday, God Bless The Child in her own style before finishing the first half with more popular and well known selections like Pennies From Heaven and That Old Feeling. Once again her way with a standard gave the impression she was singing personally to everybody present.
After the interval, with the meals largely finished and the diners sitting back to listen a shade more attentively, Julia began to settle more into a belt it out style and turned up the heat and the volume on There'll Be A Hot Time In The Old Town Tonight. It was time to get to basics and Gavin dipped into his blues bag of guitar licks as Julia tackled the St Louis and then the Do Your Duty Blues.
These selections, along with All Of Me and the relative respectability of Watermelon Man though, only paved the way towards the more degenerate of the blues spectrum with a good reading of Bessie Smith's down and dirty Gimee A Pigfoot and a Bottle of Beer, closely followed by Careless Love. Good support all evening was provided by Messrs Wilkinson, Throup and Wade. Finally Amazing Grace was sung before an encore urged us to Whip It to A Jelly and Stir It In A bowl. What else?
This review is reproduced with the kind permission of the Newbury Weekly News, where it was first published.