Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Warming the Winter Nights; Jazz, Blues and Roots

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Warming the Winter Nights; Jazz, Blues and Roots

Article excerpt

Byline: ALAN NICHOL

THE approaching winter solstice is probably just the right time for an injection of Spanish sun, in the form of the five-piece La Xula (pronounced La Hoola), at the Sage Gateshead's Hall 2 tomorrow night.

We could all do with a dose of musical vitamin D at the darkest time of the year and this assembly of Spanish expats (and one Englishman) should provide it.

The London-based band play one of only two UK shows - the other, predictably, is in London - and should raise temperatures with their spicy mix of flamenco, Arabic, tango and psychedelic-rock flavours.

There is also a touch of gypsy burlesque with, what one pundit described, as "tangodelic tendencies!"

The quintet, fronted by the flamboyant Monte Ruiz on vocals, have featured on BBC Radio 3's World Music Awards and toured with the winners of the Americas category, Mexican quartet Los De Abajo.

The instrumentation includes violin, guitar, bass, percussion and vocals but conveys little of what they offer in the live setting. There is also music from DJ Oscar and the downstairs area is all standing with seating available upstairs. Ticket info on (0191) 443 4661.

SOUNDS that originate much closer to home are on offer at the Cluny on Monday and Tuesday.

The band Field Music have been variously described as alternative folk, pop, indie-rock with a jazz sensibility,but whatever you call it,it is a seductive sound, with distinctive guitar hooks and string arrangements.

Formed by ex-Futureheads drummer Peter Brewis and his brother Dave (from Sunderland), the band also includes Andrew Moore on keys and they share close links with Newcastle's Maximo Park.

Recordings have included Emma Fisk (of jazz outfit, Djangology) on fiddle,too. They have issued some seven singles and the clamour that met the first couple of albums - Field Music (2005) and Write Your Own History (2006) - was universally positive.

Among the critical praise, one newspaper called them "the most charming act to emerge this year". Songs such as In Context and A House Is Not A Home would endorse that view. …

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