21 Oct 2005
Swing Out Sister live at The Jazz Cafe 
Last night the ten piece Swing Out Sister touring band made a return visit to the Jazz Cafe in Camden, London for the first of a trio of shows. Swing Out, the "internationally renowned jazz-pop duo of 'Breakout' fame" according to the blurb is essentially singer Corinne Drewery and Andy Connell (ex-ACR). These days, Andy prefers to sit out the show itself but he does provide musical entertainment in the form of his DJ set which he runs from his laptop. Corinne herself occasionally DJs, most recently at the Bethnal Green Working Men's Club (according to Corinne on the official website this is "sometimes like a Fellini film, sometimes like a crazy 60's art school party"), but she prefers vinyl to computers.

The Factory connection doesn't stop there either. Corinne sang on ACR's 'Bootsy' from 'Force', around the time when Swing Out was just starting. Percussionist Chris Manis and drummer Mikey Wilson were both in The Jazz Defektors. Derek Johnson (aka Juneroy), brother of Donald (ACR) and Barry (Sweet Sensation), plays bass and also, on one track drums and furthermore toasts like an old pro on another. A three-man brass section (Noel Langley - trumpet, Pete Beachill - trombone, Gary Plumley - saxophone), Dan Swana (keyboards), Tim Cansfield (guitar) and additional vocalists Sylvia Mason-James and Derek Green complete the live line-up.

The setlist combined material from their debut album 'It's Better To Travel' ('Surrender', 'Twilight World' and a gloriously slowed down version of 'Breakout' as the last encore) with selections from their many other studio albums. Several tracks become extended freeform jazz-funk workouts showing off the skills of what Corinne rightly calls her "badass band".

Swing Out Sister play The Jazz Cafe tonight and tomorrow and are then at venues around the UK.


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Biting Tongues

In the grey days of late 1970s post-punk Manchester, youth culture was a serious affair: every musical performance was measured mostly by the conviction of its delivery. The term 'New Wave' opened up free vistas where acquired skills could once again be exercised after punk's monochrome blur. It could be applied to anything from a James 'Blood' Ulmer record to the latest Throbbing Gristle release, Magazine to Swell Maps. Move outside that terrain into Sun Ra, Parliament, Frank Sinatra and Martin Denny, and your options were suddenly without limit...

Then came Tony Wilson's Factory Club (at the Russell Club in Hulme) offering an open invitation to experiment that was taken up when Ken Hollings, Howard Walmsley, Eddie Sherwood and a few others decided to make some noise to accompany their 16mm silent epic Biting Tongues. A further performance followed a few weeks later, when Colin Seddon and Graham Massey disbanded their Post Natals project and joined up. The film itself, a flashing series of negative images, became a memory; the name remained.

- extract from the LTM Biting Tongues biography

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