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28 October 2014
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Singer Anna of Jaffa Rose in action
Singer Anna of Jaffa Rose in action

Jaffa Rose are a perfect side order

Pete Chambers went for a spot of lunch at the Herbert Cafe with Jaffa Rose providing the music. Did they sit well or did he just get indigestion?


Review by Pete Chambers

Sundays can be a bit of a drag with not always a lot going on so just how good would it be to eat a wonderful lunch while being entertained by BBC Coventry & Warwickshire’s  band of the month for February? Nice work if you can get it and that was exactly what was on offer at the Herbert Cafe in Coventry.

Delicious and inventive were very much the words of the day, not just the food mind, but the music too.

As we tucked in to our on-table starters of Greek salad, hummus, Parma ham and chorizo we were treated to the gloriously stimulating sounds of the Jazz-influenced Jaffa Rose.

Jaffa Rose at the Herbert Cafe
Jaffa Rose at the Herbert Cafe

Formed at Warwick University in October 2005, this inspiring young band is full to the brim with talent. They opened with an up-beat jam, easily warming up this Sunday luncheon crowd.

Nick Dugdale is a superbly gifted saxophone player. You notice him first, on centre-stage, and his command of his instrument is extraordinary. What’s equally extraordinary is the musicianship of the rest of the band. Stephen Henry (keyboards), Laurie Ainley (guitar), Rowan Gifford (bass) and Steve Kiddle (drums) are all on the top of! their game so how could we single out anyone above the rest?

Just as you thought it couldn't get any better enter, singer Anna Frodsham and her perfectly syncopated vocals adding yet another dimension to proceedings.

Anna is the icing on the cake, she’s a woman who is totally in control of her voice and by the time main course of roast pork loin had arrived we had been treated to some of Jaffa Rose's best songs, like the quirky Night At The Fairground and my favourite Porcupine (I just wish it lasted for an hour or so - it’s that good).

Musically they are superb and, although they could do with pushing their stage presence up a notch or two, they seem to have something very special going on.

So thanks Jaffa Rose and thanks to the Herbert’s Maria and her team for a glorious Sunday afternoon. Now where’s me pudding?!

last updated: 27/02/06
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