The Filthy Six, The Jepettos, Kris Platt, Andy Briggs, Rams Pocket Radio
Hudson Bar, Belfast
Friday 27th May
Communion continues to enjoy a fine run in Belfast and has so far graced venues like the Black Box and The Stiff Kitten, but tonight’s event sees the turn of The Hudson Bar to host the international club night. Headliners are Londoners The Filthy Six with support from The Jepettos and an unadvertised set from Rams’ Pocket Radio.
Sets by Kris Platt (More Than Conquerors) and Andy Briggs, both on a singer-songwriter tip, appear plagued by sound issues on the night, making it difficult to give a decent account.
Let’s get straight to The Jepettos then. Fronted by husband and wife duo Mike and Ruth Aicken The Jepettos have a treat in store for us with half an hour of wistful, folky pop played by a band of multi-instrumentalists undoubtedly enjoying themselves. Standout tracks include numbers from the band’s EP ‘Start A New People’ including 'Goldrush' and 'Good Times'. One of the night’s highlights came when Nick from The Filthy Six and LJ from the The Lambing Season joined The Jepettos on to play horns on the heart-warming 'Should’ve Kissed You More'.
Next up was the special guest set from Rams’ Pocket Radio. He complains that he 's been stuck in the studio breathing bad air and shut off from human contact, so he's just glad to be out. And it shows.
He's in exuberant form with a mix of his established material including 'Dieter Rams Has Got The Pocket Radio' and '1+2' with some new numbers. One of which, 'Aria' enjoyed its first outing tonight. The crowd love it and it will help warm him up for the UK tour next month.
The headliners are up next. All the way from foggy ol’ London Town, The Filthy Six introduce themselves with the immortal line from Monty Python; ‘And now for something completely different’ before getting stuck into a set of jazz, soul and boogaloo taken from 2010’s debut album The Filthy Six and their newest one The Fox. Led by the trumpet of songwriter Nick Etwell and driven by the funky organ of Pete Whittaker, The Hudson does indeed get something completely different.
They aren’t given the same audience attention that Rams’... gets, but that's more to do with Rams' local hero status than the quality of music or musicianship because The Filthy Six must be the best bunch of musicians Belfast has seen for a while. It's dazzling as they trade solos and riffs with virtuosity.
Dancing shoes are well worn through by the end of the gig thanks to tracks like 'Get Carte'r, 'Fingerbite', the title track from the new album and a jazzy instrumental of Amy Winehouse’s 'Rehab'.
It was a bit of a departure for Communion Belfast but the mix of styles on the night worked well.