Monday, 12 May 2014
Marcos Valle Does London - Islington Assembly Hall 10.05.14
I will admit it, I have seen a lot of mediocrity this year when it comes
to live gigs.
The brilliance of Brazillian baron Marcos Valle however reassured me
that the good stuff is still present, with an amazing live show last
Saturday at London's Islington Assembly Hall.
On arrival at the venue I was taken aback when seeing rows of seating,
for me an unfamiliar sight at this venue.
Despite later realising there were less seats than attendees at this
performance, I made sure I got right in at the front row for the
benefit of this blog.
Warming up for Marcos and his band was Italian/American singer
Noemi Nuti, who brought shades of Brazil to her performance.
Her finale "Synaesthesia" was stunning, with a very catchy bass hook,
albeit played by her pianist.
Introducing the main act was Jazz FM's breakfast show presenter
John Osborne, and ultimately he's the man to blame for turning
me into a soul/jazz obsessive, as the presenter of Invicta FM's
"Boogie Years" in the late 90s.
Actually, John himself didn't introduce Marcos Valle by name,
instead encouraging the audience to scream out his name
to the point I almost strained my throat.
But it was worth it as the great man made his entrance with
his backing band, including his lovely wife Patricia Alvi who
definitely proved she can shake it.
Amongst the songs performed were the old Brazilian standards
such as "So Nice" and "Crickets Sing For Anamaria", in addition
to his more recent offerings such as "On Line" and the ever-rousing
There were one or two tunes omitted from the set such as
"Estrelar", and "Rocking You Eternally" as co-written with Leon Ware,
but it did nothing to stifle what was an amazing performance full
of energy, and eventually getting a few audience members out of their
seats and on their feet alongside the many punters at the back of
Definitely the case when the band returned for an encore, made up of
the instrumental mover "Freio Aerodinamico".
It's an amazing to see a performer still looking really fresh and
full of energy at 70, and unlike many of his contemporaries still
providing forward thinking music and gaining more and more
fans of many ages.
If you're one of those who isn't too clued up on Brazilian music
then Marcos would be my reccomendation for your first port of
call, and with the World Cup in Rio approaching, there's no better
time to start rummaging through his back catalogue.
My only question is, when are we going to get a new album?
Best gig of '14 so far.