Don't worry. You didn't miss much, it was bobbins.
Oh, soz, except of course you did cos it was really good!
It was a lush venue, quite hootin-falutin but possessed of a pleasing, relaxed atmos and a great sound (especially after much manic twiddling during the Soli soundcheck). They did well cos it was I'd say at last 3/4 full and the crowd seemed an appreciative, responsive sort.
First off we were treated to the delightful, filigree ambience of Naughtynige's and his chum Matt's The Untied Knot (despite Radio 3's Late Junction's and evening's compere, Max Reinhardts initial reference to them as "The United Knot!" D'oh!). Guitar lines and synthigloops and tabla colours rolled out from the stage and stroked the sensibilities of the audience.
After the interval whererin m'self and M'colleagues Landells, Torino and Vooje plus Madame Noddydrude, who was cabbage-bound not to tamper with bots for the evening for decorum's sake, repaired to the bar area for refreshments and ablutions, we took our (unspanked) seats once more for Solus3
It was a lush show - very different in tone from the dangling-off-a-stage hang-on-ness of their 12Bar shows but an excellent display of adapting to a different arena.
It started stunningly with Julia Thornton performing "Reich" solo, in the spotlight, just loops and harp. Spellbinding it was. Then, the rest of the Soli took the stage and we were treated to an immaculately rendered selection of songs from the two albums thus far. The Soli played really well - they are proper step-up-to-the-platers on the night. Krupa (vocals/Kaos pad) was in breathtaking voice. I know I do piccies for 'em and they be chums and all that, but she really has got one of the most amazing voices out there IMO. "Tricked by A Monster" was a highlight with occasional Soli Jemma giving it some welly on guitar and vocals.
Francesco (Trumpet/Vocals/Growling/effects) was also on fine form, definitely having a bit of a "Hell Yeah!" evening. As ususal, the Solus3/Dunes rhythm axis were on fab form, generating many favourable whispers from people about me. The Solus sound in full flight, with harp and vocals cascading over the dubby foundations, is truly a wondrous, absorbing thing.
Some of the songs were accompanied by some gorgeous and evocative visuals on a back projection courtesy of Solus cover-artist and pin-hole photographer Jan Dunning. The rendition of "Romance de La Luna, Luna, Luna" with Jan's visuals was particularly stunning.
Climaxing with the sumptious "Corner of The World" the Solus ensemble left to the stage to well earned applause and returned for an equally well deserved encore. Yup encore! Playing a crystalline rendition of a Linda Peerhacs tune (top choice Soli) the band morphed it into a soul stomping finale (handclaps from us the punters n' all!) wherein Krupa introduced the band.
I know one Soli has concerns that the end was a bit 'showbizzy" and, well it was, but I thought it was charming and engaging and made the band a lot of new friends from where I was sitting. It was in fact, a hoot! It was an apt finale that suited the environment to a tee.
All in all, a splendid evening of top quality music and company.
I'm only sorry time and transport considerations meant the HH crew had to curtail post-gig events but it was great to see you all and lets do it again, again, again...