Day 2 of The Hague Jazz Festival was spent by G and me in the large auditorium called ‘The A Train’. It started with class, panache and African rhythms thanks to the impressive and inspiring performance of Seun Kuti & Egypt 80. After that to my old friends and favourites Matt Bianco, whose gig was unfortunately hampered by terrible soundproblems (which aparently were due to the stage monitors). In the second half things got fortunately better, and ‘Lost in You’, ‘Wap Bam Boogie’ and ‘Cha Cha Cuba’ were highlights on a short setlist.
After an endless pause in which the stage hands apparently continued to grapple with the monitors, Level 42 featuring old war horse Billy Cobham came on stage just to suffer the same problems as Matt Bianco. Feedback continued to be an issue, and Billy was apparently not able to pick up the sequenced tracks from Mike Lindup’s impressive keyboard towers, so he had terrible problems to synchronise himself with the rest of the band, most obvious during ‘Lessons in Love’, when the band actually had to stop playing for Cobham to pick up the beat of the sequencers. Nevertheless, Love Games and Hot Water were fun as ever (although the rest of the set was a bit contrived with some rather unusual material being showcased).
All in all the 2008 Hague Jazz event was brillant. A relaxed, well organised festival with plenty of variety, great music and nice people. Thoroughly recommended.