Matt Bianco @ Jazz Cafe Camden, 17.9.2010

Pic by Isobel Kellermann

Pic by Isobel Kellermann

The second Matt Bianco concert within a year in London! It’s quite obvious that the band is slowly but surely happy to play in the UK again, and the capacity crowd at the Jazz Cafe was utterly delighted to have their heroes back. It’s quite rare to see Mark Fisher and Mark Reilly smile at the same time, but there they were, beaming like Cheshire Cats, infused by an appreciative audience which went completely mad from the first minute of the gig, singing in happy unison with Reilly, Sim and Foster and spurning on the soloists. The setlist was the by now well rehearsed mix of classics and the recent Hifi Bossanova but with an exciting new take on ‘Half a Minute’, inspired by the recent Joey Negro remix. It’s interesting which of the 11 studio albums don’t make it on the setlist anymore: there were no songs from ‘Rico’, ‘Echoes’, ‘Another Time Another Place’ and ‘Samba in your casa’ which shows a certain negligence of their ‘naughties’ period.  Fortunately they did not drop their best live song, the brillant ‘Lost in You’ which with an extended Salsa section in the middle and Mark Fisher’s long piano solo continues to be the highlight of each show. ‘Fordiebianco’s law’ states that the quality of each Matt Bianco gig can be ascertained by Mark Fisher’s keyboard solo during ‘Lost in You’. If he’s really into it and sparks fly he’s been infused by the audience’s vibe and is obviously enjoying himself, but if it’s a lacklustre affair the gig was obviously not as enjoyable for everybody.

So for Fisher’s performance on a scale of 10, Friday’s was a 24 and the same can be said for the rest of the gig. Which again shows that Fordiebianco’s law is valid. Even Danny White was seen enjoying himself!

Quod erat demostrandum.

It was an absolute joy to see this much loved band play in front of a happy hame crowd, and I can only hope that there will be many more London gigs in the future.