Dark clouds and a crack of thunder did nothing to dampen the spirits of the ever lengthening queue outside Scala gigging venue conveniently placed just a few minutes walk from Kings Cross. The majority in the waiting crowd seemed to be here to listen to Quimby, who Ian describes as Art-Rock, but where were all the London fans of Ian who had the opportunity to catch this double-header of delight?
Ian Siegal with his electric band, the Dutch group Rhythm Chiefs who are the dynamic and brilliant guitarist Dusty Ciggaar, Danny van’t Hoof playing funky laid-back bass and keeping the band tight and providing perfect structure from the back drummer Rafael Schwiddessen.
This is a sublime quartet of talent who meld and deliver a sound that is full of tonal texture and lyrical depths that refused to be caged by a genre they are above that as they deliver class music. The set list was a walk through several of Ian’s albums delivered with something a little bit special, the guitar sound of Dusty who gave each track a fresh appeal, this is what makes listening to a band so magical as it is never the album reproduced as the artist re-interprets his own work. It was fantastic to hear again ‘Sugar Rush’, ‘The Revelator’, ‘Brandy Balloon’, ‘Kingdom Come’ tracks from Meat & Potatoes and Broadside as well as Candy Store Kid ‘I am The Train’. The track of the set was an electric version of ‘Gallo Del Cielo’, we are used to hearing this at solo shows; or on his new live album Man & Guitar; with the audience in still emotional silence as the tale unfolds. Tonight it was electric in every sense with Dusty and his baritone guitar stealing the show this fabulous song still ends with a tear in your eye as the emotions through the lyrics and the music that accompanied them who added empathy and raw emotion so that there should have been not a dry eye in the house. Unfortunately, the noisy chatter that had become so noticeable in the quieter sections become a murmuring of buzzing wasps that should have been swatted… Ian asked for quiet but we didn’t get it so no encore a real disappointment. I know most of the audience were here to see Quimby but respect costs nothing…
Quimby, a Hungarian band formed in 1991, deliver music that can be slotted into alternative but that is a home of many who are just different. Quimby deliver musical art, sculptures of sound that build from a strong percussive base, with trumpet, keyboard, bass, guitar and a strong vocals.. a megaphone is used to great artistry as well. This is a band that is individual creating a sound that only strong musicians would have the confidence to deliver, tonight this was achieved by the collective talents of Tibor Kiss (Vocals, Lead Guitars) Livius Varga (Vocals, Percussion) Szilárd Balanyi (Keyboards, Vocals) , Ferenc Gerdesits (Drums), Ferenc Mikuli (Bass) and József Kárpáti (Trumpet). This is a band to see live as they interact with each other and the audience delivering track after track that all have a different emphasis as the instrumentation and focus is varied. The lyrics may have been in Hungarian, the music transcends language barriers and spoke of emotional depths, irony, joy and sorrow. I would have loved to have been able to understand the spoken interludes as the audience who could laughed and sighed as they could interact with the message.
This did not stop this gig of two halves being full of delight and when they tour UK again I will be off to see Quimby and enjoy music that is artfully sculptured so that they cross cultural and linguistic barriers with a set list full of Quimby variations of tempo, music and art.. including their take on the blues with Ventilátor blues and Turning to the blue and some of their hit Halleluja and a couple with English tiles.. I’ve got a Girl; Son of the Bitch and Nice Day – it was more than a nice night it was an evening full of music that made you sit up listen and enjoy.