LIVE REVIEW: Pink Martini @ Sage Gateshead (26.10.16) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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As the cha-cha started up, and China Forbes cast the first phrase of Amado Mio across the audience, everyone was reeled in. The syncopation and melodies of Pink Martini, this experienced, internationally-formed mini-orchestra, sparkled in the air of the auditorium.

Between songs, Thomas Lauderdale curated with playful syntax, serving up each next installment with lateral explanations of their widely-sourced influences. Prior to the interval, PM indulged in some extended instrumentalism, with the djembe solo slightly pushing patience.

True to a traditional format, after the break was utilised for the hits, including Let’s Never Stop Falling In Love and Je Ne Veux Pas Travailler. The addition of Hunter Noack joining the tour and performing a solo piano piece by Ravel was a glistening cherry.

Hall 1 of the Sage has often seen battles between its formal structure and more fluid programming. Though many watching are often internally keen to oblige a request to dance, a perception of the space oppresses the necessary conviction. Tonight though, PM’s balance of implicit musical studiousness and immediate performance playfulness framed such a response as a liberation, and initiated pockets of people to rise like sunflowers throughout. The energy eventually climaxed at the end of the night in the formation of a conga line flowing like water throughout the aisles.


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