NEWS: Taupe @ Head of Steam, Newcastle | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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“Taupe is a vague color term, which may refer to almost any grayish-brown or brownish-gray, but true taupe is difficult to pinpoint as brown or gray.”

I’m not sure if the band selected the colour or the colour selected the band, either way, this Wikipedia definition is fairly accurate for both. As it happens, brownish gray, or grayish brown is my favourite colour. Ostensibly jazz, this trio of sax, guitar and drums seems to be a fairly traditional mix of instruments, if lacking a bass, but they are far from traditional. Encompassing all that is great about the exploration of music among young people (I can say that now that I am old), Taupe take jazz, pull it apart, then put it back together without the instruction manual. The result is a fairly discordant, avant garde, almost, but not quite, free jazz mish-mash. That might sound a bit like a criticism but because it works really well it is definitely intended as a compliment. There are moments of complete randomness, like a pigeon stuck in a post-box, then there are beautiful melodic interludes, maybe a quiet reflection, quickly followed by an angry tantrum. There are definite notes of punk rock in there, so it’s kind of jazzy-punk, or punky-jazz…

For some of you, Taupe might be just a bit too much like work – they are quite hard going for the casual jazz listener – but if you fancy a challenge, and want to listen to and support an up-coming Newcastle band, then make your way to the Head of Steam to see for yourself. If you are an avid jazz fan, then come along and appreciate some very clever lads doing something extremely difficult and technical and making it look easy. I’m amazed that I haven’t come across these guys on my jazz travels to date, but if you are curious like me, I’ll see you there.

Taupe play at the Head of Steam, Newcastle on Friday 9th October.

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