Wednesday, September 02, 2009


Live Music at the Griffin


Not an easy time for pubs. So good on the Griffin in Danbury for offering not just a beer festival and a hog roast for the Bank Holiday weekend, but an Extravaganza of live music too.

The Sunday, for instance, featured renowned jazz piano man Ray Ward and his trio, and later, The Lady and The Tramp – Robert Bastian and Nicole Casey.

Three high-octane sets, using a tiny space somewhere between the restaurant and the beer tent. Mostly numbers that take well to being belted out: a sassy duet version of the Rodgers and Hart song that gave them their name, Bjork's It's Oh So Quiet with Gaggia obbligato, and big diva numbers like Rain on My Parade and I Who Have Nothing. My favourites I think were the New York medley from Robert and a Spanish You Don't Have To Say You Love Me from Nicole. Less successful was the insensitive disco remix of Lloyd Webber's Memory.

These two seasoned and intuitive performers worked well together: Robert sells his songs, works the room and ad libs his patter, and Nicole has an incredible voice, classically trained, with a warm, easy tone. I'd love to hear her sing jazz or operetta. Though it was fun to see them interact with waiters, punters and passers-by, they deserve a more attentive audience, which would give them a chance to develop a more reflective side to their repertoire.

The Griffin has already booked them for another gig in October;
we've not heard the last of the Tramp and the Lady …

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