Brian Auger has been around since the Roman Empire, or so he jokeingly tell us from the stage of the James Hay Theater in Chritchurch on Thursday night. I hadn't really heard much of his music, but I had heard of him and as he was playing here as part of the annual Jazz & Blues Festival and Mrs Roddus was going to see Carol king and James Taylor that same night , I thought it would be worth going to see, and a LOT cheaper than the King/Taylor concert.
Brian put togeather the Oblivian Express in the early 70s, after having sucess in various outfits and playing with many of the leading musicians of the 60s. The Express played uptempo Jazz/Funk based Progressive type rock lead by Brians Organ and keyboards. The vocals in this current band line up are handeled by his daughter Savannah Grace Auger with his son Karma Auger on drums and Californian Derek frank on bass.
Savannah is a powerful singer and the few times she vocalised unaccompanied her voice sounded so pure, unfortunatly the vocals were just slightly too low in the mix to hear her clearly, so it was difficuly to appreciate her talent more fully. I thought Karma played exellent and was impressive on a couple of solos. Brian really gets into is extended organ breakes and my foot was tapping for almost the whole show. One stand out was a slow burning version of "Light My Fire" as well as "Season of the Witch", of which I was familiar, but didn't know that Donavon wrote it. They also did some pure Jazz covers in their own style and played for about 2 hours. My more full enjoyement of this concert was somewhat tapered by the tradgedy that had befallen us earlier that day(see below). My rating 3.5/5.