Saturday, February 3, 2018

Judy Dyble - Union Chapel

Judy Dyble - Union Chapel
Pete Clemons

Judy Dyble doesn’t need any introduction. Her musical history is well documented elsewhere. But during 2004 Judy quietly returned to music and has since been involved in some very impressive releases. And occasionally, if you are fortunate enough, you can get to see her live. At least 5 dates have been announced for 2018. With this being the first of those scheduled outings.

Mid 2017 saw the release of an album called ‘Summer Dancing’ in partnership with Andy Lewis. Hands up, I really did think that this was going to be a bit of a miss-match. After all I had last seen Andy Lewis playing bass, in the then, Paul Weller band at the Warwick Arts Centre. Plus the fact that the album was being released on the Acid Jazz label just all seemed, to me at least, to be a bit of an unlikely combination. Being a mere music listener however, what do I know about these things?

Curiosity did get the better of me and I ended up buying a copy of the album. Wow, was I way off the mark, as their resulting release, ‘Summer Dancing’ became one of my favourite listens of 2017. So much so that when I found out that Judy was appearing live, with the musicians that created it all, then the urge to be there to hear it was just too great. With bargain priced rail ticket in hand I made my way to the wonderful, the Union Chapel in London.

I am not entirely certain but this may well have been the debut outing for the band. In addition to Judy and Andy, on stage you had Robert Rotifer guitar, Ian Button guitar and keyboard, Alison Cotton viola and vocals, Pete Twyman drums, Liz Lewis keyboard.

Judy walked on stage confronted by a mic that had been set for a person at least a foot taller. But once it had been reset the band burst into the beautiful ‘A Net of Memories’, from the Summer Dancing album. Aptly enough, a song about the city we were in.

Next up was another from Summer Dancing ‘My Electric Chauffer’ and this was followed by a new song from her Songs in Waiting EP titled ‘See What Your Words Did to Me’, a new song, that affirmed the tone for the afternoon. Summer Dancing was further showcased by ‘A Message’ and ‘Up the Hill’.

Then there was a real step back in time as Judy and the band performed the wonderful ‘Velvet to Atone’ an old Trader Horne song of which Judy had been a member along with Jackie McAuley.

This was followed by an equally delightful version of Nick Drakes ‘Northern Sky’. And, rounding up the proceedings, was ‘The Day They Took the Music Away’ a song that deliberately finishes with a sudden jolt.

With Judy you kind of get what you see really. She is not one of those flamboyant visual singers. One minute her hands are at her side, the next they are in the pockets of her long cardigan, and then back out again. But what she has in abundance is that rare ability to take you to places. The smile on her face was for real and she was clearly enjoying the moment. As, I’m certain, were the rest of the band. During the gig I really had forgotten that I was in the heart of this huge metropolis………until I stepped out onto the street again.

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